Amadeo Clemente Modigliani (1884-1920)
Born on the 12th July 1884. He died in January 1920 and had a short and difficult life. He was the fourth child of a Jewish family and was raised in poverty. At the age of 14 he contract typhoid and some two years later he suffered from tuberculosis.
In 1902 he enrolled at the Scuala Libera di Nudo in Florence and a year later moved to Venice, studying at the Institute of Belle Arti de Venezia. In 1906 Paris was the focal point of the avant-garde of the time. He moved to Paris and was influenced by Toulouse-Lautrec and was acquainted with Cezanne. Finally he developed his own unique style and was noted for his quick completion of his portraits.
During 1909 he returned to Livorno for a short time, suffering from the ravages of an excessive lifestyle. From 1909 to 1914 he concentrated on sculpture whilst still painting and drawing a little.
In 1917 he met Jeanne Hebuterne who became his companion and model. However, in 1919 he became severely ill with tuberculosis and died. The distraught and pregnant Jeanne Hebuterne committed suicide and they were buried together in Paris. Their orphaned daughter, also names Jeanne, was adopted by Modigliani's sister.i.
Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (February 5, 1819 – April 28, 1905) was an American artist who is known mostly for his paintings of wildlife. During most of his career, he was associated with the New York City art scene. Tait was born in Lively Hall near Liverpool, England. At eight years old, because his father went bankrupt he was sent to live with relatives in Lancaster. It is during that time that he became attached to animals. Later on, in Manchester, England, Agnew & Zanetti Repository of Art acquired Arthur Tait who began self-learning to paint, as a twelve-year-old boy. His work consisted mostly of reproduced lithography that were exposed for Agnew's exhibitions. In 1838, he left the Agnew lithography reproduction business to marry.
Claude Oscar Monet (1840 - 1926)
Born in Paris but raised in Le Havre, the second son of a shopkeeper, Claude Monet is regarded as one of the most important artists of the Impressionist Movement bringing the transient effect of natural light to its most refined expression.
By 1859 Monet had committed himself to a career as an artist and began to spend as much time in Paris as possible. During the 1860s he was associated with the pre-impressionist painter Edouard Manet, and with other aspiring French painters destined to form the impressionist school-Camille Pissarro, Pierre Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley.
In 1874 Monet and his colleagues decided to appeal directly to the public by organizing their own exhibition. Their work seemed sketchy and unfinished (like a first impression) but during the 1870s and 1880s Monet gradually refined this technique By the mid-1880s Monet, generally regarded as the leader of the impressionist school, had achieved significant recognition and financial security. He was recognized as an artist who sacrificed neither the true complexities of nature nor the intensity of his own feelings. Despite his failing eyesight, Monet continued to paint almost up to the time of his death, on December 5, 1926, at Giverny.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Born in Malaga, Spain the son of an artist, Jose Ruiz Blanco. Picasso began drawing at an early age and after his parents moved to Barcelona he studied at the la Lonja Academy of Fine Arts. In 1900 he held his first exhibition in Barcelona and later that year he went to Paris and finally settled there in 1904. His friends included Max Jacob, Gertrude and Leo Stein and Ambrose Vollard. 1901-1904 saw Picasso develop the Blue Period and in 1905 the Rose Period. His famous painting, les Demoiselle's d'Avignon 1907 heralded the evolution of Cubism. During 1925 through to the 1930's Picasso developed a more surrealistic style and he become interested in sculpture.
Vincent Willem van Gogh was born March 30, 1853 – 29 July 1890 he was a Dutch post-Impressionist painter whose work, notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty and bold color, had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. After years of painful anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness, he died aged 37 from a gunshot wound, generally accepted to be self-inflicted (although no gun was ever found). His work was then known to only a handful of people and appreciated by fewer still.
Van Gogh began to draw as a child, and he continued to draw throughout the years that led up to his decision to become an artist. He did not begin painting until his late twenties, completing many of his best-known works during the last two years of his life. In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,100 artworks, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches and prints. His work included self portraits, landscapes, still lifes, portraits and paintings of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers.
