Andrés Nagel Tejada-Basque painter, sculptor and engraver

Andrés Nagel Tejada (San Sebastián, 1947) is a Spanish painter, sculptor and engraver, one of the current Basque artists with the greatest international projection.

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An artist with eclectic tastes, a great traveller and with a history of many exhibitions, his work in painting, sculpture and engraving can be labelled as a postmodern figuration.  In working against the mainstream, in the years 60 and 70, he followed  an  abstract and informalist path.  Nagel addresses mostly social issues with some sarcasm and irreverence, in a style that at times echoes the New Madrid figuration and also adopted influences of pop art (in colourful and urban themes), surrealism (with shocking and humorous approaches) and Povera art ( using humble materials and wastes).

Further information in Spanish is at


Andrey Remnev Modern Russian Painter with a touch of the Medieval

Andrey Remnev

Strongly inspired by the Russian artistic movements of the 15th, 17th and 18th centuries, as well as in the painting of medieval icons, Andrey Remnev’s paintings are ostentatious and oddly hypnotic interpretations.


He wasborn and raised in Yachroma, near Moscow, in 1962. He has always been attracted to nature, people, cities and landscapes. Despite referring to medieval painting, Andrey’s works have a subtle and contemporary touch through the most surreal elements that it includes. Many of his paintings focus on women, elegantly dressed, but with wise looks that add mystery and power to their delicately painted figures.


Andrey carries his further influences by emulating old Renaissance recipes using his own handmade colors with natural pigments mixed with egg yolk. The result gives an intoxicating richness and depth to his works.
These paintings remind me both of Gustav Klimt in their use of gold and in their subject matter of the Newlyn Painter, Thomas Cooper Gotch.

Baron Pierre Paulus de Châtelet- a Belgian Expressionist Painter (1881—1959)

Upon first seeing these paintings by Pierre Paulus I was put in mind once again of the dark and dramatic work of Kaethe Kollwitz (1867-1945) about whom I posted recently. Then the chunky expressive style depicting largely industrial scenes reminded me of Zola’s Germinal which was written between April 1884 and January 1885. The broad lines and dark colours seems well-suited to the scenery of cranes, docks and canals. The dark buildings, however contrast with the white snow-so the expressive aspect is sometimes conveyed through this wintry aspect. Paulus too is a great painter of the intensity of heavy industrialisation-human figures huddled under gigantic mills or stark against Blakean forges. The clip below is enlivened by Puccini’s Madam Butterfly.

Pierre Paulus was born in Châtelet in 1881 into a family of artists. He studied architecture at the Academy of Brussels, where having graduated he dedicated himself to painting, his only true passion. At the age of 15, he already had a considerable mastery of painting. It was not until  he was 25 , however, that he became the painter we remember today, the painter of the Black Country, with its industrial and industrialized environments: mines and islets on the banks of the Sambre, steel factories throwing their flames and the background smoke … he also painted nature, people, still life and everyday scenes.
He met the acclaim in 1911 at the Charleroi exhibition of the general public, and his notoriety began to grow. During the First World War, he took refuge in London.
The interwar period was released in Europe and the United States. He devoted his whole life to Expressionism but also to other forms of art such as lithography and posters.
In 1913 he drew the rooster used as the flag of Wallonia. (With thanks to Inesvigo)


A Trainee Nurse’s pay at the outset of World War Two

A historian friend has written me about a Jewish woman who left Berlin, and saved her life, coming to England and starting her training in 1939. She had free board and bed and earned just 36/- per month. That is £3 and 6s. By November 1943 she was fully qualified and working in a General Hospital and her new salary became £5 and 5s-nurses were considered professionals before the NHS was formed and  were paid in Guineas (I Guinea= £1 and 1s). In order to fathom what this might have bought I looked up some figures in a couple of hours in a local newspaper archive. The following is what I discovered there.

