Archive for February, 2009

The Life of Amedo Modigliani

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , on February 16, 2009 by

Amedeo Clemente Modigliani or Amedeo Modigliani was born on July 12, 1884 to a Jewish family, in Livorno, Italy. He is one of the most popular artists in the world. He moved to France in 1906 and practiced there for most part of his career. When he was a child, he suffered from different kinds of illnesses such as pleurisy (1895) and typhoid (1898). In 1898, considering his feeble physical health, he was dropped out of regular school to join the Art Academy in Livorno. After one year, he again suffered from pleurisy which then he developed tuberculosis. Unfortunately, this malady took his life.

In 1902, Modigliani joined the Free School of Nude Studies in Florence and a year later, he moved to Venice and enrolled in Istituto di Belle Arti. It was here that he took up to smoking hashish and visiting places, where no respectful man would go. He moved to Paris in 1906, where he studied about the Italian Renaissance painters, and was often compared to Botticelli. Modigliani though was influenced by Fauves and Cubists, and by the sculptor Brancusi; yet his compositions maintained his unique and distinct style. In 1907, he won his first patron, Dr. Paul Alexandre, who purchased a large collection of his works. Amedeo displayed his work at Salon d’Automne in the years 1907 and 1912, and at Salon des Indépendants in the years 1908, 1910, and 1911. The only solo show to his name was at the Galerie Berthe Weill in December 1917.

Modigliani’s famous paintings include the “Portrait of Maude (1907),” the “Head of a Woman with a Hat (1907),” the “Red Nude (1917),” the “Portrait of Jaques & Berthe Lipchitz (1916),” & the “Seated Nude (1918).” His sculptures include the “Head (1911)” and the “Rose Caryatid (1914).” Modigliani shifted to Paris in 1919, and continued to paint in spite of his deteriorating health and frequent blackouts. He finally breathed his last on January 24, 1920 at a young age of 35 due to tubercular meningitis. He was survived by his nine months pregnant wife, Jeanne Hebuterne, and his daughter Jeanne. Two days after Modigliani’s death, Hebuterne jumped from the window of her parents’ house, leaving behind her daughter Jeanne to be brought up by her maternal grandparents.

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The Life of Caravaggio

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , , on February 16, 2009 by

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio or Michelangelo Caravaggio, or simply Caravaggio is an artist who was born on September 28, 1573 in Milan. His father is Fermo Merisi and his mother is Lucia Aratori. It was at age 11 when he became an orphan. Soon he was apprenticed to the painter, Simone

Peterzano for four years. This proved to be a blessing in disguise for Caravaggio. Peterzano was a poor painter who gave his students many opportunities to blossom on their own. This prompted Caravaggio to develop a style of painting that was unique to him. He excelled in Baroque Art, which was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1595, Michelangelo Caravaggio met Cardinal Francesco del Monte who commissioned the artist to paint for the church of San Luigi dei Francesci. Caravaggio had to paint three large paintings of scenes from the life of St. Matthew. They were, “St Matthew and the Angel (1600),” “The Calling of St. Matthew (1599-1600),” and “The Martyrdom of St. Matthew (1600).” Influenced by Naturalism and Chiaroscuro, these paintings were so realistic and dramatic that there was a public outrage at their depiction. Instead of proving a deterrent, these paintings drove Caravaggio to concentrate his efforts on religious themes, interpreting them in his own style. Though his paintings often had a brutal and harsh quality in them, Caravaggio’s reputation as an artist was at its peak by 1600.

The painter was also infamous for his unruly behavior. He was known to be a womanizer and a drinker. In one incident of extreme brawling in 1606, Caravaggio ended up killing his opponent and had to flee from Rome. He resurfaced at Zagarolo where he was under the protection of Duke Don Marzio Colonna. Caravaggio painted Christ at Emmaus and a portrait of Mary Magdalene for the Duke. By 1607, he moved to Malta where he painted “The Beheading of St. John the Baptist.” He had to leave Malta and seek refuge in Sicily because of his criminal background. Since he had become a famous artist, he had no dearth of clients. Here the artist painted “The Burial of St. Lucy,” “The Resurrection of Lazarus,” and “The Adoration of the Shepherds.” His escapades then led him to Naples in 1609, where he painted “The Madonna of the Rosary” and “The Seven Works of Mercury.” In contrast to his earlier paintings, which used light and shadow effectively to bring about clarity, these paintings were dark. Many believe that Caravaggio displayed his tumultuous life in his work.

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The Life of Claude Monet

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , , on February 16, 2009 by

A famous painter, Claude Monet or Oscar-Claude Monet or Claude Oscar Monet is known as the founder of French Impressionist painting. Born on November 14, 1840 in Paris, Monet was baptized into the Local church to Oscar Claude. Claude Monet’s father wanted him to help in the family grocery business. Claude however was always interested in art. In 1845 Monet’s family shifted base to Le Havre, Normandy.

