Pablo Picasso The Realist

‘Portrait of Olga in an Armchair’ [1917-18] by Pablo Picasso, Oil on canvas, 130 x 88.8 cm.

Viewing ‘Portrait of Olga in an Armchair’ by Pablo Picasso tells us one thing immediately..

.. Picasso could paint especially beautifully.

‘Still Life with a Pitcher and Apples’ [c1919] by Pablo Picasso, artwork on paper.

Picasso was sensuous and humorous, see ‘Still Life with a Pitcher and Apples’ by Pablo Picasso, above.

‘Still Life with a Pitcher and Apples’ [c1919] by Pablo Picasso, artwork on paper.

Picasso was a perfectionist, determined to change perspectives and produce art his own way.

Another example of ‘Still Life with a Pitcher and Apples’ [also c1919], shown above, provides rays of his artistic style.  Picasso didn’t view the world the way non-artists do.  Everything exuded personality and uniqueness.  He loved to turn the ordinary into curiosity.

Picasso couldn’t have been ordinary even if he tried his very best.  He had the quality of human magnetism through exceptional gifts of persona and talent.

‘Still Life with Compote and Glass’ [1914-15] by Pablo Picasso, Oil on canvas, 63.5 x 78.7 cm (25 x 31 in).

I can look at any year of his artworks, just as I did in choosing ‘Still Life with Compote and Glass’ [1914-15]  to pick out any artwork.. and look!.. it’s a masterpiece.

If you would like to read more about Pablo Picasso, please do so here:

‘It is that glass library with a man walking about appearing and disappearing throughout intervals of Time.  Telling you all the facts and details of human history, holographically as your kindred spirit, by the use of one indefinite Supercomputer.’

by Matt The Unfathomable Artist, 24th August 2017.


a most mysterious ‘FMR’ artwork

As yet to be verified ‘FMR’ painting [with accompanying writing and photo placed within the frame] – 20 cm x 15 cm.

To appreciate my latest blog article whilst dining on a belly full of edible delights from the sea, please firstly read an earlier blog I posted April 2016 about Mr FMR, here:

This photograph of a painting (or print) shown above with the signatory ‘FMR‘ came to me by way of a blog reader.  Incredibly they had this ‘FMR’ artwork in a frame as yet waiting to be identified.

I almost couldn’t believe it, however, I need more information to confirm the artist.

My artist relative ‘FMR’ had most definitely painted an umber coloured boat in a previous pastel entitled ‘Swan Lake’.  I’ve carefully kept a printed card of ‘Swan Lake’ and may publish this on my blog in the future, along with further artworks by Frank Malcolm, Jnr.

Please take a look at two additional pieces of this provenance puzzle:

Handwriting on the back of the artwork shown at the top of this blog article.

The handwriting is in the style of the period.

Accompanying the painting, hidden inside the frame is a photograph of a lady, here:

Faded monochrome photograph of a lady hidden inside the frame.

I do have useful ability at handwriting analysis from the personality perspective.  However, assigning handwriting to a particular person for the purpose of identification is not my professional forte.

Presently I cannot ascertain the identity of the lady in the photograph.  Although it would be reasonable to believe it has connection to the artist.

We all love a mystery and personally I’m excited to receive information of possible Frank Malcolm ‘FMR’ artworks.

In my living room an original framed printed greeting card entitled ‘Sunset Over Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe’ signed by FMR takes pride of place on a table.  Again, I shall publish this artwork in a future blog.

I’m in the process of establishing whether my relative ‘FMR’ produced reproductions.  Clearly seascapes and landscapes feature strongly in his portfolio of work.

Original paintings, cards and prints of his work is of great interest to me.  Please send me a WordPress message if you see any further examples of his artworks.

Thank you – I shall post up-to-date news following on from this blog article as soon as I find out anymore.


The Tyger, Lion, Wolf and a Boy

My Dad was presented with ‘The Jungle Book’ as a reward for becoming Top Boy at his school on his first teenage year.

I also became Head Boy of my school at around the same age.

It’s fair to say he loved this book and the musical animation of the story.  Interestingly his favourite poem was ‘The Tyger’ by William Blake – no coincidence.

A copy of that poem, in artistic form, is here to read:

Copy A of Blake’s original printing of The Tyger, c. 1795. Copy A is currently held by the British Museum – courtesy of Wikipedia.

Here is a photograph of my Dad’s originally presented ‘The Jungle Book’ by Rudyard Kipling:

Opened book cover photograph of ‘The Jungle Book’ by Rudyard Kipling 1955 edition, presented to my Dad on becoming Top Boy at his school.

Here is the front cover of a school project I produced in the year I also became a teenager:

‘World Safari’ A4 paper cover page art, school project by Matt, pencil & orange crayon – during my first teenage year.

