Art Sunday #171: Stanley Cursiter – The Regatta


Stanley Cursiter CBE FRSE FRIAS FEIS RSA RSW (29 April 1887 – 22 April 1976) was a British artist who played an important role in introducing Post-impressionism and Futurism to Scotland. He served as the keeper (1919–30), then director (1930–48), of the National Galleries of Scotland, and as HM Limner and Painter in Scotland (1948–76).

He painted watercolour landscapes of East Lothian, Orkney and Shetland, and designed Saint Rognvald Chapel in St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. He is particularly renowned for his portraits and is considered amongst the finest Scottish portraitists of the 20th Century. He painted ‘Her Majesty The Queen receiving the Honours of Scotland’ in the High Kirk of St Giles in 1953, this painting hangs on the Great Stair, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.



Art Sunday #170: Emily Carr – Breton Church


Emily Carr (December 13, 1871 – March 2, 1945) was a Canadian artist and writer inspired by the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. As one of the first painters in Canada to adopt a Modernist and Post-Impressionist painting style, Carr did not receive widespread recognition for her work until late in her life. As she matured, the subject matter of her painting shifted from aboriginal themes to landscapes—forest scenes in particular. As a writer, Carr was one of the earliest chroniclers of life in British Columbia. The Canadian Encyclopedia describes her as a “Canadian icon”.


Art Sunday #169: Aleksandra Ekster

Aleksandra Ekster - Tutt'Art@ -

Aleksandra Aleksandrovna Ekster (1882-1949) cubo-futurist, suprematist, constructivist and designer is one of most famous Russian Avant Garde female painters that gained international recognition. She was a multi talented artist – a painter, ceramist, graphic artist, clothes designer. Alexandra Ekster would also become a co-founder of the Art Deco. In Paris, Aleksandra Ekster was a personal friend of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, who introduced her to Gertrude Stein. In 1914, Ekster participated in the Salon des Indépendants exhibitions in Paris, together with Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Archipenko, Vadym Meller, Sonia Delaunay-Terk and other French and Russian artists.



Art Sunday #168: Umberto Boccioni – The Street Enters the House


The Street Enters the House (La Strada Entra Nella Casa) is an oil on canvas painting by Italian artist Umberto Boccioni. Painted in the Futurist style, the work centres on a woman on a balcony in front of a busy street, with the sounds of the activity below portrayed as a riot of shapes and colours.

The first public display of the painting was in Paris, in 1912, as part of the first Futurist exhibition. It is now housed in the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, Germany.

The central figure of The Street Enters the House is a woman dressed in blue and white, viewed from behind and above. She looks over her balcony at a busy street scene, a riot of colours, lines, and angles. On the road in front of her, workers lift poles to form the walls of a new building, surrounded by a pile of bricks. On every side of this construction, white and blue houses lean into the street. Two of the balconies are occupied by other figures peering down into the road. A line of horses flies past the foreground.

The identity of the woman in The Street Enters the House is the subject of some debate. While several scholars postulate that she was an entirely imagined character, Boccioni had a history of employing the women of his family as models. This has led some to the conclusion that the figure is Boccioni’s mother, and use the depiction in The Street Enters the House as evidence of Boccioni’s changing view of women in general and mothers in particular.

The painting in general showcases Boccioni’s evolution from a Neoimpressionist style to one more aligned with the ideals of Cubism, and the catalog description for the piece demonstrates his increasing fascination with scientific terminology. It includes lines such as “The principles of Roentgen rays is applied to the work, allowing the personages to be studied from all sides, objects both at the front and the back are in the painter’s memory.” Boccioni experiments with Cubist techniques as a way of keeping elements in both the foreground and background “rushing into the window at the same time”.  He also weaves in references to his earlier works. See for example, the visual pun of the horse’s appearance on the woman’s buttock when compared with a line from his earlier Manifesto: “How often have we seen upon the cheek of the person with whom we are talking the horse which passes at the end of the street.”