He stayed in Paris for many years and he met several painters here, who went on to become his friends and fellow Impressionists. He joined the First Regiment of African Light Cavalry in Algeria in June 1861. However, during his term here, Claude was detected of Typhoid, owing to which, his aunt forced him to leave the Cavalry and join an art course. Disappointed by the traditional, mundane art taught at art universities, the artist became a student of Charles Gleyre in Paris, in the year 1862. Here he also met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley, who explored new approaches to art. They painted the effects of light with the help of broken and quick brushstrokes. This expression of art eventually came to be known as Impressionism.

In May 1883, he rented a house in Upper Normandy, which was centrally situated, with local schools near-by and the surroundings offering endless array for his works. The family of Monet worked hard and built up gardens. Here Monet continued with his paintings. Soon, his financial state began to improve. His paintings registered an enormous increase in sales. The beginning of 1880s and 1890s, through the end of his life in 1926, he worked on many series of paintings wherein he depicted varying light and weather conditions.

In the year 1883 and 1908, Claude Monet visited Mediterranean where he painted landscapes, landmarks, and seascapes. “Bordighera” was also produced in this series only. Then in Venice, Italy, he painted another famous series of his, while in London he created the series, “Views of Parliament” and “Views of Charing Cross Bridge.” Monet started to develop cataract and despite two operations, his vision stayed affected. At the age of 86, he died due to lung cancer on December 5, 1926.

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The Life of Diego Velasquez

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , , on February 16, 2009 by

Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez or Diego Velázquez is a Spanish painter reputed for his unique and talented skills of integrating color, space, light, and mass in equal value. Born in Seville, Spain on June 06, 1599, Diego Velazquez is noted for his remarkably personal and ingenious style.

Diego learnt art for a year, under the capable guidance of the painter Francisco de Herrera. Velazquez served as an apprentice for five years to Francisco Pacheco, an artist at Seville at the young age of 12. It was in this period that the very youthful painter started painting the most banal of things such as earthenware pots, fruits, and fish in the marketplace. One of his famous quotes goes as, “I would rather be the first painter of common things than second in higher art.”

Velázquez went to learn more about Italian Art. It was during this time that there were some notable changes in his style of painting. During his voyage to Italy, Ambrogio Spinola, the conqueror of the Dutch city of Breda, accompanied Diego. This momentous siege of Breda was depicted in his painting, “La rendición de Breda.” Diego’s paintings mostly included the portraits, and the scenes of historical and cultural importance. The master of Impressionism and Realism, Diego Velázquez inspired many nineteenth century painters of very high repute. Edouard Manet, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Francis Bacon, have all repainted Velazquez’s famous works. Owing to this recreation of his paintings, the artist is often credited as the “Painter’s Painter.”

It is predicted that 20 years later, Velázquez again visited Italy. This can be accepted as a fact because the royal archives specify the different dates of his paintings, even though most of his paintings resemble a common personal style. It was during this time that he bought paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, and Paolo Veronese. He then sent them for the King’s collection. While his stay in Spain, Diego painted the portraits of the King’s other family members also. One of the most notable paintings of Velázquez is, “Las Meninas (1656, English: The Maids of Honor),” which is also known to be his magnum opus. Here the philosophers of art seem divided on who the actual subject of the painting is. Is it Margarita the eldest infant daughter of the King or the painter Velázquez himself?

One of the most influential painters of the European era, Diego Velazquez died on August 16, 1660. Velázquez was a great Realist and it is often quoted that no one could capture genuine features and fixes them as uniquely on the canvas as he did. A noted art philosopher has said, “His men and women seem to breathe.”

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The Life of Edgar Degas

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , , , on February 16, 2009 by

Edgar Degas is a French artist that specialized in painting things in motion. He is known for being a master at drawing the human figure in motion. He had an extremely long career and is one of the most famous artists today.

Degas was born in Paris on July 19, 1834. His father was a very wealthy banker. At the age of only thirteen, his mother died. From the time that Degas was a young child, he had a very unpleasant attitude. He was restless, insecure and temperamental. His mother’s early death and the extremely strict school that he attended may have shaped this personality. Despite being ill tempered, Degas was extraordinarily talented at art.

Degas was especially interested in objects in motion, particularly the human figure. He observed people throughout his life to learn how all the muscles in the body work so that he could paint them better. He would attempt to catch his subjects in a moment in time, much like a photograph. Edgar’s paintings were usually put together asymmetrically and with very unusual angles. Many of his works appear to be cropped on the sides. All of his work has a photographic quality to it.