William-Adolphe Bouguereau, November 30, 1825 – August 19, 1905) was a French academic painter and traditionalist. In his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body. During his life he enjoyed significant popularity in France and the United States, was given numerous official honors, and received top prices for his work. As the quintessential salon painter of his generation, he was reviled by the Impressionist avant-garde. By the early twentieth century, Bouguereau and his art fell out of favor with the public, due in part to changing tastes. In the 1980s, a revival of interest in figure painting led to a rediscovery of Bouguereau and his work. Throughout the course of his life, Bouguereau executed 822 known finished paintings, although the whereabouts of many are still unknown.
John William Waterhouse (born between January and April 1849; died 10 February 1917) was an English painter known for working in the Pre-Raphaelite style. He worked several decades after the breakup of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which had seen its heyday in the mid-nineteenth century, leading him to have gained the moniker of "the modern Pre-Raphaelite". Borrowing stylistic influences not only from the earlier Pre-Raphaelites but also from his contemporaries, the Impressionists, his artworks were known for their depictions of women from both ancient Greek mythology and Arthurian legend.
Born in Italy to English parents who were both painters, he later moved to London, where he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Art. He soon began exhibiting at their annual summer exhibitions, focusing on the creation of large canvas works depicting scenes from the daily life and mythology of ancient Greece. Later on in his career he came to embrace the Pre-Raphaelite style of painting despite the fact that it had gone out of fashion in the British art scene several decades before.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age when Dutch Golden Age painting, although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative.
Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt's later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters. Rembrandt's greatest creative triumphs are exemplified especially in his portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity.
In his paintings and prints he exhibited knowledge of classical iconography, which he molded to fit the requirements of his own experience; thus, the depiction of a biblical scene was informed by Rembrandt's knowledge of the specific text, his assimilation of classical composition, and his observations of Amsterdam's Jewish population. Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called "one of the great prophets of civilization.
Edgar Degas born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas, 19 July 1834 – 27 September 1917, was a French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He is especially identified with the subject of dance; more than half of his works depict dancers. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, although he rejected the term, and preferred to be called a realist. He was a superb draftsman, and particularly masterful in depicting movement, as can be seen in his renditions of dancers, racecourse subjects and female nudes. His portraits are notable for their psychological complexity and for their portrayal of human isolation.
Degas was born in Paris, France, into a moderately wealthy family. He was the oldest of five children of Célestine Musson De Gas, a Creole from New Orleans, and Augustin De Gas, a banker. Degas (he adopted this less grandiose spelling of his family name when he became an adult) began his schooling at age eleven, enrolling in the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. His mother died when he was thirteen, and his father and grandfather became the main influences on him for the remainder of his youth.
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519, Old Style) was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote". Marco Rosci states that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time.
Leonardo was and is renowned primarily as a painter. Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait and The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of all time, with their fame approached only by Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam. Leonardo's drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro, textbooks, and T-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number because of his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination.
Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Klimt's primary subject was the female body; his works are marked by a frank eroticism.
Gustav Klimt was born in Baumgarten, near Vienna in Austria-Hungary, the second of seven children—three boys and four girls. His mother, Anna Klimt (née Finster), had an unrealized ambition to be a musical performer. His father, Ernst Klimt the Elder, formerly from Bohemia, was a gold engraver. All three of their sons displayed artistic talent early on. Klimt's younger brothers were Ernst Klimt and Georg Klimt.
Klimt lived in poverty while attending the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts (Kunstgewerbeschule), where he studied architectural painting until 1883. He revered Vienna's foremost history painter of the time, Hans Makart. Klimt readily accepted the principles of a conservative training; his early work may be classified as academic. In 1877 his brother, Ernst, who, like his father, would become an engraver, also enrolled in the school. The two brothers and their friend, Franz Matsch, began working together and by 1880 they had received numerous commissions as a team that they called the "Company of Artists". They also helped their teacher in painting murals in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Klimt began his professional career painting interior murals and ceilings in large public buildings on the Ringstraße, including a successful series of "Allegories and Emblems".
Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavor to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic inquiry, Cubism. The line attributed to both Matisse and Picasso that Cézanne "is the father of us all" cannot be easily dismissed.
Cézanne's often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne's intense study of his subjects.
The Cézannes lived in the town of Cesana now in West Piedmont, and the surname may be of Italian origin. Paul Cézanne was born on 19 January 1839 in Aix-en-Provence, in Provence in the South of France. On 22 February, Paul was baptized in the parish church, with his grandmother and uncle Louis as godparents. His father, Louis-Auguste Cézanne (28 July 1798 – 23 October 1886), was the co-founder of a banking firm that prospered throughout the artist's life, affording him financial security that was unavailable to most of his contemporaries and eventually resulting in a large inheritance.
El Greco, born 1541 (1541 – 7 April 1614) was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El Greco" (The Greek) was a nickname, a reference to his national Greek origin, and the artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters.
El Greco was born in Crete, which was at that time part of the Republic of Venice, and the center of Post-Byzantine art. He trained and became a master within that tradition before travelling at age 26 to Venice, as other Greek artists had done. In 1570 he moved to Rome, where he opened a workshop and executed a series of works. During his stay in Italy, El Greco enriched his style with elements of Mannerism and of the Venetian Renaissance. In 1577, he moved to Toledo, Spain, where he lived and worked until his death. In Toledo, El Greco received several major commissions and produced his best-known paintings.
El Greco's dramatic and expressionistic style was met with puzzlement by his contemporaries but found appreciation in the 20th century. El Greco is regarded as a precursor of both Expressionism and Cubism, while his personality and works were a source of inspiration for poets and writers such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Nikos Kazantzakis. El Greco has been characterized by modern scholars as an artist so individual that he belongs to no conventional school. He is best known for tortuously elongated figures and often fantastic or phantasmagorical pigmentation, marrying Byzantine traditions with those of Western painting.
Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa or simply Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (24 November 1864 – 9 September 1901) was a French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and illustrator whose immersion in the colourful and theatrical life of Paris in the late 1800s yielded a collection of exciting, elegant and provocative images of the modern and sometimes decadent life of those times. Toulouse-Lautrec, along with Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin, are among the most well-known painters of the Post-Impressionist period. In a 2005 auction at Christie's auction house a new record was set when La blanchisseuse, an early painting of a young laundress, sold for $22.4 million U.S.
Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa was born at the chateau de Malromé near Albi, Tarn in the Midi-Pyrénées région of France, the firstborn child of Comte Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa and Adèle Tapié de Celeyran. He was therefore a member of an aristocratic family (descendants of the Counts of Toulouse and Lautrec and the Viscounts of Montfa, a village and commune of the Tarn department of southern France). A younger brother was born on 28 August 1867, but died the following year.
After the death of his brother his parents separated and a nanny took care of Henri. At the age of eight, Henri went to live with his mother in Paris where he drew sketches and caricatures in his exercise workbooks. The family quickly realized that Henri's talent lay in drawing and painting, and a friend of his father, Rene Princeteau visited sometimes to give informal lessons. Some of Henri's early paintings are of horses, a specialty of Princeteau, and something he later visited in his 'Circus Paintings'.
Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix 26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school. Delacroix's use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish writer Walter Scott and the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Delacroix was born at Charenton (Saint-Maurice, Val-de-Marne), in Île-de-France, near Paris. There is reason to believe that his father, Charles-François Delacroix, was infertile at the time of Eugène's conception and that his real father was Talleyrand, who was a friend of the family and successor of Charles Delacroix as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and whom the adult Eugène resembled in appearance and character. Throughout his career as a painter, he was protected by Talleyrand, who served successively the Restoration and king Louis-Philippe, and ultimately as ambassador of France in Great Britain, and later by Talleyrand's grandson, Charles Auguste Louis Joseph, duc de Morny, half-brother of Napoleon III and speaker of the French House of Commons. His father, Charles Delacroix, died in 1805, and his mother Victoire (daughter of Jean-François Oeben) in 1814, leaving 16-year-old Eugene an orphan.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919) was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau."
