On this Day

Discover more about the history of art and what happened on this day in the past.

Peter Toft

Born 2 May 1825 in Denmark or maybe London? An undervalued or enigmatic painter? Classic C19 landscapes that you can pick up for reasonable money at auction. Just a thought. Here’s: St Michael’s Mount.

Francesco Primaticcio

Born April 30 1503 in Bologna, Primaticcio trained under Giulio Romano in Mantov and also was a pupil of Innocenzo da Imola, executing decorations at the Palazzo Te before securing a position in the court of Francis I of France to work at Fontainebleu.

Ljubov Popova

Born 24 Apr, 1889 near Moscow, Popova was born to a wealthy family and grew up with a strong interest in art. She brought a myriad of modern influences to Russian art, in particular with regard to Cubism and Futurism. Representation of movement was one of her many facets, as well as showing several angles of an object simultaneously. She was also instrumental in the famous Tramway V exhibition held in Petrograd (St Petersburg) in 1915. This is: Air, Man, Space.

J M W Turner

Born: Apr 23, 1775 at Covent Garden, London, Turner was one of the great, if not the greatest, masters of light, Turner specialised in seacscapes, and landscapes, often turbulent and imaginative, always interesting. This painting of a GWR train at speed in rain, shows his trademark atmospheric tonality.

Max Weber

Born April 18, 1881in Poland, Max Weber was a Jewish-American painter and one of the first American Cubist painters. Later life he turned to more figurative Jewish themes in his art. This is Chinese Restaurant.

Arshile Gorky

Born Apr 15 1904 in Armenia, he had a great influence on Abstract Expressionism. A friend (or rival?) of Jackson Pollock, was he the inspiration for Vonnegut’s Rabo Kabekian, anybody know? Here’s: Enigmatic Combat.

Robert Delaunay

Born Apr 12 1885 in Paris, Robert Delaunay was a French artist noted for using strong colours and geometric shapes. With his wife Sonia, he was the driving force behind the Orphism movement. As with many artists, his later works were more abstract. This is one of his Rhythm pieces.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Born in Grasse, France Apr 5, 1732 he was a Rococo master, painting with a remarkable exuberance and hedonism (embodied by this picture of a love triangle: The Swing). One of the most prolific artists active in the last decades of the C18, Although Fragonard created more than 550 paintings, only five are dated.

Max Ernst

Max Ernst was born April 2 1891in Brühl, Germany. A prolific painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet he was a primary pioneer of both the Dada movement and surrealism in general. Here’s Poisoned Paradise.

Julius (Jules) Pincas

Born Mar 31 1885, Julius ( aka Jules) Pincas in Bulgaria. A troubled soul, he was educated in Vienna, became an American citizen and committed suicide in Paris after spending most of his life in Montparnasse sensitively painting (mainly) women. Here’s Les petites Américaines

Francisco Goya

Born Mar 30 1746 in Fuendetodos, Spain, Goya was a romantic painter/printmaker. Considered to be the most important Spanish artist of the C18th and 19th, his works reflected contemporary historical upheavals.

Vincent Van Gogh

Mar 30 1853 in Zundert, NL. What needs to be said? In the top three artists of all time, and I don’t know who the others are. Here’s the lesser known: Sea at Scheveningen. Also check out a video I made of the VG Alive show.