Art Essays | Hektoen International

The painter and the potter: voices in color and texture

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (Spring 2018)   Figure 1. “Armand’s Pot II” (1981), Jimmy Lueders (1927 – 1994), oil on canvas, (Woodmere Art Museum: gift of Arnold Kramer, 1991 Drawn to this painting of a vase at the edge of a table, I pause and think, “Don’t we all live on the edges of […]

The Anatomy of Michelangelo (1475-1564)

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England (Spring 2018)   Michelangelo’s anatomy drawings Michelangelo Buonarroti was an exception to the rule that the qualities of many brilliant artists and composers are realized and extolled only after death. He was recognized by contemporaries as a genius, a “Hero of the High Renaissance,” the only artist of whom it […]

Medical deafness or the madness of war: Goya’s motivation for creating the Black Paintings

Sarah Bahr Indianapolis, Indiana, United States (Winter 2018)   Figure 1. Goya, Francisco. Saturn Devouring His Son. 1820-1823. Prado National Museum. The Spanish painter Francisco Goya darkened the plaster walls of his rural Madrid farmhouse with leering witches, a gaggle of grimacing hags, and a man with bulging eyes devouring a human form. The latter […]

A proliferation of monsters: art of the weird as expressions of anxiety in Britain and Japan

Steve Wheeler Greenwich, London, England (Winter 2018)   Fig 1. William Blake The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 20; 1790 © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge The human fascination with fear of the unknown has been documented in art and literature across civilization for centuries. In every culture, this has manifested itself in the form of […]

Letters from the asylum

Nicholas Kang Auckland, New Zealand (Winter 2018)   Asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausol, Provence France After cutting off his ear, Vincent van Gogh spent a year in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence confined to a mental asylum. Despite several major relapses during his stay, he continued to work prolifically, completing more than 140 paintings including masterpieces such as Starry Night, Irises, […]

The beauty of nature and the nature of beauty

Michael Baum London, England (Winter 2018)   Fig. 1 The Death of Procris, A Satyr mourning over a Nymph, Piero di Cosimo, (c. 1495)   Do not all charms fly / At the mere touch of cold philosophy? / There was an awful rainbow once in heaven: / We know her woof, her texture; she is given […]

The art of consumption – TB and John Lavery

Emily Boyle Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland   1. “The sick child” 2. “Camille Monet sur son Lit de Mort” 3. “An Irish girl” Tuberculosis, (TB) is often regarded as a historical disease – in the 1880’s it caused a quarter of all deaths in the UK. Mortality rates from TB fell […]

Manga as medical critique

Adil Menon Cleveland, Ohio (Summer 2017)   Osama Tezuka 1951 “Godfather of Manga” Stark lines are often drawn in American and European literature between graphic novels, which cater primarily to adults, and comics, which despite their broad appeal are perceived as being meant for younger audiences.  No such dichotomy exists within the Japanese medium of […]

Death by Dysentery? Artist Frank Russell Wadsworth in Madrid

Sally Metzler Chicago, IL, United States (Summer 2017)   Frank Russell Wadsworth (1874-1905) A River Lavadero, 1905, Oil on canvas, Union League Club Chicago Though he basked in the Spanish sun, the summer warmth would be his downfall, indeed his early death.  Artist Frank Russell Wadsworth of Chicago gravitated towards the vivid colors and picturesque […]

Portraiture in the head and neck cancer clinic: A patient’s perspective

Mark Gilbert Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada James E. Van Arsdall Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, NE (Spring 2017)   Figure 1. Jim, 2014, Charcoal on Paper, University of Nebraska Medical Center. I first met Scottish artist Mark Gilbert in 2013 as a participant in his  Ph.D. dissertation study, “The Experience of Portraiture in Clinical Settings” [EPICS]. I […]