Even writing the words “Top 10 painters of all time” makes me cringe a little bit because … really? Really? I find it a herculean task to narrow a list down to the best 100 oil painting artists of all time, let alone just 10.However, I wanted to look back and reflect on the artists — particularly painters of the past, in this case — and artworks that have inspired me and decide who I would put on the hallowed walls of my own art hall of fame.
Category Art History
Did Leonardo da Vinci Sketch an Unclothed Mona?Leonardo da Vinci is having an art world revival with the 500th anniversary of his death coming in 2019. There’s a Leonardo di Caprio bio pic on the horizon and a recent new biography hitting the stands.Now Parisian curators and conservators have come down on the side of an X-Rated Leo.
Rembrandt: The Ultimate Draftsman … with a PaintbrushWhen it comes to being able to draw with a paintbrush, no one can touch Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. He was able to turn abstract brushstrokes into forms with texture, weight and liveliness.Rembrandt could turn two swipes of a painting brush loaded with white paint into the coarse cloth of a girl’s sleeve.
Expression Through PaintingIn a letter to Theo in July 1890, van Gogh said, “We cannot speak other than by our paintings.” Painting was the truest form of expression for him. van Gogh’s particular style was full of expressive lines and vibrant colors. He used his art to communicate his feelings, speaking through the paint.
Vincent Van Gogh’s life is a veritable tangle of passion, longing, misunderstood genius, and masterpiece upon masterpiece. We help you untangle the knot of this impenetrable genius’s life, piece by piece, from the moment he was born right up to 2017, when Van Gogh’s Starry Night inspired one teenage girl to fuel her creativity instead of self harming.
Well, it sort of was … but then it really wasn’t. The Paul Gauguin painting titled Nafea faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) sold for a whopping $300 million in 2015, making it the “world’s most expensive painting”–supposedly.However, that title has now be revoked because the painting didn’t actually sell for that price.
Creative Links That Unite Watercolor MastersWhen you start to explore watermedia art it is sooooo useful to first look to your watercolor masters! Learning about how really successful and skilled artists do their thing is like a Yellow Brick Road for you. You find your way by following their path.Gain inspiration, because of course the work is beautiful, and also gain insight into how they execute more complicated techniques.
Les TournesolsSunflowers are the subject of some of Vincent van Gogh’s most well-known paintings. He created his first group of sunflowers while living in Paris in 1887. This series depicts cut sunflowers lying across a tabletop.He painted a second series of sunflowers, which are some of the more famous of the flowers in vases, in Arles, Southern France, in 1888-89.
The Master Among Still Life ArtistsIt’s quite sad that 18th-century painter Luis Egidio Meléndez died poor and relatively unknown. Yet, he is now recognized as one, if not the, greatest still life artists of his day.His style and approach for his still life art breathed new life into a genre that was already well established.
Not only was Edgar Degas (1834-1917) both one of the greatest painters and greatest draftsmen of the 19th century but he was also an experimenter with art materials and a master of monotype printmaking. “Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty,” an exhibition on view until July 24 at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York City, reveals the depth of his achievements in this medium.
Painting in Dreams of ColorIf there is a hallmark of the work of Maxfield Parrish, it is the brilliance of his colors. That along with enchanting figures set in pastoral landscapes make up the signature style of this twentieth century illustrator, and help explain just why he is one of the most beloved American artists in history.
The Mona Lisa … Gone Up in SmokeEach day, people from all over the globe travel to Paris to visit the most famous oil painting in the world, the Mona Lisa. Many are just curious, and want to see the real thing for themselves. Some admire the famous enigmatic smile, the perfect proportions and ideal composition of the piece.
There are many different shades of blue that have changed the art scene. Cobalt Blue, Prussian Blue and more have expanded the blue palette for artists. Ultramarine is ultra chic, and it’s here to stay.Enjoy this edition of Color Story, one of the many features from the newly relaunched Artists Magazine, the publication that is all about creative chaos, the fun aspects of painting and drawing, and living an artful life.
Many artists develop a signature style not just with their paintings but also with their clothing. Georgia O’Keeffe was no exception. In Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern, an exhibit currently at the Brooklyn Museum, many of O’Keeffe’s signature pieces are on display. The show was curated by modernist scholar Wanda Corn.
An American Master and Drawing Was His ThingA few years ago, I left Manhattan and went to Manhattan — Kansas, that is. I was a bit wary as I landed in the midst of a harsh storm, but looked forward to seeing all the Midwest had to offer. During my trip, I visited the Nelson-Atkins Museum, in Kansas City, Missouri, and rediscovered the work of Thomas Hart Benton.
The Harrowing History of The Color Red — Pastelists, Take Heed!Valentine’s Day, February 14, is a day associated with romance. But the historical origins of the day are clouded in folklore with roots based in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, a pagan fertility celebration. In 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius recast the holiday as a Christian feast day commemorating Saint Valentine.
Take a Trip Around the World with MatisseVisiting Henri Matisse in his studio in Vence, France, in 1944, the journalist Marguette Bouvier noted that “Congolese tapestries hang on the wall …” and that the artist had “… brought his shells and Chinese porcelains, his moucharaby Moroccan textile screens and his marble table and all the strange objects with which he loves to surround himself.
Gustave Courbet: The Rebel of the Romantic MovementLearning the details of an artist’s life — the drama, the struggles, the mundane — can make their history and contributions to art really come alive. Gustave Courbet’s life fits that bill.I loved discovering all the details of how he was heralded as a rebel of the Romantic movement.
History, Symbolism and Secret Powers of the Color GreenAs we celebrate the oncoming spring season, we uncover the curious history and interesting stories that surround the color green. See how it has inspired artists for centuries.Get to know the symbolism of this color and how artists use it best. No matter the hue, if you paint it green, it will make an impression that lasts.
He Enlisted in Uncle Sam’s Camouflage UnitMinimalist great Ellsworth Kelly, best known for his hard-edge painting, entered into the war efforts of World War II in 1943. He requested to join the 603rd Engineers Camouflage Battalion, which filled its ranks with artists and was known as the Ghost Army.Fine Art in WarIn World War I, artists in the French military were the first to be assigned to a unit specifically designed to use art in combat.
How Winslow Homer Became One of the Medium’s Greatest MastersPerhaps America’s greatest maritime painter, Winslow Homer became one of the masters of the watercolor medium as well. Mostly self-taught, Homer is known for the visceral force of the waves in his oil paintings, but his watercolors are an antidote to any visual heaviness and weight.