Archive for the ‘Famous Artists’ Category

Edward Hicks Inspired by Biblical Stories

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Edward Hicks was a famous American Folk art painter that took his inspiration from stories, mostly biblical stories, but many of local stories, farms and landscapes of New York and Pennsylvannia. Hicks was a Quaker and believed in the prophecy of Isaiah, and many of his paintings reflect that.  His paintings reflect justice and gentleness of men and beasts, just as prophesied.

What is strange, that as well known as his paintings became, art was only secondary to Hicks. He considered himself more of a preacher than an artist and only started painting late in life.  He started painting when he was mid aged and at one point almost thought that it was contrary to his religion, but at the same time he felt that it brought meaning to his life.  When he passed away, those that mourned him mourned him as a preacher, and not as a pastor. It wasn’t until much later that his art became sought after by great collectors. This is a man that took his inspiration from the life around him, from his natural surroundings and from his strong religious beliefs.


Surrealists Inspired in Dreams – Rene Magritte

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Rene Magritte - Les AmantsAnother famous artist who was inspired by his own imagination and inner thoughts was Rene Magritte. He was born into a middle class family, his father, a tailor, and his mother a milliner.

Rene Magritte was a Belgian artist, born at the end of the 19th century. He began to draw in 1910 when he began to take private art classes. When he was 12 his mother committed suicide, and many of his first paintings, a series of paintings of people with cloths obscuring their faces, may have been influenced from his witnessing the retrieval of his dead mothers body from the river.

In 1927 he had his first surreal exhibit and was criticized terribly for it. His failure caused him to move to Paris where he continued to show his paintings.

As it occurs in many other cases, most of the interest in his work did not occur until some time after his death. His work is mostly fantasy based, but has a somber mood and style to it. It is said that his work may have influenced the Pop, conceptual, and minimalist art movements. His work showed with younger contemporaries who later took on the fauvist and pop style.


Toulouse-Lautrec

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

A known French painter born in 1864, Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec Monfa was the firstborn in an aristocratic family in France. He suffered different illnesses which affected him greatly physically. His legs retained its child-like size but his torso developed to an adult-size. His inability to participate in many activities that others enjoyed led Toulouse-Lautrec to be involved in art. He was an important Impressionist painter, lithographer and art nouveau illustrator.

He was unable to maintain a stable relationship with women, due to his many insecurities. These insecurities and frustrations made Toulousse Lautrec develop in painting a way of escaping from reality, in a similar way as did Gauguin or Van Gogh.

Lautrec would become the painter of modernity, abandoning conventional style to form part of Post Impressionism. Night Scenes and cartoon-like portraits of the people of the night became his favourite painting motifs. He was drawn to the Bohemian lifestyle in Paris in the area of Montmartre. He painted a series of posters for Moulin Rouge and other nightclubs where he was held in a very special seat in the cabaret. He stayed in brothels for weeks where he painted the prostitutes as his models in their natural environment.

In less than 20 years of career, Toulouse-Lautrec made 363 prints and posters, 275 watercolors and 737 canvases. Included in his works were 5,084 drawings, ceramics, glassworks and many lost works. He was known along with Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin for Impressionist arts. He was known for the excellent way he captured people in their environment, in which they were given individuality in his artworks. They were dispassionate and sympathetic in nature at the same time, as described. His style gave emphasis on contour and linear. Long thin brushstrokes were applied in his paintings.

Toulouse-Lautrec was not admitted in the Salon of Paris since his Works of art were considered unacceptable. This made him look for alternative ways of showing his art to the public, so the main public could get to know his Works of art. He even used newspapers. His Works were exposed either in solitary, or with the groups, or with his friends, such as Van Gogh.

His lifestyle led him to alcoholism and to his admission in a sanatorium. Complications of both alcoholism and syphilis were the cause of his death at Malformé, the family estate. He died before he reached his 37th birthday and he was buried in Verdelais, Gironde, near his birthplace in France.


Synthetism – Paul Gaugin

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Tahitian Women on the Beach - Paul GauguinSynthetism was a style of art within post-impressionism that Paul Gaugin favored in 1890. It was his belief that visuals from the memory reproduced in painting are called art. A style of painting wherein artworks produced from remembered pictures was integrated, simplified, and made. Cloisonnism was also a used style; colored flat areas outlined with black lines are its main qualities of producing the art.

Synthetism implied a radical change from Impressionism. In Synthetism planear surfaces became important. Also the contour of the figures (silhouette) was important and they were often emphasized in the paintings

In Synthesism, what became important to paint is the idea that the painter has after a given experience. The artist’s memory takes away the superfluous part and retains only the essence. This way, it is achieved the synthesis of shape and colour. The important thing is how the image is remembered, not so much how it really looks like.

Gauguin is a great example of Synthesism. He represents primitivism and bohemian style. He is the perfect example of an artist who sought the necessity to unify art and life. Gauguin abandoned western civilization (he was a stock agent) in search of the primitive art and civilization. He went to live to Tahiti. He valued this art not so much for being different, but especially for its authenticity. He was in a constant search of himself. He found himself and peace in Tahiti.


Eugenio Salvador Dali

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Christ of St. John of the Cross - Salvador DaliSalvador Dali (Figueras, Spain) was one of the most significant painters of the twentieth century. He was also extremely controversial. He was expelled from the Artistic Academy in 1926 right before his final exams. He was expelled for saying that nobody at the Academy was good enough to examine him.