Practice makes perfect.


Gu Kaizhi The Sequel

Please take a look at Wikipedia’s Gu Kaizhi page here:

Gu Kaizhi is described as a Royal Officer, poet, painter, calligrapher and prolific art writer of the 4th and 5th Century C.E (c. 344–406).  Of the clan Gu, raised in the Wuxi, Jiangsu district.

Lu Tanwei, his latter art contemporary (circa late 5th Century), painted murals whereas Gu Kaizhi crafted his works almost entirely on scrolls.

Whilst writing I’m keen to read the ‘Shishuo xinyu’ [A New Account of the Tales of the World] dated circa 430 which provides further historical legends and factual commentaries about hundreds of early Chinese writers, painters and musicians including, I understand, Gu Kaizhi.

Modern era painter Maeda Seison spent fifty days in the British Museum sketching and copying The Admonitions Scroll as a painting exercise of its [original] mastery.  Please see pages 12 & 13 of the following online pdf for further details:

– Courtesy of The Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies Scroll by Kohara Hironobu.

Reverence for Gu Kaizhi and his work is genuine and sufficiently documented.  Historical writings of Kaizhi show him as an empathic, emotional, articulate, intellectual and deeply respectful person.

Due to language barriers I’m not able, through internet searches, to find as much information as I’d like about Gu Kaizhi as a person and artisan.  Without question I also require further information about Zhang Hua (232–300) –

and Cao Zhi (192-232 CE) –

Cao Zhi wrote ‘The Nymph of the Luo River‘, describing the nymph here:
‘Her body soars like a startled swan
Gracefully, like a dragon in flight,
In splendour brighter than the autumn chrysanthemum,
In bloom more flourishing than pine in spring;
Dim as the moon mantled in filmy clouds,
Restless as the snow whirled by the driving wind.
Gaze far off from a distance:
She sparkles like the sun rising from the morning mists;
Press closer to examine:
She flames like the lotus flower topping the green wave.’

‘Hylas and the Nymphs’ by John William Waterhouse immediately sprang to mind, one of my all-time favourite paintings.

Ancient oriental poems and paintings sharing themes of folklore with Western culture is deliciously fascinating.  Having recently viewed ‘The Great Wall’ [2016] starring Matt Damon, our appetite for myths and legends cannot ever be satiated.

Watching along with Willem performing ‘You can visibly see that stone floors prevent not the curtain nor Heights the Depths.’

Happily Ever After just like ‘The Highlander’ [1986].

I would love to see a verified original Gu Kaizhi painting in its likeness as we see here:

‘There Can Be Only One’

– by The Unfathomable Artists


The British Museum featuring Gu Kaizhi

British Museum copy of Gu Kaizhi’s scroll entitled ‘Admonitions of the Court Instructress’ originally dated from the 5th Century C.E.

I’m currently studying Gu Kaizhi’s life and works.  However I wanted to share some of the artworks accurately attributed to him in this article.

‘Goddess of the Luo Shui’ [scroll] originally attributed to Gu Kaizhi.

‘Admonitions of the Instructress’ shown below with expert analysis (please click the hyperlink) :

‘Admonitions of the Instructress to the Palace Ladies’ originally by Gu Kaizhi – a section of the first scroll (shown above).

Further information about the Admonitions Scroll can be read here:

I have particular interest in ancient paintings, poetry, calligraphy and scribal writings from China.


Sir George Clausen on Morality

‘The English People Reading Wycliffe’s Bible’ [1925-27] by Sir George Clausen, Oil on canvas, 304.8 cm x 442 cm

Have a real good think about what’s happening here.

In this painting.

The aforementioned oil on canvas is depicting noble persons and ‘ordinary’ folk huddled in close proximity to one another.  Whilst there is a distinct separation between their social classes, including a cringingly aghast demeanour upon the mid-left lady, we do see a coherence of unity.

Religion can stir up avoidably provocative feelings.  Society always has two classes however which way you look at it.  Food for thought, whichever side of the bench you’re on.

The vivid colouration of this piece and realistic yet stylistic representation harks at pre-Raphaelite construction.  It’s a medieval masterpiece.

Given the influence of French artists upon leading British Impressionists towards the late 19th Century, we do see as with all art painters a yearning to ‘the old ways’.  Sir George Clausen is highly experimental.  His body of work unafraid to grace us with fog, dawn/dusk-haze, Realism, Impressionism, Stylistic and (near) Surrealist master classes.

A melted clock and a Dalian signature are not too far-fetched to envisage amongst a select few Clausen works.  Yes, that’s his ability to influence.

I’ve prided myself on keeping my blog neutral in political, religious and current affairs.  Whilst visual art and music are powerful motivating forces my interest has always been social commentary through art.  I make no PR judgements and steer clear of garnering partial affinity with any reasonable PR view as regards my art writing.

