At his young age, Claude Monet was both an artist and an entrepreneur. He would sell his charcoal drawings for 10 to 20 francs apiece. Monet learned how to use oil paints and outdoor or “en plein air” painting techniques from fellow artist Eugène Boudin. Monet’s works were among those that featured the modernisation of Paris in a unique way, with the essence of spontaneity and intuitive feeling visible on the canvas. Later in life, he focused more on the environment and atmosphere in his works while focusing less on modernity. Monet’s paintings were not only sought for locally but was quite popular in England and the United States as well.
Sandro Botticelli is the creator of probably two of the most famous paintings in the world. Botticelli was renowned for his numerous works depicting the Madonna but was also widely known for his mythological paintings. It is generally understood that he produced the under-drawings and his apprentices completed the pieces. Drawings that Botticelli himself completed were also copied by his assistants. His style was linear and thus easily imitated, which made identification of his own work extremely problematic. Although Botticelli symbolised the methodology of the Quattrocento period, he did not enhance or influence it with his own work. He had developed his own style, preferring the more Gothic approach.
Georgia O’Keeffe was recognised as one of America’s most significant artists with her works commanding high prices. She was a prolific artist who produced about 2000 pieces of art. She influenced early American modernists as a part of the Stieglitz Circle. Flowers were a consistent motif in O’Keeffe’s work. And despite her renunciation of their interpretation of her works, she was also a great influence on the artists of the feminist movement. The deterioration of her health did not mar her will to create. At seventy-three, her work featured more of rivers and clouds in the skies. O’Keeffe’s legacy included 70 years of work and contributions to American modernism’s development.
The Italian Renaissance painter known as Titian was born Tiziano Vecellio. Titian commenced his career as an independent artist in Venice in 1510. He was the first artist to utilise the paintbrush as a means of expression in itself. Titian used colour pigments that were both readily available and much rarer. He would use the pigments undiluted and emphasise contrasting colours using light. It is thought that he used his fingers, as well as a brush, to blend and apply the medium, thus creating illusions of movement and chiaroscuro effects. As a master artist, Titian was commissioned by eminent persons of the day, from relatively minor royal and state personages to monarchs.
Raphael, also known as Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, was a renowned Italian painter and architect of High Renaissance. He was popularly called The Divine One (‘Il Divino). He was renowned for the spatial geometry and perfect grace of his High Renaissance drawing and painting. He formed the traditional trinity of great masters of that era with Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Quite a lot of his works are deposited in the Vatican Palace. Despite his short life, he contributed immensely to the development of art in Italy and the whole world. Raphael’s works are available and can be seen in the best art museums all over the world.
Giovanni Bellini was a Venice new beginning painter and the brain behind the Venetian School of Painting. He was acknowledged as one of the greatest and foremost Old Master of resurgence art. Giovanni lived and worked in Venice and his career lasted 65 years. He was distinguished for his groundbreaking portrayal of natural light, tender and graceful pictures and his altarpieces. His painting techniques had a great impact on his students and colleagues. He continued to be active in the works he was commissioned to do up till his 70s. These days, as when he was alive, he is generally honored for his originality, skill and essential role in taking Renaissance to Venice.
Leonardo da Vinci was an excellent Italian painter and polymath. He was considered to be one of the three great originators of High Renaissance art in Italy. Leonardo was also distinguished as a master of oil painting such as the painterly methods of using shadow to make a 3-D effect (chiaroscuro) and using glazes in slightly different tones of colour, making an almost imperceptible transition from light to dark (sfumato). These two methods are noticeable in the Mona Lisa. Aside from being one of the greatest painters of all time, he is respected and appreciated for his technological cleverness and resourcefulness. Even to this day, the interest in Leonardo and his work has never reduced.
Matisse and Fauvism were considered by 1950s scholars as precursors of Abstract Expressionism as well as of modern art. While resting at home due to appendicitis, Matisse’s mother brought him art supplies and he began painting. He set off for Paris in 1891 to pursue his dream. Matisse had an exhibit together with a group of artists known as the Fauves at the Salon d’Automne. The paintings disregarded the subject’s natural colours while expressing emotion with wild, dissonant colours. Though the Fauvist movement was short-lived, it shaped one of the directions of modern art and many Abstract Expressionists have been influenced by Matisse.
Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian painter, art theorist, and educator. He is considered to be one of the pioneers of modern abstract painting. He had two experiences that would greatly influence his artistic style. An exhibition of paintings by Monet inspired Kandinsky’s use of colours, while an operatic performance of Wagner’s Lohengrin sparked a synesthetic experience. Kandinsky studied and taught art in Germany, but he integrated all the various art styles that he had employed in France. Painting was very spiritual to Kandinsky. He often utilised abstract forms and colours to convey his message. Modern abstract art will not be the same without the works of Wassily Kandinsky.
Andy Warhol was known for his silkscreen prints of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, his Coca-Cola and Campbell soup paintings. During his childhood, Warhol suffered from a neurological disorder. It was in these times spent at home that shaped his interests in celebrities and pop culture. This, combined with his expertise and experience as a commercial artist, was a great influence on his work. His work was shown in exhibits in several venues throughout the city and was easily recognisable and appealed to the general public. His success continued throughout the 1950s. He was unafraid to experiment with unconventional means and was, therefore, able to create unconventional art.
Jackson Pollock was an American artist and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement of the 20th century. At a young age, he was exposed to Native American culture and art. The greatest influences in his art, however, were Pablo Picasso and surrealism. He contributed several paintings to exhibitions of abstract art. Early on, Pollock’s style moved away from figurative representation. Instead, he created his art through unconventional means. As the 1940s drew to a close, Pollock came up with his signature technique of painting known as drip style. This style catapulted him to artistic superstar status. He and his works have permeated pop culture and even inspired computer-based research.