Happy Halloween with Bohumil Kubišta

Still Life with a Skull by Bohumil Kubišta (Born August 21, 1884 in Vlčkovice, Bohemia  Died  November 27, 1918 in Prague)

My daily art calendar always provides a teachable moment.  Today, on Halloween, I was greeted by the artist, Bohumil Kubišta’s painting “Still Life with a Skull.”   My first thought was: A brilliant artwork to schedule for October 31, 2019 and Halloween.

My second thought was:  Who is Bohumil Kubišta?  I confess I had no knowledge of this artist.  Before my first cup of coffee, I was on a Google search of discovery.  Oh, I do love these teachable moments.  Here is what I discovered.

Bohumil Kubišta was a Czech painter, art critic and one of the founders of Czech modern painting. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and traveled to Florence in 1906 to study at the Reale Istituto di Belle Arti.  He was influenced by the works of  Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne and Edvard Munch.

Along with Emil Filla, Antonín Procházka and five others (all names unknown to me – more research is scheduled in the coming days) , he founded Osma (The Eight) in 1907 – an Expressionist-oriented group of artists – and continued to work in this style until 1910, exchanging ideas with German painters in Die Brücke (recall Emil Nolde).

A philosopher, Bohumil Kubišta used his creativity to deepen his understanding of the inner character of modern life.

Still Life with a Skull, much like our Halloween festivities, reflects our link to tradition even as we reach forward into the unknown.

22 Comments

    1. Clanmother

      There is something magical about finding out something for the first time. It is a reminder that there are so many more discoveries yet to be made, no matter what age you find yourself. Art, poetry, music – these are stories that bind us together. What I find most interesting is how artists form friendship groups. It seems more creativity flows within communities of learning that are open and compassionate. It seems that when we feel a sense of belonging, we have greater freedom to explore possibilities. I am grateful for your friendship and encouragement. Hugs!

  1. Resa

    This is fantastic. Thank you for this teachable moment, Rebecca!
    There seems to be a deep reservoir of artists, past and present, for us to discover.
    As the present becomes the past, more artists are added to the well of art wealth.
    I now see why some people become art gallery curators, or art collectors.
    I suppose I am a collector, in a modern sense, using my camera to record art that is ephemeral.
    Nonetheless, it has led me to the trove of art before, now and even after.

    1. Clanmother

      I am fascinated by the idea of “curator” because it is now becoming a much-needed format in a world that offers so much – from art, food products, to books, music, coffee. The world has come to us, but it is the management of large masses of information and data that will become front and centre. You are my “curator” for mural and street art. I have learned so much from you, which I have translated into my daily interactions. Because of your blog, I marked my calendar to seek out the artists of the 2019 Vancouver Mural Festival. I saw them in action and was able to have meaningful conversations. Thank you for opening a creative space for “teachable moments.” Hugs!

  2. Ms Frances

    Expressionist painters. I confess I do not know much about their history. I love my Art Calendar, I have enjoyed so many moments looking at the beautiful scenes so brilliantly placed by carefully placed strokes of a brush–such a gift. I have two by Monet, my very favorite to put on face book. Thank you for this interesting history, I always learn from your posts and podcasts!

    1. Clanmother

      There are so many, many stories kept safe in between the brushstrokes of a painting. What I most like about my Art Calendar is that it provides teachable moments as well as something to think about as I begin my day. Today, it was with John Atkinson Grimshaw. He is considered one of the greatest painters of the Victoria era, as well as one of the best and most accomplished nightscape and townscape, artists of all time. I have heard of James McNeill Whistler (most people have), who gave deference to Grimshaw, but I have never heard of Grimshaw. Why does history remember one artist over another? An interesting question!

      1. Ms Frances

        When we get to our eternal home we are going to see just how great some of the humble never recognied people actually were–and greater than today’s recognized “greats”.

  3. Mary Jo Malo

    Thanks for an introduction to yet another great artist! What I appreciate in this piece are the juxtaposition of what’s “still” or dead with the large flourishing, green of life which dominates and appears to flow from the skull. Hugs, Rebecca!

    1. Clanmother

      Oh, that is a wonderful juxtaposition and great insight – one that I will take with me. Yes, there is a life-affirming green that gives life, and hope for tomorrow. Yes – it is the dominate theme. Goosebumps came to me when I read your comments. Many hugs coming back…

    1. Clanmother

      What I love about art – there is always something new to discover. I remember the day when I first recognized that I would never have the time to read all the books that I wanted to read. There would always be an endless supply of books. Art fits into this same category. And that gives me great comfort! Welcome to November! Hugs coming your way.

    1. Clanmother

      I am delighted that we will be entering a new month of possibilities. By the way, I will be contacting you in a couple of days to find out how to order your 2020 calendar from Canada. I am so excited!!!

  4. Liz

    Another fascinating artist that your calendar has helped us with – what a rich treasury it is! Can you please remind me again which publisher it is by (sorry, I know you have told me before but I can’t remember the details). It’s a good time of year to be thinking of calendars for 2020 and I’d like to join you with this one – we would be synchronised every more then!! X

    1. Clanmother

      That would be wonderful, Liz! Synchronization – a podcast in the making. There are several 2020 art calendars available – they are all spectacular. The one that I have on hand in by Workman Publishing because they are not exclusive to one museum. Many hugs flying to Edinburgh!

      1. Liz

        I was browsing in the National Gallery shop the other day and could have bought about 20 different calendars that were all so beautiful. The great thing about yours is the wide variety and I am looking forward to joining you for the 2020 edition!

Leave a Reply to Gallivanta Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.