Before long, ballet dancers became Edgar’s favorite thing to paint. He had a live model in his studio that he would use to create his works of art. He painted many different ballet paintings, such as dancers at a performance, dancers on stage, dancers resting or waiting to perform and dancers entering a stage.

Degas was a very lonely man. He spent most of his time alone, working in his studio. He had no serious relationships with women and almost seemed to despise them, saying that women make men’s lives unbearable. This is very strange because he loved to paint women and paid very close attention to them, studying their every move.

Unfortunately, in the 1880s Degas’ eyesight started to fail. He began to use two new media’s which didn’t require so much visual acuity. The two Medias were pastels and sculptures. Even though he began to use new media’s, he still tried to capture moments in time and still painted things in motion. However, as he grew older his eyesight deteriorated more and more. When this happened, most of his new works were sculptures.

Degas died on September 27, 1917. He lived to be over 80 years old and worked as an artist for more than 60 years. He was not very well known while he was alive. This is because he didn’t show his works very much. After he died, people realized that he was an extraordinary artist.

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Why do People Love Oil Paintings?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 16, 2009 by

For many people, oil painting is one of the most amazing artwork. An artist apportion great amount of time in order to complete one artwork. He has to translate the image in his imagination through the strokes of his brush.

The effort and time that a painter puts in his masterpiece makes its value high. You might be wondering why many love to hang an expensive canvas oil painting on their wall. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. Most interior designers love artwork because it adds color and life. One piece of artwork can add so much to the room. It is like an instant makeover. If you have a blank wall, an artwork can definitely put more life into it. It will also draw the attention of the people who will enter the room.

2. Over-All Transformation. For example, your wall painting is dark; installing a painting with light colors will brighten the room. If you have a room with a modern design, a landscape painting will bring balance the stiffness of your space. It also creates drama in a very simple area. Bedrooms look more inviting with the installation of paintings with warm sceneries.

3. If you buy abstract art oil paintings and put it on your wall, it will add sophistication and elegance to your home.

4. Since, it is most usual that the value of paintings increases over the years, paintings and artworks will also serve as your investments. If you have invested in genuine paintings, you will surely take advantage of it in the future. Apart from that, these pieces are timeless. If you do not want to sell this piece of furniture in the future, you can always pass it on to your children.

5. It evokes various emotions from people who view it. People have different choices when it comes to art. This is because their emotion at that time is different. Usually, people choose a design of a canvas oil painting base on their emotional state. If they want to be happy, they will want to look at paintings that will make them feel that way. If they want to achieve a peaceful environment, they will consider that in making their choice.

Paintings, may it be Still Life or Abstract Art, are indeed an elegant piece for your home. Not only it gives glamour and sophistication but allows you to have something rest your eyes to.

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Naked Skin as Canvas

Posted in Painting Tips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2009 by

As we all know, social attitudes about artistic nudity have changed. This has from time to time led to conflict over art that no longer conforms to prevailing standards. Like for instance, some members of the Roman Catholic Church once organized the so-called “fig-leaf campaign” to cover nudity in art, starting from the works of Renaissance artist Michelangelo but the Church has since removed such fig leaves and restored the works.

The nude has become an enduring genre of representational art, especially painting, sculpture and photography. It depicts people without clothes, usually with stylistic and staging conventions that distinguish the artistic elements such as innocence or similar theatrical/artistic elements of being nude with the more provocative state of being naked.

A nude figure is one, such as a goddess or a man in ancient Greece, for whom the lack of clothing is its usual condition, so that there is no sexual suggestiveness presumed.

A special case, where nudity, though not permanent, is physically necessary for the art to be created and observed, is body art which uses the skin as the medium like a painter’s canvas upon which the markings are created.

While the techniques used, such as tattooing and scarification are often used in a more artisanal way, as most body markings have less of anaesthetic than a social and communicative purpose. Some clients carefully select artists and designs for artistic beauty to decorate significant skin surfaces, preferably coordinating the different designs — some like displaying them in public while others rather keep them hidden except in select company, accordingly preferring to mark body parts that are commonly clad.

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Miniature Paintings

Posted in Painting Tips with tags , , , , on February 8, 2009 by

Miniature painting, as its name itself implies, is a painting that is smaller than usual. More detail is employed on this type of artwork. Usually, a smooth surface is utilized to effectively paint on. According to history, miniature paintings originated from the medal depictions of ancient Rome. There is also some proof that it came from the ancient Egyptians, based on their writings in scrolls. If you check antique manuscripts, you will see that small paintings are made either on the book cases, book covers or on the edge and corner of the pages itself.

