Suzanne Stryk on Maria Sibylla Merian

Most alluring to me is her enviable touch—the delicately notched antennae, chomped and curled leaves, or gooey-pale larvae casting shadows as they inch along.

Sarah Slappey on James Ensor

James Ensor, The Tribulations of Saint Anthony, 1887, Oil on canvas, 46 ⅜ x 66 inches James Ensor, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, and Hieronymous Bosch have all painted depictions of the torment of Saint Anthony by demons and monsters. In Ensor’s Tribulations of Saint...

Sophia Narrett on Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas, Scene of War in the Middle Ages, 1865, Oil and petrol on paper glued on canvas, 33.5 x 58 cm When I first saw Degas’s Portrait of Mlle Fiocre in the Ballet "La Source" I felt like I was experiencing the actual ballet as an audience member might have,...

Tony Robbin on Bonnard’s Bathers

It is often said that Pierre Bonnard’s paintings featuring bathers are intimate works, as the women are caught unawares, glimpsed in unguarded and private moments…

Barry Nemett on Gwen John

The building weighs less than a flower. The parasol stem dreams about being a wicker chair…

Rosalyn Schwartz on Caspar David Friedrich

I first discovered the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich in the mid-1980’s when I was an Assistant Professor of Painting at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis…

Zaria Forman on William Bradford

In July 1869, American painter William Bradford, alongside photographers John L. Dunmore and George Critcherson, embarked on the first expedition to the Arctic devoted principally to art.

Ellen Altfest on Francois Boucher

I’ve always disliked the Rococo, and pretty much any artist who paints pink cheeks (Rubens, Renoir, Hals, etc.). For me, it’s not the pleasure, desire, or playfulness of the Rococo and other similar confections, but it is the one-note, overly-sweet eagerness to please that irritates.

Richard Estes on Bernardo Bellotto

There is a small painting by Bellotto at the Chicago Art Institute – a view of a street in the small town of Pirna, Germany a short distance from Dresden – that I used to see every day when I was a student there and which always fascinated me.