Pierre-Auguste was the father of actor Pierre Renoir (1885-1952), filmmaker Jean Renoir (1894-1979) and filmmaker Claude Renoir (1901-69).
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France, the child of a working-class family. As a boy, he worked in a porcelain factory where his drawing talents led to his being chosen to paint designs on fine china. He also painted hangings for overseas missionaries and decorations on fans before he enrolled in art school. During those early years, he often visited the Louvre to study the French master painters.
Fernando Botero Angulo (born April 19, 1932) is a Colombian figurative artist. His works feature a figurative style, called by some "Boterismo", which gives them an unmistakable identity. Botero depicts women, men, daily life, historical events and characters, milestones of art, still-life, animals and the natural world in general, with exaggerated and disproportionate volumetry, accompanied by fine details of scathing criticism, irony, humor, and ingenuity.
Self-titled "the most Colombian of Colombian artists" early on, he came to national prominence when he won the first prize at the Salón de Artistas Colombianos in 1958. Working most of the year in Paris, in the last three decades he has achieved international recognition for his paintings, drawings and sculpture, with exhibitions across the world. His art is collected by major museums, corporations and private collectors.
Joseph Mallord William Turner (12 November 1789 – 7 August 1862) was an English painter who specialized in water colour landscapes. He was a contemporary of the more famous artist J. M. W. Turner and his style was not dissimilar. He is often known as William Turner of Oxford or just Turner of Oxford to distinguish him from his better known namesake. Many of Turner's paintings depicted the countryside around Oxford. One of his best known pictures is a view of the city of Oxford from Hinksey Hill.
In 1895 the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford held a retrospective exhibition of his work. Some of his paintings are still on permanent display at the museum. In 1984 the Oxfordshire County Council presented his work in an exhibition at the Oxfordshire County Museum in Woodstock. His paintings are also held in national and international collections, for example at the Tate Gallery (London, UK), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City, U.S.) and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery (New Zealand).
Turner was born at White Bourton, Oxfordshire. He was the eldest of three children, and had two younger sisters. His father died in 1791, and was raised during this early part of his life by his mother. In 1803 he went to live with his uncle, also called Willam Turner. Initially they lived in Burford but in 1804 moved to the manor house at Shipton-on-Cherwell.
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), commonly known as Michelangelo was an Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci.
Michelangelo was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime, and ever since then he has been held to be one of the greatest artists of all time. A number of his works in painting, sculpture, and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. His output in every field during his long life was prodigious; when the sheer volume of correspondence, sketches, and reminiscences that survive is also taken into account, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century.
Raphael (Raffaello) Sanzio da Urbino (April 6 or March 28, 1483 – April 6, 1520), better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.
Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop, and despite his death at 37, a large body of his work remains. Many of his works are found in the Apostolic Palace of The Vatican, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career. The best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome much of his work was self-designed, but for the most part executed by the workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality. He was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking. After his death, the influence of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th centuries, when Raphael's more serene and harmonious qualities were again regarded as the highest models. His career falls naturally into three phases and three styles, first described by Giorgio Vasari: his early years in Umbria, then a period of about four years (from 1504–1508) absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates.
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (30th of March 1746 – 16th of April 1828) was a Spanish romantic painter and print maker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era. The subversive imaginative element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet, Picasso and Francis Bacon.
Goya was born in Fuendetodos, Aragón, Spain, in 1746 to José Benito de Goya y Franque and Gracia de Lucientes y Salvador. He spent his childhood in Fuendetodos, where his family lived in a house bearing the family crest of his mother. His father, who was of Basque origin, earned his living as a gilder. About 1749, the family bought a house in the city of Zaragoza and some years later moved into it. Goya may have attended school at Escuelas Pias. He formed a close friendship with Martin Zapater at this time, and their correspondence from the 1770s to the 1790s is a valuable source for understanding Goya's early career at the court of Madrid. At age 14, Goya studied under the painter José Luzán. He moved to Madrid where he studied with Anton Raphael Mengs, a painter who was popular with Spanish royalty. He clashed with his master, and his examinations were unsatisfactory. Goya submitted entries for the Royal Academy of Fine Art in 1763 and 1766, but was denied entrance.
