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,…

Toyen, a Tale of War and Friendship

“In front of our house in the former Husova třída in Žižkov, usually at the time when workers from the Karlín factories were going home, I often encountered a strange but interesting girl,” recalls Czechoslovak Nobel prize-winner Jaroslav Seifert in his 1982 memoir All the Beauties of the World. At a time when women’s attire…

Julio Galán – He Who Comes Must Go (1988)

Julio Galán has often been compared to Frida Kahlo, for they both hailed from Mexico, painted Surrealistic works and chose deeply personal subjects and symbols for their art. There was a big difference though. While Kahlo’s sensitivity and pain shone through as the essence of her art, with Galán you get the impression that he…