Something to Smile About: Judith Leyster Turns 405
Birthdays / Dutch / Painting

Something to Smile About: Judith Leyster Turns 405

It’s not hard to imagine having a good old knees up with Judith Leyster, even 405 years after her birth. After all, the people in her paintings still look like they’re having a good time – laughing, singing, playing cards and, above all, smiling. But smiling, in Leyster’s paintings, doesn’t always signify good clean fun. Take, … Continue reading

Happy 258th Birthday Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun!
Birthdays / French / Look Back: Art History / Painting

Happy 258th Birthday Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun!

Happy Birthday – Where’s the party? The Palace of Versailles. Vigée Le Brun lived in and visited many different places over the course of her long career including the Netherlands, Austria, Russia, Italy and England. But her early association with Marie Antoinette shaped the rest of her career – in fact, it was because of … Continue reading

The Strange and Wonderful Life of Leon Battista Alberti
Architecture / Birthdays / Italian / Look Back: Art History

The Strange and Wonderful Life of Leon Battista Alberti

Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) is a key figure in the history of Western art. But among the important things he did for art, there is a smattering of the fabricated, mysterious and bizarre that you may not have heard. So let’s celebrate Alberti’s 609th birthday today by taking a look at a couple of his … Continue reading

Happy 257th Birthday Gilbert Stuart!
American / Birthdays / Look Back: Art History / Painting

Happy 257th Birthday Gilbert Stuart!

Gilbert Stuart was irritable, depressive, vain and difficult. And he painted some amazing portraits. So amazing, in fact, that if you’re reading this blog you’ve definitely seen and are almost certainly deeply familiar with his most famous portrait. That’s right, the portrait of George Washington on the one-dollar bill is the work of this crabby … Continue reading