Art Sunday #167: Rose Maynard Barton – Grandad’s Garden


Rose Mary Barton RWS (Dublin 21 April 1856 – 1929) was an Anglo-Irish artist; a watercolourist who painted landscape, street scenes, gardens, child portraiture and illustrations of the townscape of Britain and Ireland.  Barton exhibited with a number of different painting societies, most notably the Watercolour Society of Ireland (WCSI), the Royal Academy (RA), the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), the Society of Women Artists and the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS). She became a full member of the RWS in 1911. Her paintings are in public collections of Irish painting in both Ireland and Britain, including the National Gallery of Ireland and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane in Dublin, and the Ulster Museum in Belfast.



Art Sunday #166: Mildred Anne Butler – Mediatation

Mark Adams

Mildred Anne Butler RA RWS (11 January 1858 – 11 October 1941) was an Irish artist, who worked in watercolour and oil of landscape, genre and animal subjects. Butler was born and spent most of her life in Kilmurry, Thomastown, County Kilkenny and was associated with the Newlyn School of painters.

Mildred Anne’s en plein air style is dominated by the theme of nature and reflects scenes of domesticity around the family home in Kilmurry. She achieved distinction in her lifetime and exhibited in major galleries in Ireland and England. Among her patrons were Queen Mary of Teck and Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse.

She became a member of the Royal Academy in 1893. In 1896, Butler’s Morning Bath was exhibited at the Royal Academy.  It was the first work by a female artist to be purchased by the trustees of the Chantrey Bequest and was then presented to the Tate.[b] She became an associate member of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1896 and was granted full membership in 1937.

She was one of the first academicians elected by the Ulster Academy of Arts in 1930. She virtually stopped painting by the 1930s due to arthritis and died in 1941, aged 83. Around four hundred pieces of her work were sold as part of the artist’s studio sale in 1980. She is celebrated in an postage stamp by An Post.



Art Sunday #165: Mary Swanzy – Cubist Landscape


Mary Swanzy HRHA (15 February 1882 – 7 July 1978) was an Irish landscape and genre artist.  Noted for her eclectic style, she painted in many styles including cubism, fauvism, and orphism and was one of Ireland’s first abstract painters.




Art Sunday #164: Gerard Dillon – Island Man


Gerard Dillon (1916 – 14 June 1971) was an Irish artist. Born in Belfast, he left school at the age of fourteen and for seven years worked as a painter and decorator, mostly in London. From an early age he was interested in art, cinema, and theatre.



Art Sunday #163: Hiroshi Yoshida – In a Temple Yard


Hiroshi Yoshida (吉田 博 Yoshida Hiroshi, September 19, 1876 – April 5, 1950) was a 20th-century Japanese painter and woodblock printmaker. He is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the shin-hanga style, and is noted especially for his excellent landscape prints. Yoshida travelled widely, and was particularly known for his images of non-Japanese subjects done in traditional Japanese woodblock style, including the Taj Mahal, the Swiss Alps, the Grand Canyon, and other National Parks in the United States.



Art Sunday #162: Jan Brueghel the Younger – Allegory of the Tulipomania


Jan Brueghel the Younger (Dutch:  13 September 1601 – 1 September 1678) was a Flemish Baroque painter, and the son of Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Jan the Younger’s best works are his extensive landscapes, either under his own name or made for other artists such as Hendrick van Balen as backgrounds.[2] His pupils were his older sons Abraham, Philips and Jan Peeter, his nephew Jan van Kessel, and his younger brother Ambrosius. Jan the Younger has fifteen paintings in National public collections in the United Kingdom.

Monkeys in contemporary 17th century Dutch dress are shown dealing in tulips. A satirical commentary on speculators during the time of “Tulip Mania”, an economic bubble that centered around rare tulip bulbs. At left, one monkey points to flowering tulips while another holds up a tulip and a moneybag. Bulbs are weighed, money is counted, a lavish business dinner is enjoyed. The monkey at left has a list of rare tulips, his sword denotes upper class status. Farther back, a monkey sits like a nobleman astride a horse. One in mid-foreground draws up a bill of sale; the owl on his shoulder symbolizes foolishness and ignobility. Brueghel is not only ridiculing tulip speculators as brainless monkeys, the work is an object lesson for the folly of speculating to such an extent in such a transient thing as a mere bloom. In the denouement at right, a monkey urinates on the now worthless tulips; fellow speculators in debt are brought before the magistrate or weep in the dock. A frustrated buyer brandishes his fists, while at the back right a speculator is carried to his grave.