Henri Rousseau – The Sleeping Gypsy (1897)

His contemporaries called him the Customs Officer (Le Douanier), in reference to his day job as a toll collector in Paris. Mostly a self-taught artist, Henri Rousseau didn’t start painting until he was in his 40s. With his childlike naiveté and vivid imagination, the Frenchman fell right in with the Post-impressionists, having an everlasting impact…

Canaletto – Piazza San Marco (late 1720s)

By the 18th century, Italy had become a popular tourist destination for wealthy Europeans and Americans, a must see for those looking to expand their knowledge, culture and education. Because there was so much to be seen, foreigners would often end up spending years there, moving from city to city while following an established itinerary….

Konstantin Somov – The Boxer (1933)

The fact that there are such few male nudes in art stands as proof that for the longest time women couldn’t access the art world. Even if they could, it would have been highly inappropriate for them to be alone in a room with a naked male model, let alone paint them for hours. Some…

Edvard Munch – Melancholy (1894 – 1896)

Best known for his widely-reproduced painting The Scream, no one immortalized the anxiety of modern life better than the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. Munch’s works belong to Symbolism, an art movement that emphasized the depiction of the tangible world through the lens of subjectivity and emotions. Strongly believing that humans were powerless in the face…

Tarsila do Amaral – Workers (1933)

After starting a relationship with communist doctor Osório Cesar and taking a tour of the Soviet Union, Brazilian artist Tarsila do Amaral joined the Communist Party herself. The relationship was short lived, as was her infatuation with communism. A few of her works, however, remain as a reminder of her once strongly held political beliefs….