Visual & Decorative Arts Blog

Laura Bulbeck

Recent Posts

Art of Fine Gifts: Kasimir Malevich

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

Tate Modern has just opened the first ever UK retrospective of Kasimir Malevich (1879–1935), a Russian artist who changed the face of modern art. With his radical ideas, his pioneering work on geometric abstract art left a lasting legacy.

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Topics: Tate, modern art, Kasimir Malevich

Masterpieces of Art: Starry Night over the Rhone

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

Starry Night Over the Rhone is a culmination of the artistic genius of Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890). Though lesser known than its later counterpart, The Starry Night, the night sky had been haunting Van Gogh ever since he moved to Arles in February 1888. He moved in order to satiate his yearning to experience the colours of the South after living in Paris for many years. It would seem he found those colours in the night sky. In a letter to his sister Willemina, he said ‘Often it seems to me night is even more richly coloured than day.’ The sky is Prussian blue, ultramarine and cobalt, with sparking yellow gaslights and stars.

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Topics: Vincent van Gogh

Art of Fine Gifts: J.M.W. Turner

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

Mr Turner, a new movie about beloved classic British artist J.M.W. Turner has been one of the breakout successes of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, with lead actor Timothy Spall winning the award for Best Actor. The movie explores the real person behind the legendary landscape painter, an eccentric man from humble beginnings. Let us take a look back at the life of the man which inspired this film…

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Topics: J. M. W. Turner, Masterpieces of Art

Art of Fine Gifts: Shakespeare's 450th Birthday

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

Image via wikipedia

April 23 marks the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare – the most renowned playwright the world has ever known. The Royal Shakespeare Company are marking the celebrations by hosting a question and answer session with artistic director Gregory Doran live on Twitter, as well as a weekend full of pageantry and performances.

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Topics: Royal Shakespeare Company, art calendars

Art of Fine Gifts: First World War Recruitment Posters

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

2014 marks the centenary anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. In the early twentieth century before the invention of the telephone and television, the poster, originating in late nineteenth century France, successfully promoted commercial advertisements. From the onset of the ‘Great War’ with Germany in August 1914, for Britain and her Allies the poster became the most effective form of mass communication. Poster propaganda was utilised nationally and locally: to recruit, to boost morale, to raise funds, encourage thrift and support the war. Below we'll take a closer look at recruitment WW1 posters and how they encouraged men to enlist.

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Topics: Imperial War Museum

Art of Fine Gifts: L.S. Lowry

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

February 23 marked the anniversary of the death of beloved British artist and creator of matchstick men Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887–1976). Lowry wanted to paint the realities of the modern city – people on their way to work, fights on the street – a real insight into 20th century working class life.

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Topics: L.S. Lowry, art calendars, modern art

Art of Fine Gifts: Paul Klee's Degenerate Art

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

'Anyone who sees and paints the sky green and fields blue ought to be sterilised'
Adolf Hitler

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Topics: Wassily Kandinsky, modern art

Art of Fine Gifts: Paul Klee's Inspirations

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

A hugely influential artist, Paul Klee eludes classification. His art appeals to our primary instincts and makes us look beyond the ordinary. He was influenced by many things in his life, from his musical parents to his travels and his family, and we take a look at some of those inspirations below.

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Topics: Paul Klee, modern art

Art of Fine Gifts: A Celebration of Advent Calendars

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

Have you opened the first few doors in your advent calendar yet? As of last Sunday, December 1st, 2013, the Christmas season will have officially begun. Children and adults alike will begin the celebration together, as they pull out their traditional advent calendars and begin the countdown to Christmas Day. Though they grace our walls and fill our mornings with the opening a new door each time we wake, the origins of the calendar remain a mystery to the average individual. If you fall under this category, look no further! You are about to become well versed in the tradition of the advent calendar.

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Topics: advent calendars, Erte

The Art of Fine Gifts: Jacqueline Wilson

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

I was thrilled that as part of our art of fine gifts range this year, we have produced a Jacqueline Wilson wall calendar. I remember avidly consuming her books when I was younger, and it was brilliant to read them again as part of this project. Jacqueline's books have beguiled, comforted and entertained generations of children for many years, delving into a multitude of situations which affect young people. She has written an astonishing number of books, with very real themes that resonate with everyone.

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Topics: Jacqueline Wilson, children's books, art calendars

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