Archives: Famous Artists
1) When He Painted a Notorious Version of Madonna on the Rocks
Because of his flawless artistic skills, Da Vinci was asked by the “Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception” to create a painting for their San Francisco church, and he planned to surprise them by giving them a version of “Madonna on the Rocks” that contained a number of bizarre and disturbing aberrations against Christianity.
Probably the most important and the most influential artist to have been born in the 20th century, Pablo Picasso, like a vast, roaring flood, conquered the modern western art in its entirety. He is unarguably among the greatest the world has ever produced. Picasso, before he was even 50, became largely popular with the masses and eventually came to be known as the most well known name in art. No other artist, prior to him had such a massive impact on the art world.
His works have varied in tone and style all throughout his life and it’s really quite hard to summarize what exactly characterizes his paintings; makes them as majestic, as soulful as they appear to the eye. Perhaps his refusal to obey the general dictates of art (of his time) made him stand out the most. The artworks of the Spanish maestro are, to this day, among the most prized possessions of museums and art collectors all over the globe. He is probably the only artist to have had a mass following of critics and fans both. His most famous periods of work are the blue period, the rose period and the cubist period.
Though art collectors are largely disinclined towards readily selling and auctioning the works of Picasso they have in their possession, his paintings still sell for millions of dollars. Here are, for your eyes to see, 7 most popular paintings of Pablo Picasso, the Spanish maestro:
Garçon a la Pipe
Picasso’s paintings from his uniquely stylistic rose period, captured, quite often, the essence of the local entertainers (by profession) such as comedians, gymnasts et cetera. These profound works earned him a good deal of recognition. Garçon a la Pipe was painted by the Spanish-born artist while he was living in Paris. It is said to be an oil on canvas depiction of the boy who loved to watch him paint. The boy volunteered to pose for the maestro as he made the painting. Sold for a breathtaking $104 million, Garçon a la Pipe’s worth made it to the world records in 2004 at an auction in New York.
Pablo Picasso painted the First Communion when he was only fourteen years of age. His earlier works are very lifelike. The painting is a sketch of a real life event: Picasso’s sister, Lola, receiving first communion. For those of us who gaze upon his later (cubist) works and dare doubt his ability to paint realistically, this painting should easily suffice. Picasso painted following precise academic rules in his youthful years but, through the rest of his career, he refused to conform to the dictates of the academic art. Along with many other works from esteemed artists, this painting was displayed at a very prestigious exhibition in Barcelona.
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon marked the beginning of Pablo Picasso’s period of analytic cubism. It is among his later works. An obvious change in style began to trend in the maestro’s previous paintings when compared with his (new) cubist works. He used fast, lengthy strokes while making these sketches. Picasso, drawing a great deal of inspiration from native art of Africa (which he was studying prior to his period of cubism), took a huge step away from the traditional western art. It is unlike any of his works from the past. Owing to the unique blend of colors and strokes used in Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, it came to be known as the most innovative work of art since the works of Giotto. In addition to the intensity the dislocated faces generate, the intended scarcity of space in the painting is fascinating. Other influential painters of the same age and realm – like Georges Baraques and Apollinaire – rejected Les Demoiselles d’Avignon at first only to accept it as a masterful work of art later on. It is currently exhibited in the museum of modern art, New York.
Dora Maar Au Chat
Dora Maar Au Chat, for Picasso, is the most valued depiction of his lover, Dora Maar. She was one of Pablo Picasso’s many mistresses and a surrealist photographer by profession. This painting, for the maestro himself, is one of his most beloved works. On top of that, it is among Picasso’s most iconic paintings and thus, very (one of the most) expensive. It features Picasso’s mistress: Dora sitting on an armchair and a small black cat stand behind her in the background. The brilliant use of bold colors with the explosive combination of dense patterns of Dora’s dress is what is remarkable in this painting. This complexity of form adds to Dora’s dramatic posture in Dora Maar Au Chat. Picasso held a very high regard for Dora Maar and often spoke about her being his very own “private muse”. The painting was originally sold to Chicago’s Gidwitz family by two art collectors, Leigh and Mary Block. It then returned to the market in 2006. It’s pre-auction price was estimated to be around $50 million but the actual price at which it was bought was twice that much. The painting was bought from the Chicago’s Gidwitz family by an anonymous art collector from Chicago for $95.2 million.
