1901 – Paintings of the Edwardian Era.

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On January 1st  1901 the 20th Century begins and world celebrates. Three weeks later on 22nd Queen Victoria died and we entered the Edwardian Era.

The news of Victoria’s death was most commonly heard via newspapers. Here Stanhope Forbes (‘Father of the Newlyn School’) captures the moment inside a Cornish Cottage.

Stanhope forbes 1901  Thw 22nd Jan Reading the News of Queen Victoria.s death in a Cornish Cottage

Anders Zorn was a Swedish artist who obtained international success painting King Oscar II of Sweden, and three American Presidents – Grover Cleveland, William H. Taft and Theodore Roosevelt. However, I prefer this quiet painting of a woman knitting done in this year.


Anders Zorn 1901

John Singer Sargent’s painting of Lady Meysey Thompson in 1901.

lady-meysey-thompson JS Sargent 1901

John Singer Sargent 1901

His art came to epitomize luxury in the Edwardian Era.





In 1901 Henri Matisse was 31 years old and still struggling as an artist working his way though post-impressionist styles.


Matisse 1901

Although in this year Gustav Klimt (aged 39) was already Chair of the Vienna Secession his most famous work was still ahead of him. He painted these pictures of ‘Judith & Holofernes’, shown here, in this year.

The account of the beheading of the Assyrian general Holofernes by Judith is often taken as a depiction of the Power of Women. A subject that was being hotly debated at this time of course (don’t know if Klimt was reflecting this though!).

On 17th March 1901 Julien Leclercq arranged a Van Gogh Exhibition at the Galeries Bernheim Jeune in Paris . The 71 paintings caused a sensation across the art world.

In this year Pablo Picasso (19) was trying to find his way!! The Child with a Dove was to be his breakthrough to his Blue Period during this year.

Kandinsky was influenced by seeing Monet’s work and he painted many landscapes and towns using broad swaths of colour and recognizable forms. He had not developed his theories on painting at this time however.

the-girls-on-the-bridge-1901. Munch

Munch 1901

Edvard Munch was still an influence with his art in this year.


In this year the Mackintosh’s Margaret & Charles Rennie designed their ‘House for An Art Lover’ although it was not built until 1989-1996!

portrait-of-lydia-kuznetsova-1901  Ilya Repin

Iiya Repin 1901

This portrait of Lydia Kuznetsova painted in this year by Ilya Repin, the great Russian realist painter, has me curious. I can not make up my mind if it is full of symbolism or not.

My understanding is that crows, and in this case a rook, refer to adultery, whilst lilies, particularly white ones, refer to chastity. I note her rook is under control so perhaps any infidelity was for gain. Whilst her bright yellow dress implies to me she is in the sunshine of her life.

Or more likely she was a high-society woman who had a pet rook, loved flowers and looked good in yellow!

Either way I wish I knew more about Lydia Kuznetsova.


$$$-JOHN A168 300dpi/A3 2-0

Augustus John 1901

Augustus John, who was to epitomize Bohemian style during this period, married Ida Nettleship in this year and also painted this portrait of her in the same year.



Albert Maquet was an old roommate of Matisse’s and they were lifelong friends. Over the next few years they both progressed by adding more and more colour into their work as his pictures of this year begin to hint at.


Bank of Scotland from Princes St Fergusson c1901

Fergusson 1901

John Duncan Fergusson was to become a key member of the Scottish Colourists but that was all to come later on in this era. In 1901 he was finding his way with this picture ‘Bank of Scotland, Princes Street’.



Walter Sickert was to become the centre of the Camden Town Group. He was to be seen as one of the leaders of modernism in Britain. However, between 1984 and 1904 he took many trips to Venice as can be seen in his pictures of 1901.

The American Impressionist Mary Cassatt was in, 1901, well into her ‘Mother & Child’ period. It had echoes back to the renaissance keenness for the ‘Madonna & child’.

Raoul Duffy had his first exhibition (at the Exhibition of French Artists) in 1901. Although it did not hint at the changes to come in his art.

Simon-Bussy “Sir Richard Strachey”1901

Bussy 1901

In this year the French artist Simon Bussy did this pastel of his future father-in-law, Sir Richard Stratchey. Not sure if this clinched the deal but the marriage was to draw him into the Bloomsbury circle. The picture is now in the National Portrait Gallery, London.


In this year the Swedes Carl and Karin Larsson moved to their new house and Karin set to work. She had trained as an artist but like most women of her time gave her career up to be a wife. But a decade for the Bloomsbury Set she went to work on the house and many of the interiors depicted by her husband were the work of Karin. Many years later we have IKEA! This is a painting he did in 1901 but as we go on we will see the interior design develop.peek-a-boo-1901 C Larsson

Pierre Bonnard is known for his intense use of colour, especially via areas built with small brush marks and close values. He did these less colourful works this this year.

Edouard Vuillard first exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in this year. He was a member of Les Nabis.

Maurice Denis was a French painter and writer, and a member of the Symbolist and Les Nabis movements. His theories were to contribute to the foundations of cubism, fauvism, and abstract art. These are examples of his work in this year.

During the years between 1899 and 1905 Monet travelled to London to capture its sights from the fifth-floor balcony of the Savoy Hotel. These are paintings of Charing Cross Bridge were completed in 1901.

Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo was an Italian neo-impressionist painter who painted his most famous painting in this year. Namely, Il Quarto Stato (“The Fourth Estate”) of striking workers in Turin. It has become a well-known symbol for progressive and socialist causes in Italy and throughout Europe. Sadly he committed suicide just 6 years later after the death of his wife & their child.

Quarto_Stato 1901

Giovanni Boldini was an Italian genre and portrait painter. He was known as the “Master of Swish” because of his flowing style of painting! What style he had in 1901!

Félix Vallotton was a Swiss/French painter and printmaker associated with Les Nabis. Here is some of his work from 1901.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the art I have chosen from 1901 – why not see what was created in 1902!

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