What I do-do (sidenote #1 – I found this highly amusing to attract younger Readers) is present information through art and actuate an empowerment throughout all the ages..

.. by allowing you, the Reader, to continuously develop your own knowledge, opinions and beliefs about what you artfully digest.

For the record (sidenote #2 – total vinyl art fan, Darren Baker smiley) I’m indifferent really to searching for the ‘Juju at the bottom of the sea’.

We’re all uniquely homo sapiens, here and now.

Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do.

It’s right here, explained in this article cryptically.

Isn’t life about operating humanely, co-existing as closely to our respective laws as we each can with good intentions by the by.

Art has the very capacity to connect people, share views reasonably and agree to disagree amicably.  Our Children Inherit The Art Around Us.

We are all ‘The Torch Bearers’.

‘The Golden Age’ [1919] by Sir George Clausen, Oil & encaustic on canvas, 305.7 cm x 174 cm.

Ancient Egypt.  Pugilism.  Pompeii.  Dainty flowers.  Breezy air.  Working focus.  Craftspersonship.  Oneness with nature.  His Signatory trademark.  Physical exertion.  Protection from the elements.  Fruitage of the Yellow Sun.  The beauty of nakedness.  Love of clouds.

Those were my immediate thoughts about this iconic looking artwork ‘The Golden Age’ by Sir George Clausen.  Art makes me so happy.

‘William Henry Clegg (1867-1945), Director of the Bank of England (1932-1937)’ by Sir George Clausen, Oil on canvas, 235 cm x 120 cm.

First, musical art – “Fidelity Fiduciary Bank” –

This portrait shown above by Sir George Clausen is austere, dignified and slightly awkward about his business to pose.

Business from bisig – care, anxious, occupation.

Work consumes.  I never cease to feel confounded by the working desire of triple-millionaires (£100 millions+) and billionaires.  Business is fun.  Profit is good.  Working can be enjoyable especially from a social perspective.

Would you make it your business to stop people in their efforts to work?

Sounds absurd doesn’t it.  That would be called persecution.

‘Rickyard, Morning’ [1923] by Sir George Clausen, Oil on canvas, 52.50 cm x 60 cm.

I’ve included ‘Rickyard, Morning’ by Sir George Clausen for his application of shade, positioning of the working farmers, unusual composition choice, angle of the clouds and use of negative space.

Having closely observed field workers on a livestock-and-barley farm with all their modern machinery gathering hay in large perfectly round bundles this painting kind of called out to me.

Those farmers I watched working until the minutest aperture of dusk is the very reason why the hint of light in this painting is EVERYTHING.

Never say never to underestimating the ineffable intelligence of a Master at their life’s work.

– Matt The Unfathomable Artist, 15th June 2017.


Sir John Lavery to Cara Delevingne

‘The Tennis Party’ [1885] by Sir John Lavery, Oil on canvas, 76.2 cm x 183 cm.

Let’s first enjoy additional expert detail about the painting shown above in the following video by the Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums:

As explained in the video Lavery’s friends, the Scottish painters Arthur Melville, Edward Arthur Walton and James Guthrie feature in this painting of  ‘The Tennis Party’ (see photo above).

I love tennis.

When I first received a wooden tennis racket as a boy my brother and I would play tennis in my Grandad George’s well-kept garden in Malvern.  Towards the end of the garden was two apple trees we’d climb.

We played makeshift tennis on a rather modest sized rolled lawn adjacent of two wooden tool sheds.  Bees buzzed busily next door for Grandad’s Beekeeper neighbour, harvesting their sweet-solid honey.

Professionally labelled jars given to us every summer.

To practice tennis I would quite often hit balls against the side of our family house on my own prior to and into my mid-teens.  Thankfully, being so young I didn’t serve the ball at the wall too hard.  We know that serves of 137mph are possible on tennis courts these days.

During a very closely contested three sets friendly match, a 27 year old professional full-time tennis coach credited me with the fastest serve he had ever received.  I was 25 years old at the time.

Two sets to one in his favour were quite okay for someone who had never been professionally coached.

Sport is in my blood.  It’s part of my DNA.

‘The Tennis Party’ therefore invokes strong emotional memories for me.  Holidaying in Bude, Devon early 2000’s my ex-girlfriend asked me to play nice and actually rally with her.  Only love could have possibly made me avoid those all too inviting lines and send the ball happily back to her.

It was the most beautiful English day.  Clear blue sky, onward humid heat.

Relationships.  Again, we see a British Impressionist of this era depicting a thoroughly modern view of gender equality within a mixed doubles tennis game.  The gate is open and inviting us to come along and play this wonderful game too.

Young and old.  Social status is irrelevant.

Playful vs Relaxed.  Spectator or eager participant.  A Field of Dreams.

