With three inspiring artists sharing their birthdays in July, I have been studying their lives, history, pallet and works.
Freda Kahlo, born 6th July 1907, has an exhibition at the V&A until the 4th November 2018. One of the most famous female artists of our time, her collection of works shows her determination as an artist, her significance as a painter, a feminist icon and a pioneer of Latin American culture. Freda used art to express the traumas suffered throughout her life, which included a near fatal road traffic accident, failing health, turbulent marriage, miscarriage and childlessness.
“My subjects have been my sensations, my state of mind, and the profound reactions of life has been producing me.”
Amedeo Modigliani was born 12th July 1884. In adult life, he was happy to let people consider him a drunk and drug addict, which covered the fact that he had tuberculosis. Drunks were tolerated in his time but carriers of infectious diseases were not. Modigliani’s portraitures and nudes are his most renowned, and have inspired me to explore his body of work. David Henty’s Modigliani’s can be viewed at Cloud Galleries throughout Sussex.
“To do any work, I must have a living person…. I must be able to see him opposite me.”
Born 15th July, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was an innovative and prolific master and for me one of the greatest painters in the history of art. He produced his works in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement known as the ‘The Dutch Golden Age’. Rembrandt achieved success at a young age but again, like Freda and Modigliani, personal tragedy impinged his life, losing three of his four children in infancy and his wife Saskia soon after the birth of his son Titus. Rembrandt lived beyond his means and died in 1668 having outlived his son and his second common law wife, leaving a baby daughter. He was buried as a poor man.
“Practice what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know”.