Guernica is, regarded by the Spanish, as a national treasure; a monumental mark of pride for the entire nation. It is one of Pablo Picasso’s most famous paintings. It depicts the bombing of Guernica’s Basque town during the Spanish civil war. The town suffered heavy casualties during the bombing, and the dark shades of grey and black upon the white of death embody the unimaginable terror and chaos that befell upon the victims. The Spanish maestro originally intended to paint something else when he heard the horrible news, discovered about the bombing and came up with the idea for Guernica. The painting, in addition to describing the entire scenario, also makes important symbolic references (the eye shaped light bulb). Picasso considered the civil war a hideous crime and condemned it at great lengths. Guernica is, in itself, a condemnation of the exploits of the war. In 1937, this painting was commissioned by the Spanish Republican Government to be displayed at the Paris world fair. However, upon it’s creator’s wish, it was not to be returned to Spain until Fascism was put an end to. And so it returned to Spain in 1981 and became Spain’s property.
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust
Pablo Picasso had many mistresses all through his life. One of them, Marie-Therese Walter, was depicted in this painting. Sprawling across the bottom half of the painting, can be seen a nude woman lying down with her bust bare naked. The leaves in the background are the leaves from the Spanish masters favorite, philodendron (also know as the love) tree. He developed a liking for this plant in this phase and kept it where he resided. Upon closer inspection, we can see that a face is emerging from behind the curtains. This is Picasso’s own self reaching out for his muse, Marie-Therese Walter. This masterful work of art was unbelievably finished within a single day! By this time, the Spanish-born artist had mastered his skill and began to employ deep symbolism in his paintings. Nude, Green Leaves and Bust was initially bought for quite less by art collectors Sidney and Frances Brody in 1952, but in 2010, it was sold at an auction by it’s owners for a mind-boggling $106.2 million.
Marie-Therese Walter, Picasso’s mistress and muse, becomes the subject of yet another master piece of his. The maestro, with sheer brilliance, captures his beautiful, young mistress asleep on an armchair. At that time, Picasso was 50 and Marie-Therese Walter only 24. Many believe that La Reve was finished in one sitting on the afternoon of January 24th, 1932. The iconic painting is widely recognized for the arousing ambiance that it generates through the erotic content encapsulated inside it. The Spanish maestro painted this with an intentional modesty of form; plainer outlines upon a few bright, well-contrasted colors. American casino tycoon, Steve Wynn set out to sell this painting to prodigious painting collector, Steven Cohen in 2006. This deal was soon to be dropped because of La Reve being accidently damaged by Wynn. However, after a splendid set of amends being done (making it good as new), it was still sold to Steven Cohen privately in march 2013 for a breath taking 155 million dollars! It is the second most expensive painting ever to be sold.
Centuries have past, generations have extinct, but the phenomenon of art is expanding with such flamboyant and extravagant collection of masterpieces that it is hard to ignore the fact that no matter what comes with the new era no one can ever end the excitement art world has to offer to the rest of the world. And as the tiny units are adding in to the body of art, there are tons of awe-inspiring masterpieces that cannot be forgotten, and most importantly cannot stop the influence they put on the heart of many. Here, we are going to show you few of the worlds’ most important paintings that have gained success and cherish around the world. But the following list does not mean that significant paintings are limited to these numbers only as there are plenty of more masterpieces that one can add. It is a never-ending list; everyone has their own sighting and we are showing ours here.
- American Gothic by Grant Wood
American Gothic is not just the most interesting piece of work of Grand Wood, but it is also the most recognized one among his collection, and probably the only painting from him that got a whooping success right after it was first displayed in the Art Institute of Chicago in the year of 1930. Media got their eyes on this masterpiece and within a short period of time it became the talk of the town. Nonetheless, it is believed that Wood created this painting to mock the subjected oppression set on the Midwestern Americans, who thrived hard at that time for their rights. Hence, it became the most eminent political painting that reflected the ongoing depression by portraying a farmer with his unmarried daughter outside the white house.
Vincent van Gogh is a name that has given so much light to the world art that it is something which cannot be gone unnoticed when one hears it. The saddest part about van Gogh’s life is that he died without taking the pleasure of fame and success. All his life he thought he was a failure, since nobody would ever dare to buy his art. It was only after his death that people recognized what a piece of diamond his art collection was for the world.
Vincent van Gogh was born in the year of 1853 in Netherlands only a year later when his older brother, who was also named as Vincent, died right after his birth. Some of the biographers say that van Gogh was mentally stressed and it killed him to think that he was a mare replacement of his older brother. It is highlighted in some of his biographies that Vincent was also lacked self-confidence due to the same reason.
His father and his grandfather, both were ministers. His father was a pastor in a church; hence most of Vincent early life was quite religious and cultured. Whereas his younger brother and two of his uncles were a part of art world as they used to deal with art and this is among the reasons why Vincent chose art as his career. Although there were many jobs that Vincent did before officially connecting to the art world, but unfortunately all of his life enclosed deep emotions, failures, and poverty, as he also mentioned this in one of his letters to his brother Theo;
“As for me, I am rather often uneasy in my mind, because I think that my life has not been calm enough; all those bitter disappointments, adversities, changes keep me from developing fully and naturally in my artistic career.”
