German painter, draftsman, printmaker, and theorist of the German Renaissance, Albrecht Dürer was born, May 21, 1471, in the Franconian city of Nuremberg. ❦ Dürer established his reputation and influence across Europe when he was in his twenties due to his high-quality woodcut prints. He was in communication with the major Italian artists of his […]
Marie Bracquemond (1 December 1840 – 17 January 1916) was a French Impressionist artist, who was described retrospectively by Henri Focillon in 1928 as one of “les trois grandes dames” of Impressionism alongside Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt. Her frequent omission from books on artists is sometimes attributed to the efforts of her husband, Félix […]
Greek painter, sculptor, and architect of the Spanish Renaissance El Greco [The Greek] Doménikos Theotokópoulos [Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος] was born, October 1st, 1541 in Candia, Crete*, Greece. ✻ part of the Republic of Venice and the center of Post-Byzantine art at the time ❦ El Greco is regarded as a precursor of both Expressionism and Cubism, […]
Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio* was born, September 29, 1571 in Milan, Italy. ✻ Caravaggio is actually the name of his home town in Lombardy in northern Italy ❦ An artist who lived a short and tempestuous life matching the drama of his works. He is considered the first great representative of the Baroque […]
I decided to concentrate on trying to make a painting using the bare minimum of colours – white/black .. greys. This was inspired by a recent short break I had on the North Wales coast. We arrived in the middle of Storm Francis with winds up to 75 mph, the sea was especially violent (we […]
French Neoclassical painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres was born, August 29, 1780 in Montauban, in southern France ❦ A man profoundly respectful of the past, he assumed the role of a guardian of academic orthodoxy against the ascendant Romantic style represented by his nemesis Eugene Delacroix. His exemplars, he once explained, were “the great masters […]
Without too much thought I took
to the beach,
followed the white lines of
leading me due north along that
in no time at all the beach huts were
removed by dunes and blurring
she was there
right in front of me, as if she’d
right out of the ether.
she was squatting down,
blonde haired and
her blue-green dress hitched up a touch
showing small bare feet
where the dry white sand
gave way to shingle.
but she didn’t even look!
staring into that wide expanse
she could see
clear across the ocean.
looking down I admired her
the delicate amber jewellery on
her long hair matted by
the keen breeze.
then she looked up,
her eyes like cyan gems
and pointed to herself–
‘Elfhild’ I thought she said
sounding sort of German
or Dutch or maybe something
but I didn’t speak a word.
she didn’t seem lost or in any distress
so I moved on,
giving her a faint wave,
after all, what business was it
I carried on steadily
maybe half a mile or so,
felt the wind move round
south to south east.
I could’ve done with a jumper so I
got up quite a pace in the end.
frankly I wanted to return
to see if she was alright –
but I saw only footprints
where she had been, where the shingle
gave way to sand.
walking to the shoreline something
caught my eye, a piece of amber
wet and shining.
I picked it up, held it
to the light
and smiled, looking out
to where the waves
were rolling in by the edge of
that German sea
Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born, July 15, 1606 in Leiden, in the Dutch Republic [now the Netherlands]. ❦ An innovative and prolific master in drawings, prints [etchings] and paintings, he is considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch […]
“We are the sun,” you said,
that his light arose with us
playing on rainbows,
his myriad smiles the spangled waves.
In those days thoughts were endless,
vibrant pages which turned by themselves.
There were no limits to how far we’d run
or dream out onto the sea,
our hearts living free in a peerless sky.
But thoughts like books do have an end
and I have died a billion times,
holding on to every word you said,
like a child might ask a question
between the pages of his lives