‘Violet Keppel, Mrs Denys Robert Trefusis’ [1919] by Sir John Lavery, Oil on canvas board, 33 cm x 25 cm.

‘Violet Keppel, Mrs Denys Robert Trefusis’ was a must.  Upon viewing this artwork I had to include this in my blog.

It’s precisely the sort of painting I’m looking for.  For instance ‘The Tennis Party’ has unique compositional angles.  What makes the painting ‘Violet Keppel, Mrs Denys Robert Trefusis’ so artistically commendable is her proud, inquiring pose.

The state of her undress is risqué for the time.  Quite in keeping with Violet Keppel as a liberal woman of the early 20th Century.  1920’s extravagance, flair and impassioned art-deco high-society.  I think the 1920’s and 1960’s share artistic freedom to the height of luxury, fashion and mild decadence.

Whereas the 1960’s spread the pursuit of Hieronymus pleasures to the masses, the 1920’s seemed all too intrinsically linked to monetary power and status.  By the 1930’s the masses wanted some of the action.

Moonshine and parties followed.  Mob rule.  Disorder.  Chaos.  Great photography too.  If you love photography and movie art please look up the documentary film of Weegee (born Usher Fellig) entitled:

‘ “I Am Rebel” – Weegee The Famous ‘  [Series 01/Ep02 – 2016, IMDb]

You may even see echoes of Danny DeVito in L.A. Confidential [1997] – if you’re of the appropriate age.

Through this we see the 1920’s morph like clay to become the 1930/1950’s.  Just like Doris Delevingne becomes ‘The Viscountess Castlerosse, Palm Springs [1938]’ by Sir John Lavery.

Yes, Cara Delevingne is her grand-niece.  How cool is that!  Interesting too that Cara is especially creative.  As previously stated in my blog, David Hockney really is a serious art student and a master art working genius.

Value ‘The Viscountess Castlerosse, Palm Springs [1938]’ as a piece of art history entwined.

Living Art, Girls On Film.

The paint application of ‘Violet Keppel, Mrs Denys Robert Trefusis’ is urgent, exquisite and untamed.  Perhaps Violet is portraying herself in a new way for the world to respect her?

“I Am As I Find” a saying by Matt The Unfathomable Artist.

Respect is not necessarily what we do as people.  It’s the inner motivation and intent of what we are.

‘Boating On The Thames’ [1890] by Sir John Lavery,

Anyone wishing to master water painting should check this preposterously life-like painting by Sir John Lavery called ‘Boating On The Thames [1890]’.

We believe the foreground lady is laid-back relaxing in the boat.  We believe the ripples of bluish-green water by wind and movement.  I also thoroughly enjoy those two swans making a quiet appearance.  The sense of reflected light upon the water is carefully considered and astonishingly accurate.

Sir John Lavery shows skilful draughtspersonship.  Detail you can take hold of.  If the nearest boat was at the waters edge we could likely reach out and make it swirl around.  Purely for our amusement.  Maybe they’d fall in?  Oh how that would make us laugh.

What really is man’s work?

‘Mariana, ‘Is this the End? To be Left Alone, To Live Forgotten and Die Forlorn.’ [1880] by Sir John Lavery, Oil on board, 30 cm x 23.5 cm.

Another painting by Sir John Lavery that was a must to include in my blog..

‘Mariana, ‘Is this the End? To be Left Alone, To Live Forgotten and Die Forlorn.’ [1880] is stylistic and colour rich like those glossy hair adverts.  Mariana is voluptuously attractive yet despondent with loss.  Everything about her screams ‘help and comfort, please apply’.

Her most outer garment beckons us to cuddle her to a modicum of happiness once again.  The tone of her buttoned tunic is solemn, guarded, prim and proper.  Background detail is uncheery and perfectly balanced.

Using hues that replicate foreground detail is an excellent way to balance a painting’s composition.  Here Sir John Lavery uses this method cleverly.  The background does not compete for our attention.

Rather this accentuates our selective viewing order of eyes, the portrait expression/feeling, her facial shape, hair and lighting detail contrasts, clothing choice and her bodily structure/positioning.

I love this painting for in this very artwork it is absolutely clear why Lavery was later commissioned to represent Irish banknotes and coins.  This he achieved through his outstanding artwork of Lady Lavery for some 49 years!

Stylistic artworks require great story telling ability.  Throughout his works Sir John Lavery establishes himself amongst Irish folklore, art history and popular culture as a collectors dream.  Lavery portraits are triumphant and his architectural scenes definitive.

Some of my personal favourites by Sir John Lavery – ‘Under The Cherry Tree’, ‘Viscount Morley Addressing the House of Lords’, ‘Loch Katrine’, ‘Edne May in the Belle of New York’ and ‘A Lady In Brown’.