van Gogh: Voyer d’Argenson

Vincent van Gogh: Voyer d’Argenson, Asnières – 1887 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam In the spring of 1887 van Gogh met Paul Signac frequently to paint in and around Asnières and his output at this time was unmistakably influenced by Signac. Here […]

Seurat: Bathers at Asnières

Georges Seurat: Bathers at Asnières – 1883-1884 National Gallery, London On the 15 May 1884 the first Salon des Artistes Indépendants opened in the courtyard of the Tuileries. This was a momentous event for the art world enabling young artists […]

Seurat: A Sunday on the Island of the Grand Jatte

Georges Seurat: A Sunday on the Island of the Grande Jatte – 1884-1886 Art Institute, Chicago It is possible that as early as 1883 Seurat was formulating his ideas for large painting, complementary to the Bathers at Asnières (which had been […]


Anarchism  Anarchism is a generic term used to encompass a number of political ideas but central to all of them is a rejection of the state and other forms of authority or hierarchical organisation in favour of a society based […]

The Trial of the Thirty

Anarchist Unrest and The Trial of the Thirty  On  9 December 1893 an anarchist by the name of Auguste Vaillant threw a home-made bomb from the public gallery into the Chamber of Deputies slightly injuring some twenty people. This attack […]

Félix Fénéon

Félix Fénéon  Félix Fénéon was one of the most extraordinary characters to emerge in the Parisian literary and artistic world of the 1880’s. After moving to Paris in 1881, he earned a living as a clerk at the War Ministry […]

Puvis de Chavannes

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes  Pierre Puvis de Chavannes was without doubt one of the most influential artists of the late nineteenth century but he is a difficult artist to categorise or pigeonhole. This is part of his appeal. A personal […]

Salon des Independants

Salon des Indépendants  In 1884 a group of young artists, after years of frustration, formed the Société des Artistes Indépendants whose aim was to break free from the suffocating constraints of the government sponsored, official Salon which was dominated by […]

Cross: The Evening Breeze

Henri Edmond Cross: The Evening Breeze (l’air du Soir) – 1894  Musée d’Orsay, Paris A company of women linger among trees which emerge from the sandy delta of a shallow stream. In the foreground two of the group lie on […]

Signac, Portrait of Felix Feneon

Paul Signac: Portrait of Félix Fénéon – 1890  Museum of Modern Art, New York This extraordinary profile of Signac’s friend, the writer and critic Félix Fénéon is set against a swirl of spiralling, sinuous abstract designs. These background patterns were […]