Starting with one of the great problem paintings of the 19th century, he went on to paint hunting scenes, a pair of prostitutes, and a reckless gambler.
Belgium was heavily industrialised: he shows its coal miners, including women, their villages, steel foundries, and more.
Illustrated summary of the 8 articles in this series, links to articles on specific themes, alphabetical list and links for artists, and recommended books.
From its publication just before Christmas in 1843, Dickens’ story has been hugely popular and extensively illustrated. One set by Arthur Rackham is unquestionably fine art.
Naturalism was a phenomenon of Northern Europe, centred in Paris with Jules Bastien-Lepage as its high priest. Except here it is in the Italian island of Sicily, in the backstreets of Catania.
Miners on strike in the Nord-Pas de Calais coalfield in 1880, a painting which may well have inspired Émile Zola to write his most popular novel, ‘Germinal’.
In 1882, he painted with Vincent van Gogh in The Hague. A Naturalist without realist style, he showed street life as it was, and loved Japonism too.
Little-known now, and only for his paintings of harvesters and gleaners, in his day he was at the leading edge of the Naturalist revolution, painting scientists.
An emaciated corpse in a morgue, a notorious nude rejected by the Salon, and a busy day in the couturier: his choice of motifs was very broad.
With his many different styles and genres, from sketchy post-Impressionism to his mature Precisionism, he was nothing if not versatile and varied.