About This Blog
An alternative "On This Day", On This Deity aims to bring light to and celebrate Culture Heroes, Outsider Icons, Beloved Immortals and Revolutionary Events in history.
Disclaimer: These are spirited and informed opinion pieces. Photos have been credited wherever possible, which hasn’t often been the case. Please contact me (via Comments) if you are the photographer of any pictures used by On This Deity and would like your photo to be credited or removed.
On 27 July 1890, Vincent van Gogh, an unkempt, unknown 37-year-old Dutchman, walked out of his lodgings in the village of Auvers-sur-Oise, just north of Paris, where he had been living and working since May. That day instead of his … Continue reading
“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” …and Frida’s reality was a lifetime of extreme physical pain and tortuous suffering, punctuated with a tempestuous emotional turbulence. Artist Frida Kahlo … Continue reading
Today, we remember one of the most important British women of the 20th century who died 86 years ago today, aged 69. Sisters! If you have ever voted in an election, thank Emmeline Pankhurst. And if you have ever decided not … Continue reading
“Whatever thing men call great, look for it in Joan of Arc, and there you will find it.” – Mark Twain On this day in 1431, the English tied a 19-year-old French peasant girl to a pillar in the square in Rouen … Continue reading
On this day in 1536, Anne Boleyn knelt upright on a scaffold in the Tower of London on the orders of her husband, King Henry VIII (1491 – 1547). Looming over her was expert swordsman Jean Rombaud who had been … Continue reading
“In art, all who have done something other than their predecessors have merited the epithet of ‘revolutionary’; and it is they alone who are masters.” – Paul Gauguin When artist Paul Gauguin’s 54-year-old dead body was lowered swiftly into his grave … Continue reading
It was market day on April 26th 1937 in Guernica, a small town in northern Spain considered to be the spiritual capital of Basque culture. In late afternoon, without warning or provocation, Luftwaffe aircraft swooped down over Guernica. Wave after wave bombarded the … Continue reading
“Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation, and it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development, and peace.” – UN Secretary General Kofi Annan” Continue reading
In 1989, as a 26-year-old, I first truly understood what it was like to be disrespected because I am a woman. Although I was modestly dressed, I had dared to walk down the street on my own in a village … Continue reading
On this day in 2006, 69-year-old Joan Root lay alone bleeding to death from gunshot wounds at her home on the shores of Lake Naivasha in Kenya. Whodunnit? Who cut down this Kenyan-born English rose? And why? As a young … Continue reading
On this day in 1888 in Arles in southern France, Vincent van Gogh performed the most infamous act of self-mutilation in art history. He cut off part of his left ear lobe. From that point on, the world pointed, laughed … Continue reading
The 12th December 1982 was cold. Not really the kind of day to be hanging about outside unless there is something you really have to do. But there was something that I and thousands of other women really, really … Continue reading
How and why do species change? Why do some occur in some places, but not in others? Why do they die out? These big questions didn’t scare intrepid British explorer, biologist and geographer Alfred Russel Wallace, who died 101 years … Continue reading