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West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser  Feb 8th 1940    Price 2d
(12d= i/- (shilling) and 20/- equals £1 (a pound) )
Cockerels £1 per 100
Rental for a 2 bedroom house, sitting room, kitchen and scullery in Richmond Terrace in Truro £20 per annum
500 stamps 2/6 i.e. 2 shillings and 6d= 1/8 of a Pound
Cure for corns on feet 9d per bottle or 10 and 1/2d by post
Newly soiled Army boots 6/6 approx 1/3 of a Pound
soled and heeled 7/-
Unbleached bed sheets -double bed sized 7/11 and 1/2d (So it doesn’t seem 8 shillings!)
Turkish towels 1/11 and 1/2d
Unused 30 horsepower Electric Motor secondhand cost 50/- (Two and a half pounds) for sale at 30/-
Graham Piano in a walnut case £14 and 14/-
Other modern pianos in part exchange £7 and 10/-
Ginger wine 3/- for a bottle
Port styled wine (i.e. not real Port) a quarter bottle 9d
Full bottle of Sherry 2/6= 30d
Large oval bottle of port styled wine 3/6
West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser  Feb 12th 1940    Price 2d
Truro City Band – Grand Dance -admission 1/3 (obviously haf of half a crown!)
Kidney Pills on offer 1/3 and at 3/- and at 5/-
The Cornishman Dec 28th 1939 
Weekend Return Fare to Isles of Scilly 12/6 from Penzance!
New Agricutural Wages Act 1924 Update-comes into force on 1st Jan 1940
Minimum Wage for Male over 21 at 37/- (up from 34/-)
                                                14 year old  11/6
                           for Female over 20 6d per hour
                                                14-15 3d per hour
An advert 14 inches by 16 inches (half page) cost £18
80 word advert for 3 weeks cost 7/3
(It announces in this edition that overworked Nazis will be getting 3 weeks extra holiday next year and those cancelled in September will have their holidays restored}
(Also British Contraband seize 7000 tons of goods of contraband of which…
4000 tons are petrol
600 tons of foodstuffs and beverages
200 tons of tin
100 tons of rubber
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and in North Finland 5000 Russians captured by Finns
Berlin Wireless announces Hitler to visit Western Front)
Wife’s Maintenance set by Camborne Court after husband’s pretty clear adultery = 15/- per week
Fees for a Girl’s School relocated from Isle of Wight-Westwing- to open in Jan 24th 1940
£30 and 30/- under 8 years boarding and £35 and 35/- boarding
Kindergarten £5 5/- per term.
The other authority on prices at this moment in time was, of course, George Orwell’s account of the reasonable cost of reading compared to smoking and drink. Sadly, it appears that so-called Agency nurses may be reasonably paid but if Jeremy Hunt’s pronouncements are anything to go by, nurses are scarcely likely to have a much better time in the forthcoming period. The long shadow of Brexit has already, as is well known made for a severe shortage of staff. The Conservative Party are great believers in the so=called free market, except of course when it applies to Public Sector Pay!

Koloman Moser (1868-1918)

Koloman Moser (1868 – 1918) was an Austrian artist who exerted considerable influence on graphic art and many the most important artists of the Viennese secession. In the early 1890s he began to develop a highly innovative and individualistic Art Nouveau style, while working as an illustrator. He designed books, postcards, stamps, vignettes for magazines, stained glass, porcelain, ceramics andjewellery, etc. He was born in Vienna and studied at the Vienna Academy and at the School of Applied Arts, where he taught from 1899. As co-founder of the secession of Vienna, he joined Gustav KLIMT, Josef Hoffmann, and others, to establish a new form of art, moving far away from the academy. He was editor of the newspaper Ver Sacrum, and graphic designer for several years. In journalism he covered art and literature. In 1905, together with Gustav Klimt’s group, he separated from the secession of Vienna. The same year it married Editha Mautner von Markhof, daughter of one of the owners of one the large industrial fortunes of Austria. It will be noted that his work was heavily influenced by the Swiss painter,Ferdinand Hodler: who also ifluenced Gerstl and

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Albin Egger-Lienz (1868-1926)

Albin Egger-Lienz was born in the village of Stribach near Dölsach in the Tyrol. He received his first training from his father, painter and photographer Georg Egger. He then moved to the Munich Academy to continue his training, where he met Franz von Defregger, who strongly influenced his art. Ferdinand Hodler and Jean-François Millet were important models for him to follow. Even as a child, Egger-Lienz was receptive to religious sentiments; The peasant world, with its hard daily life and structured by Catholicism, became a basic theme of his artistic creation. In 1899, Egger-Lienz moved with his wife to Vienna, where he remained up to 1911. In 1911 he received lectures at the Saxon High School of Fine Arts in Weimar. He left the Vienna Academy in 1918. It was also in Vienna that Egger-Lienz had conflicting experiences as an artist. His important work “Totentanz”, which was exhibited in the Künstlerhaus of Vienna, received contradictory reactions, and Egger-Lienz was not given any public contracts. During the First World War he became a painter of the conflict. The four years of war proved to be a defining feature of his future life. In 1918, Egger-Lienz moved his permanent residence to the Tirol. Later work of Egger-Lienz comprised many religious motifs, peasant scenes, stories of the fight of the freedom and the horrors of the war itself. Under the influence of Hodler, Egger-Lienz managed to simplify his  imagery with a monumental expressiveness.