1903 – Art of the Edwardian Era.

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In this year the Salon d’Automne held it’s inaugural exhibition.


Catalog Cover 1903

Three other important dates remain historically significant for the Salon: 1905, bore witness to the birth of Fauvism; 1910 witnessed the launch Cubism; and 1912 resulted in a xenophobe and anti-modernist quarrel in the National Assembly!  The Salon was perceived as a reaction against the conservative policies of the official Paris Salon, but the former almost immediately became the showpiece of developments and innovations in 20th-century painting, drawing, sculpture, engraving, architecture and decorative arts.

During 1903 Pablo Picasso was painting some of his most famous pictures of his ‘Blue’ period.Picasso_la_vie 1903 Picasso1903 Picasso






In 1903 Edvard Munch exhibited in Paris where the coming Fauvists, famous for their boldly false colors, likely saw his works and might have found inspiration in them. He painted this picture of ‘Four Girls in Arsgardstrand’ in this year.

four-girls-in-arsgardstrand-1903 Munch

Edvard Munch 1903

In only two years time Andre Derain would start the Fauvist movement with Matisse but in this year he painted this selfie.

Self-portrait_in_studio_by_André_Derain 1903

Derain 1903


Kandinsky 1903

Perhaps the most important of Wassily Kandinsky’s paintings from the first decade of the 1900s was Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), which shows a small cloaked figure on a speeding horse rushing through a rocky meadow. It is still not known for sure if this was the source of the Der Blaue Reiter group he formed with like-minded artists such as August Macke, Franz Marc, Albert Bloch, and Gabriele Münter just 8 years later.

The Neo-Classical artist John William Waterhouse  continued to paint his mythical themes in this year.

It was during this year that Klimt went into his Birch tree period.

farmhouse-with-birch-trees-1903 Klimt

Klimt 1903

dorelia-in-a-black-dress G John 1903

John 1903

Gwen John painted this picture of her brother’s second wife Dorelia, done in this year. Although her brother, Augustus John, became much more notorious during this period he always felt his sister to be the better painter.

Samuel John Peploe was a Scottish Post-Impressionist painter, noted for his still life works and for being one of the group of four painters that became known as the Scottish Colourists. Here are a few of his works from this year.

The Wounded Angel is a painting of this year by the Finnish symbolist painter Hugo Simberg.

The Woundec agel Hugo Simberg 1903

Simberg 1903

Pissarro, Camille, 1830-1903; Self-Portrait (Portrait de Camille Pissarro par lui-meme)

Pissarro 1903

Camille Pissarro the a Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter. The only artist to have shown his work at all eight Paris Impressionist exhibitions, from 1874 to 1886. He painted this self-portrait in 1903 shortly before his death on the 13th November.


Roberts 1903 Opening_of_the_first_parliamentThe Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia by H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall and York (later H.M. King George V), May 9, 1901, more commonly known in Australia as The Big Picture, is a 1903 painting by the Australian artist Tom Roberts.

J W Boreas 1903The Neo-Classical artist John William Waterhouse painted this painting is titled Boreas, after the Greek god of the north wind and it shows a young girl buffeted by the wind.

This year Augustus John painted these two portraits of his mistress (future wife) Dorelia.

cottage-in-the-woods-1903 Alexej von Jawlensky

Jawlensky 1903

The Russian Alexej von Jawlensky painted this pointillist work (Cottage in the Woods) in this year. Later in the era he would become a key member of the Blue Rider expressionist group based in Munich.

John_Singer_Sargent_-_Mrs._Fiske_Warren_(Gretchen_Osgood)_and_Her_Daughter_Rachel 1903This painting of Mrs. Fiske Warren (Gretchen Osgood) and Her Daughter Rachel was completed in 1903 by the American portrait artist John Singer Sargent. Gretchen Osgood was an American actress, singer, and poet.


Grant, Duncan, 1885-1978; Village Street

Grant 1903

Duncan Grant was to become the most celebrated British artist of his time and at the epicentre of the Bloomsbury Group.



John Duncan Fergusson (to become a ‘Scottish Colourist’) was in France a great deal during this period since his first trip in 1898. These were some of his paintings in this year 1903.

In this year the Symbolist painter Odilon Redon was awarded the Legion of Honour. He was well into his pastel period during this time.

Matisse was working up his colours during this year!

Moving_Bracken_by_H_H_La_Thangue,_1903Henry Herbert La Thangue was an English realist rural landscape painter associated with the Newlyn School. He painted this picture of a bracken cutter in this year.


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