Messina

What do you see when you look at this painting? I first see the vastness of the blue and the background escaping with the perspective, and soon afterwards a monumental figure of a young man grows up in front of me. I watch him with attention – he certainly feels pain, because in his body…

Continue Reading

Ilja Riepin

In times when there was no television and cinema, the paintings had the power of visual storytelling. Their overtones could be diverse – they could be moralizing, instructive, playful or even grotesque. One thing was unchangeable – one glance was to make the viewer be drawn into the story. Ilja Riepin was undoubtedly one of…

Continue Reading

Shiva Nataraja

I always visit this statue every time I am at the Rijksmuseum. No other work I seek to see that often and I can not explain why. I am attracted to everything in it – harmony, the balance of the body shown in the dance and the aura difficult to explain. I imagine it being…

Continue Reading

Hamido

In the eighties of the nineteenth century, photography was still a new medium. The people photographed at the time have a peculiar facial expression – they do not smile, they look at the lens in concentration, they do not correct the facial expressions. It is as if they were not aware that someone is watching…

Continue Reading

March equinox

Today is the March equinox. From now on, the day will be longer than the night. This moment was worshiped by many cultures, in Babylon it marked the beginning of the new year. Twelve-day celebrations began with a procession that set off through the northern gate of the city, dedicated to the goddess of love…

Continue Reading

Meet Sibylla

The illustration of the pineapple fruit opens the collection of Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium – the transformation of insects from Suriname, the most important work in the rich oeuvre of Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717). According to the words she wrote, pineapple was the most important edible fruit in the Americas and that was why she gave…

Continue Reading

A Model

Every time I pass this painting on the gallery it catches my eye. I wonder who was this black woman who posed for the Polish painter at Acad√©mie Julian in Paris. How did she get to France? Did she work as a model at the school for female artists, or was it a one-off event?…

Continue Reading

Vrel

Quite recently, a short text reminded me of the long-forgotten joy I had when I first came across the work of Jacobus Vrela. I was also reminded of this painting. So many questions arise when I look at the innocent scene of a play between woman and a child. Why is the room so empty,…

Continue Reading

Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan was a French writer and thinker. When she widowed at the age of 24 she was left with no income. Searching for financial support, she began to write ballads for the French court. Fame was brought to her by participation in the debate on the poem “Romance of the Rose”, which showed…

Continue Reading