His poignancy and depression can be easily seen in his early paintings, which were filled with dark colors and somber situations. The first ever painting of Vincent that gained a little fame was “The Potato Eaters”, in which he showed hardworking poor family eating potatoes in their dinner. In his early works, he used charcoals and pencils rather than oil paints. Black, brown, and other dark colors were his favorites.
Vincent Letters to Theo
Since Vincent was not eminent in his life, the historians had created his biography mostly from Vincent letters to his beloved younger brother Theo, who was an art dealer in Paris and supported Vincent in almost every harsh step of life. Whatever was happening in Vincent’s life, he always took out time to tell his brother about the ongoing hustles. Theo, on the other hand was said to be the only person who actually helped and encouraged Vincent in taking up art as his core career. Although, unfortunately Theo did try hard to sale Vincent’s painting and also tried to introduce him among his fellow art dealers, but all went down the drain.
Time in Paris and France
In the year of 1886, Vincent van Gogh moved to Paris as his brother wrote to him about how welcoming Paris was for artists. Theo also informed Vincent about Impressionism being the most practiced art of one of those days in his letters. This lighted up a hope and Vincent came to Paris to learn about this particular style, and it was only a matter of time when he mastered it.
This was the time when Vincent committed his self even more deeply to art. He would go down the street of Paris and paint people and café there. He used to bring up bright colors in his paintings and tried picturing every catching scenario into his paintings. Often days went by, when Vincent indulged himself into art too much that he wouldn’t even care to eat anything.
It was 1888, when Vincent finally moved to France. By that time, his commitment with bright colors heated up even more and he began to add more vibrant themes into his paintings. His emotions and feelings over flown and grew stronger with time. In France, he painted most of art collection; sometimes he would complete a whole master piece in a day. One of the reasons why Vincent came to France was to meet Paul Gauguin.
The ear-cutting incident
During his stay in France, Vincent rented out a little house and immensely involved in to his work. He decided to invite Paul Gauguin, who was one of the famous painters at that time, but unfortunately some strange and unknown argument broke up between these two artists that stirred up a fight and Gauguin left Vincent pondering alone. The incident put such a huge impact on van Gogh that he felt infuriated and later cut off a part from his left ear with a razor in depression. After sometimes, he wrapped up that part and gifted it to an unknown woman.
Vincent van Gogh couldn’t take much care of his health; that was the reason which took him to a mental hospital in 1889. There, he worked on his masterpiece “Starry Night”, which is the mostly recognized work from his collection. But even the amazing painting didn’t stop his worsening condition. Finally, in July, 1890 he died due to the rotten wound in his the chest.
Some names never go unnoticed when people read or hear them; Edvard Munch’s name comes at the top in such names. He was a somber and meditative person who always counted painting not just a mere hobby, but an obsession. The amount of eagerness and affection he had for his paintings can be taken from the fact that he never married to any woman, because he did not want to divide his love between human and art. He is the mastermind behind the contemporary Expressionism movement in art, and because of the modern touches in his work, the young minds are still getting inspired by his immense collection of paintings and other related art works.
Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth – Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso, the name itself is vigorous enough to take us all into Déjà vu. The Spanish artist was considered to be devastatingly famous figure of the 20th century in the world of art. No other artist during that time had such massive audience and critics following like Picasso. Not a single movement that took place during Picasso’s life passed by without taking inspiration from his collaboration in Cubism. Hence, there is hardly anyone around the globe who has not heard of his name or existence. Not just that, the number of pieces he had colluded for art in a short lifespan was enough to fill a great part of the art gallery around the world. Whatever form of art movement was held, Picasso was always the first to be a part of it. His explicit style and way of communication through his work was the main source of his success.
The Origin of Spanish’s Great Artist
Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born in the region of Malaga in Spain on 25th of October, 1881. Since many great artists were scratched from this very land, Pablo Picasso was one of them. His arrival into this world not only gifted art a distinct painter, but a sculpture, a stage designer, and a graphic designer as well. His versatility was what made him among the most influential public figure of his time. By the age of only 15, this talented veteran got admission in advanced classes of the Royal Academy of Art in the city of Barcelona. His teachers were proud and awestricken, all at the same time when they first explored the hidden yet out of this world talent. The distinct quality appeared in his early work, comprised “The Old Woman”, which was considered as one of his achievements during his early times. He spent majority of his life’s years in Paris, from 1904 to 1947, as it was his favorite city and a place that influenced him to paint.
