More Artists Picks
Born in 1894, Norman Rockwell was a prominent American artist and illustrator. In addition to paintings, Rockwell created illustrations for the cover of "The Saturday Evening Post" for more than 40 years. Some famous Rockwell works include "Rosie the Riveter and "Saying Grace," along with the "Willie Gillis" and "Four Freedoms" series.
Artist Jackson Pollack is among the most important American painters. His work merged his fascination with Native American Navajo sand painters and the likes of Pablo Picasso and Paul Cezanne. In his work, Pollack didn't concern himself with painting realistic pictures. Instead, his work showed the world the inner workings of the man who earned the attention of museums and the public alike and who influenced abstract artists that followed him.
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are two of Mexico's most famous artists and important cultural figures of the 20th century. Although married, their painting styles came from different places. However, both artists were influenced by their life experiences, their relationships and the politics of the society around them.
Printmaking is the creation of art by pressing paper or another medium against an inked engraving or carving that bears the image made by the artist. Artists have used this process since prehistory; archeologists have found evidence of printmaking on cave paintings in Spain and France. The Chinese were the first to use printmaking on paper, in 600 A.D. This benefited artists because the new technique was used to put patterns on the fabrics owned by the wealthy, allowing artists to earn incomes through printmaking. The Japanese were responsible for creating commercial forms of art trade. Artists in Europe created playing cards in Europe and religious images through printmaking.
Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss artist who spent part of his artistic career in Paris. The artist is best known for his thin, elongated sculptures. However, the artist also painted. The paintings of Alberto Giacometti are similar in style to his sculptures and they have also been linked to the existentialist movement in literature, because of the close friendship between the artist and philosopher Jean Paul Sartre.
As an architect, inventor, musician, engineer, sculptor, anatomist, geometer and painter, Leonard Da Vinci is often credited as being the original model for the "Renaissance man." One of his many important artistic contributions was his study on colors and how they are affected by, or related to, other factors in nature. His theories on color, particularly primary colors, are still applied to some extent in modern art.
Ray Johnson was an American abstract artist and collage artist. He was born to Finnish immigrants in Detroit, Michigan, in 1927. He drowned after jumping from a bridge in Sag Harbor, New York, in 1995. He is best known for his creation of the Mail Art Movement, in which he and multiple participants would send each other small works of art to modify, keep or forward to others.
Impressionist painter Henri Matisse made a cultural impact with his dramatic use of color and disregard for the distinction of line and color in his paintings. His rural upbringing no doubt influenced and inspired his preference for painting that reflected balance, purity and serenity and which captured the essence of things. Matisse was also inspired by early 20th century post-Impressionist artists including Gauguin, Cezanne and Van Gogh, as well as by reading poetry and producing sculpture.
Georges Braque was a French painter best known as the inventor of cubism, together with Pablo Picasso. Braque lived between 1882 and 1963 and adopted several painting styles. He wanted to follow in his father and grandfather's footsteps and become a house painter and decorator, but he demonstrated interest in the fine arts as well. His early works show signs of the influence of impressionism, but he also adopted the style of the fauvists and developed cubism.
El Greco, whose real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos, was born in Crete in 1541; he moved to Venice and then Rome before settling in Spain in 1576. Throughout El Greco's life he experimented with different styles of painting -- he began as an icon painter in his youth, and his stylistic roots are in the Eastern Orthodox traditions that had already existed for a thousand years. As he migrated West, he encountered and assimilated other approaches to painting.
Andy Warhol lived from 1928 to 1987. His signature art style was silkscreened, mass-produced canvas art in variations of color in multiple editions. Some of his most recognizable artwork depicts Campbell's soup, though his subject matter also included famous people, the Birmingham race riot, endangered species and contemporary American culture.
During the 1960s, Andy Warhol burst into the American consciousness as a free spirit, and soon became an icon of Pop-Art, experimental films and music. His friends included intellectuals, street people, celebrities and wealthy patrons. He suggested that achievement is not a prerequisite for renown, in that anyone can have "15 minutes of fame." Warhol changed the way most people view art, and made celebrity-watching a popular cult fascination. Few people really knew him well, for he portrayed himself as a superstar without a distinct personality but with an always evolving self-image.
Luigi Russolo was an Italian Futurist composer and painter. Russolo is considered a forerunner of modern electronic music, as he theorized that 20th century music would be characterized by seemingly "unmusical" noises. Although Russolo was primarily a musician, he also made important contributions to modern painting both during his Futurist period and afterwards.
The artist Wassily Kandinsky is considered the father of abstract art as much for his theories about visual art as for his paintings. He grew up exposed to music and played cello but was quick to admit that the finer points of music theory eluded him, even as he developed theories of visual art and a body of work influenced by music. Kandinsky credits Wagner's "Lohengrin" as a major influence in his decision to become an artist, and he named a number of paintings with musical terms.
Nathan Greene began with his eyes on the medical field, but later chose a different path: lifting spirits rather than fixing wounds. Green, labeled as Christian artist, has said he is fulfilling what he believes is a holy calling. He has been quoted by Southern Adventist University as saying, "I believe if you keep your heart open, [God] will keep leading you in the direction you should go."
Monet was a French Impressionist artist who used several materials to envision, draft and finally create his artwork. His first painting was "Impression: Sunrise" and provided the basis for the name of the Impressionist movement. Impressionists often used natural landscapes in their art and depicted varying degrees of light to create an impression of the actual image.
Leonardo da Vinci has been admired for centuries, and his famous paintings hang in the Louvre and other museums. He studied linear perspective and perfected painting methods including sfumato and chiaroscuro. Sfumato is the hazy appearance Leonardo added to his distance views and to gauze-like clothing. Chiaroscuro is the modeling of objects using shading to make objects appear three-dimensional. You may have viewed his works and never realized that in the composition of his drawings and paintings, he used mathematics and geometry. He used the golden ratio as a way to divide the images in many of his drawings and paintings. The golden ratio is any geometric figure that when subdivided, creates a proportion of 1-to-1.685003. It is also referred to as "Phi."
Art historians refer to the period from the end of the 16th century to the end of the 18th century as the Baroque period. Diego Velazquez is one of the most famous painters of the Baroque period. Some of his most famous paintings are "Christ on the Cross," "Las Maninas," "Mars, God of War" and "The Waterseller of Seville."
It may be hard to believe that the simple addition of color would be enough to ignite a revolution in the world of art. In the latter half of the 19th century in France, a group of painters known as Impressionists would defy 200 years of government control over the arts just by daring to use new color pigments. Claude Monet was one of these rebel painters whose paintings would come to be celebrated well after he and his Impressionist cohorts changed the definition of art forever.