Miniature paintings were made to demonstrate some things that could not otherwise be expressed in words. Through time, the drawings become more complex and expressive. There was a time when portraits were made into small pieces so they can easily be carried around. This is very similar to our modern printable pictures that can easily fit in our wallets.

Some people think that for miniature artworks or pieces, the model themselves must be miniature. That is not so. Miniature artworks are simple paintings reduced to a small size. Great detail is put into these pieces so that they would effectively resemble its model, even if it is very small. That is why it takes a lot of effort and time to make one.

However, miniature paintings are not limited to being small. There are actually huge sizes of miniature paintings. It simply means that something very large (the model) is reduced to a minimum size. For example, one can create a big painting of a miniature town. It can be very tough since all necessary details must be employed, aside from the fact that they are minute.

Some miniature paintings are no larger than a square inch. This is the reason why most people opt for these miniature paintings to be placed in objects and act as design or accessory. Russian lacquer boxes often have miniature paintings. Others put it in jewelry boxes to further accentuate it.

Most of the subjects of miniature paintings are nature related, such as flowers, butterflies and insects.

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The Life of Vincent van Gogh

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , , on February 8, 2009 by

On the 30th day of March in 1853, a famous painter was born to parents Anna Cornelius Carbentus and Theodorus van Gogh. That artist is named Vincent van Gogh.

The first time that art became a part of Vincent’s life was when he was employed at The Hague Gallery. The French art dealers Goupil & Company, which was established by Vincent’s uncle, owns the gallery. Later, he became an assistant teacher and preacher.

Still wanting to be a clergyman, he went to Belgium and enrolled in a missionary school. This profession was short-lived however, so then the young man set forth to become an artist, which he perceived as the last resort to be closer to God.

Vincent’s younger brother Theo sent Vincent some money, due to the fact that he was still struggling to be an artist. He then returned to The Hague Gallery and asked his cousin Anton Mauve to teach him how to paint. His uncle commissioned him, hence his style of using bold colors were first brought to attention. The focus of his paintings was mostly the poor and the working class.

However, the market of his paintings was rather slow. Theo, his brother, has been trying to sell them. The slow sale of his work led to a clash between the brothers. Vincent van Gogh travelled, finally settling down in Antwerp, where he found the ideas, models and supplies that he needed to continue his chosen profession.

Later on, he moved in with his mother who lived in France (his father was already dead). There, he saw the works of Monet and other French artists. The artist was inclined to painting portraits. However, due to financial difficulties, he was unable to hire models. He opted to use himself as the model, utilizing a mirror during his painting sessions.

Through the years, Vincent perfected his craft and was earning well. As fate has it, the artist became ill with epilepsy, which forced him to have psychotic attacks from time to time. He continually grew worse. This was the same time when he cut off his ear and painted it. Another famous painting that he made during this time is the “Starry Night”, with which a popular song has been made in our generation.

He has been trying to commit suicide ever since. Once, he attempted to swallow some of his paints. He died on the 29th of July, in the year 1890, which was two days after he shot himself.

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History’s Five most costly Paintings

Posted in Painting Tips with tags , , , , , , on February 1, 2009 by

Art enthusiasts all over the world can attest to the fact that if one painting is expressive and you can relate to it, then it is a great artwork. What more if it was made by someone famous, or if the circumstances that surround the painting are noteworthy?

There are art collectors who would go to a certain extent for them to get what they want, whatever the cost. And that is exactly how biddings are won, because of the price. Here is a list of the five most expensive paintings in history.

Let us start with the fifth placer: Le BAL Au Moulin De La Galette, Montmartre. This painting, which costs $78 million, was created by Pierre-August Renoir in 1876. This French painter was one of the first to employ the Impressionist style in his works.

Grabbing the fourth place is the work of Vincent Van Gogh, entitled Portrait of Dr. Gachet. This painting amounted to $82.5 million. This portrait has two versions; one is in Paris, France, and the other, currently unknown.

The third place goes to Dora Maar au Chat, a creation of Pablo Picasso. It was bought in 2006 with the price of $95.2 million. It is an intense depiction of Picasso’s lover, Dora Maar, who shared his passions and leanings.

The second most expensive painting in history is another one of Picasso’s work: Garçon à la Pipe. Picasso broke from his usual Cubist style in this painting. It was made in 1904, during the early part of the artist’s life. It was sold for $104.1 million in 2004.

The most expensive painting to date was sold at a whopping $135 million. The painting, entitled Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, was a creation of Gustav Klimt in 1907. It took the artist three long years to complete the work, which paid really well. The Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is one of the artworks stolen by the Nazis during the Second World War.

The price of some of these paintings actually surprised the world of art, especially since they didn’t expect them to cost as much. But still, it is the collector himself who sets the value of painting with the intensity of their desire to get hold of it.

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