Periods of Picasso’s Work
With great artists come great experiences. Pablo Picasso’s life is filled with so many colors and variations that historian later categorized his lifespan into different periods. There were phases where Picasso glued to certain themes and gestures that were entirely differ from some of his other work. During the 1901-1904, comes the Blue Period, in which the main focus of Picasso was to highlight the darkness, somberness, and mediocrity of his surroundings. This period contains more blues and blacks in his expressions. After that Rose Period began, which was embodied with more vivid colors and euphoric themes, however, it lasted for two years only. This was the period when Picasso hauled in to sculpture making and allowed many other artists at that time to visit his gallery of paintings in France.
Innovative Style and Gifted Approach
By the year of 1920, Picasso interest did a fine shift towards classic themes and gigantic monumental nudes, and his pieces became more like interpreters that were majorly reminiscent of the past sadistic happenings. In 1937, when Guernica was bombarded with massive explodes, Picasso took hold of his paint brushes and pictured an anguishing movement, which not only added more glamour to his gallery but also became a way via which he promulgated how badly he hated wars. The Guernica painting is the compelling political painting in the contemporary art and emulate with the sort of Mexican paintings done by Diego Rivera. Later, many more masterpieces of Picasso came up front, which includes Naked Woman on the Beach and Shovel, and The Rape of the Sabine Women.
The reason why Pablo Picasso left marks in the history is his distinct artistic approach towards nature and reality. He retaliated with best of his works whenever he was challenged during his time of art rule. The sudden shift in his sculptures, paintings, and graphic art never lost his targeted audience’s attention. Picasso died in France in April 1973, and by the time he left the world, staggering number of 22,000 pieces of his art work was discovered, which include sculptures, paintings, graphic designs, ceramics, mosaics, and stage art.
J. Roybal is a person who is still not recognizable to many, but the little work he did for the art is indeed praise worthy. He was born and raised in Italy, and Italy was the place from where he started his passion for paint. His paintings are mainly focus on children and revolve around their lives. It is said that his work is entirely inspired by the great artist Graciela Rodo Boulanger. She is the one after whom Roybal took interest in painting at the age of 18. He captured children playing in the field with football and polo, and how they enjoyed learning to music and holding musical instruments in their hands.
Each painting that belongs to him, reflects what glee a child scrutinizes when he’s subjected to do what he adores. His theme remains are wondrous, while his selection of colors switches so instantly that you would be surprise to see sudden bright colors after a series of muted tones.
The remarkable Paul Gauguin was born on the 7th June in the year of 1848. He was a specialist when it came to the style of Post-Impressionist painting. He was very much interested in performing various experiments with his artistic style and that brought amazing outputs for the world to see. He also used to experiment with colors and led him to develop a modern style of art. The paintings reflected his own subjects which he wished to talk about. His main themes included the patristic side of the world and primitivism. Another strong contribution of his to the universe of art was his work with wood in the form engravings and cuts.
Born in the city of Paris, Gauguin belonged to a hardworking French family. His father was a journalist. The family decided to migrate towards Peru in the year 1851 during a tough political time. During that fateful journey, his father died. Gauguin was only a three year old when this sad incident happened in his life. The remaining family lived in Peru for a period of four years and after that they returned back to France.
While Sandro Botticelli didn’t get to relish the perks of fame much during his lifetime, paintings by Botticelli came to be recognized as one of the high-flying elements of the Early Renaissance. A Florentine by origin, he is considered among the more educated artists of the Renaissance period. While they are many in numbers, we shall look at some of the more well-known paintings by Botticelli.
The Cestello Annunciation
This one (pictured above) is more commonly and frequently referred to as simply The Annunciation. Utilizing Tempera on Panel as the medium, it took close to 1 year for Botticelli to complete it after it was commissioned by the Church of Florentine Convent of Costello in 1489; the completion took place sometime in 1490. Currently available for viewing at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the original painting has “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee” from St. Luke’s Gospel (1:35) inscribed in Latin at the bottom. Continue reading
A Brief Introduction
Born in 1817 in Feodosiya, Russian-Armenian painter of the Romantic movement, Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky is easily considered as one of the best seascape painters of the of all time.
From an early age he showed great potential as an artist, and despite being born into poverty, he was provided with a very good education and was able to speak different languages and even earned a seat in the Simferopol Gymnasium No.1 and the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, from which he graduated with a gold medal.
This was the ticket to his future success, bringing him acknowledgement from the Navy, who later commissioned him to paint battle ships for them and the Sultans from turkey who summoned him to Istanbul on numerous occasions and awarded him a medal, until the war between Turkey and Russia ensued.