Dali was a painter with outstanding painting skills. He was best known for his striking and bizarre images in his surrealist works but he also painted some realistic paintings. His painting skills are often compared to the Renaissance painters. He also experimented with the Cubist Style and was influenced by the Dada movement throughout his life.

His exhibitions of work attracted many people and he received mixtures of praise and puzzled debate from critics. He even came into conflict with his fellow surrealists over political beliefs. For this reason he was officially expelled from the Marxist surrealist group. Dali’s response to this expulsion was ‘Surrealism is me.’

Dali was widely known for his great imagination and for his affinity for doing unusual things which made people come to him. It also made some of his art lovers get annoyed as much as it did to some critics. This made people purchase his art works and he became purposed sought notorious.


Best Impressionist Artist: Claude Monet

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Self Portrait - Claude MonetClaude Monet is the most known painter of the French impressionism era. When most people think of Impressionism they think of Monet. In fact the term for the Impressionism movement came from one of Monet’s paintings “Impression Sunrise.” He is well known for his rapid brush strokes and his study of light through color. The term was actually used in a derogatory way when his work was first viewed. It took Monet and others like him over twenty years to find acceptance in the world of art.

He was the first to develop the technique of “plein air” painting, where the artists goes to the scene and paints landscape on sight.

Among his most known works are the series of paintings he did known as the water lilies. These were done later in his life and at a time when he was a true master of the impressionist style. As his style and work progressed, he also grew to love the art of gardening and his work reflects this love. His works like the “water lilies” reflect this love of gardening.

Even today many artists love and admire Monet’s work and use techniques he set fort with the use of light and color in their modern day works.


The Best Romantic Painters: Delacroix, Goya & Turner

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Eugene Delacroix - Death of SardanapalusRomanticism accented on the importance of feelings, imagination, self-expression, spontaneity, and imagination, mystical, beautiful, exotic, and individual creativity. Some artists painted what came natural to them in many subjects such as nature, scenery, passions and inner struggles, heroes, and violence, battles whatever inspired them to paint.

Eugene Delacroix was a true Romantic artist, with his exotic subjects, vibrant colors, and emotions that he truly defined Romanticism through his paintings. His bright and beautiful colors inspired artists around him and still amaze people who look at his work today. He illustrates swirling emotions in his works such as death, agony, love, life or battle.

One of his famous paintings, Death of Sardanapalus, was an oil painting he completed in 1826. His subject was taken from literature from the poet Lord Byron that he admired greatly. His work showed a burst of emotion in the dying and agonizing figures he portrayed. Through its violence and color, the painting excites people’s emotions and fantasies when they look at it. Delacroix’s work inspired many artists of different art movements but he was essentially known as a painter of the Romantic style. Delacroix also experimented with new color theories and free brushwork.

Francisco Goya painted in different styles, although some of his most important works are considered great examples of the Romantic period. After a severe illness in 1793, he became especially imaginative in his paintings. He started to paint and reflect the historical reality of his times, particularly the Spanish War of Independence. His paintings are full of obscure images and change of tonalities expressing great drama. He portrayed the horrors of the war, through images full of suffering; pain and death, were the victims were always common people.

Other great portrait artist was J.M.W. Turner and he was best known for the painting of beautiful romantic landscapes.


Artists in Neoclassicism – Jacques Louis David

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Jacques Louis David-Self portrait - Neoclassicism periodThe most noted painter of this period was Jacques Louis David. David was born in 1748 into a middle class family.

At 16 he began to study at the Academie Royale under the Rococo regime. On a trip to Italy he was influenced by the classical genre and soon began to develop his own style. Later he became known as one of the artists to record the French Revolution and was even elected to high office within the party. He was a good friend of Robespierre. Later, he was imprisoned because of crimes committed during the reign of terror. He was later released and became the official painter of Napoleon Bonaparte and created huge masterpieces such as the coronation.

During his life, David painted for the royalty first, then for radical revolutionaries during the French Revolution and in the end for the emperor Napoleon. His political allegiances changed, but he was always loyal to Neoclassicism and its values of harmony, simplicity and proportion.

One of his most famous pieces is the Oath of the Horatii which is a classic version of all things the neoclassical period represents, with classic representation of the ideal forms of the Roman art era and dramatic lighting.


The Most Influential Painters of the Rococo Movement

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Jeane Antoine Watteau - Pilgrimage to CytheraRococo is known as the art movement that took place in the 17th century and among the most famous painters of the movement were Jeane Antoine Watteau, François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Watteau’s work emphasizes the care free attitude of the times through his idyllic paintings and Boucher is known for his wonderfully designed tapestries.

Rococo pieces are noted most for the light colors, curvaceous forms, and graceful lines and Jeane Antoine Watteau was a master at his art form.

His compositions were innovative in style in that he always started with asymmetrical compositions, which contributed greatly not only to the Rococo style but to design in general. Through his art he became known as the inventor of the “Fetes galantes”. He painted idyllic scenes, with happy go lucky people dancing, enjoying themselves in beautiful settings.

This great artist is credited for renewing interest in color and movement within art. Jean Antoine Watteau’s was one of the main figures of the Rococo movement. Unfortunately, Jean Antoine Watteau’s art career was short lived. He was born in 1684 and named an associate of the French Academy in 1712. Unfortunately he died of tuberculosis in 1721 at a very young age. His work is know to epitomize the Rococo movement.


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