Jusepe de Ribera – Penitent Magdalene (1611)

If there was ever an ultimate “Am I a sociopath?” test, it would have to be Jusepe de Ribera’s Penitent Magdalene painting. I dare you not to cry. It’s hard for me to put into words what moves me about this painting. Ribera’s artistry and understanding of the human psyche are beyond words. In fact,…

August Macke – Woman in a Green Jacket (1913)

As one of the leaders of the short-lived German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), August Macke shared the belief that colors should express moods and feelings instead of representing an objective reality. The German’s preoccupation with color is evident in Woman in a Green Jacket where the main subject is set against…

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…