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez baptised (June 6, 1599 – August 6, 1660) was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist. In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, he painted scores of portraits of the Spanish royal family, other notable European figures, and commoners, culminating in the production of his masterpiece Las Meninas (1656).
From the first quarter of the nineteenth century, Velázquez's artwork was a model for the realist and impressionist painters, in particular Édouard Manet. Since that time, famous modern artists, including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Francis Bacon, have paid tribute to Velázquez by recreating several of his most famous works.
Born in Seville, Andalusia, Spain, Diego, the first child of João Rodrigues da Silva and Jerónima Velázquez, was baptized at the church of St Peter in Seville on Sunday, June 6, 1599. This christening must have followed the baby's birth by no more than a few weeks, or perhaps only a few days. Velázquez's paternal grandparents, Diego da Silva and Maria Rodrigues, had moved to Seville from their native Porto, Portugal decades earlier. As for João Rodrigues da Silva and his wife, both were born in Seville, and were married, also at the church of St Peter, on December 28, 1597. They came from the lesser nobility and were accorded the privileges generally enjoyed by the gentry.
Winslow Homer (February 24, 1836 – September 29, 1910) was an American landscape painter and print maker, best known for his marine subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th-century America and a preeminent figure in American art.
Largely self-taught, Homer began his career working as a commercial illustrator. He subsequently took up oil painting and produced major studio works characterized by the weight and density he exploited from the medium. He also worked extensively in watercolor, creating a fluid and prolific oeuvre, primarily chronicling his working vacations.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1836, Homer was the second of three sons of Charles Savage Homer and Henrietta Benson Homer, both from long lines of New Englanders. His mother was a gifted amateur water colorist and Homer's first teacher, and she and her son had a close relationship throughout their lives. Homer took on many of her traits, including her quiet, strong-willed, terse, sociable nature; her dry sense of humor; and her artistic talent. Homer had a happy childhood, growing up mostly in then rural Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was an average student, but his art talent was evident in his early years.
Homer's father was a volatile, restless businessman who was always looking to "make a killing". When Homer was thirteen, Charles gave up the hardware store business to seek a fortune in the California gold rush. When that failed, Charles left his family and went to Europe to raise capital for other get-rich-quick schemes that didn't materialize.
John Singer Sargent (12 January 1856 – 14 April 1925) was an American artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.
His parents were American, but he was trained in Paris prior to moving to London. Sargent enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter, although not without controversy and some critical reservation; an early submission to the Paris Salon, his "Portrait of Madame X", was intended to consolidate his position as a society painter, but it resulted in scandal instead. From the beginning his work was characterized by remarkable technical facility, particularly in his ability to draw with a brush, which in later years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality. His commissioned works were consistent with the grand manner of portraiture, while his informal studies and landscape paintings displayed a familiarity with Impressionism. In later life Sargent expressed ambivalence about the restrictions of formal portrait work, and devoted much of his energy to mural painting and working en plein air. He lived most of his life in Europe.
Wassily Kandinsky (1866 - 1944)
Born in Russia, Dec 1866, in Moscow. His father was a tea merchant and when he was 5 the family moved to Odessa. Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc were founder members of the Blaue Reiter group of artists, along with Paul Klee and August Macke. Kandinsky is an important innovator of modern art and played a pivotal role in the development of abstract expressionist painting and he was an influential artist of his time
Born in Munich in 1880, the son of a landscape artist. Marc studied art in Munich and in 1903 he visit France and studied the work of the impressionist artists.
From 1904 to 1907, he suffered from severe depression, but in 1907 he returned to Paris and was excited by the work of Gauguin and van Gogh. By 1910 Marc had discovered Matisse's work and he held his first solo exhibition in Munich. It was there he met Auguste Macke. In 1911 he and Wassily Kandinsky formed Der Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider), an influential and avant-garde group of artists. One of the primary aims of this group was to use art to express spirituality.
Marc enlisted at the outbreak of World War 1 and was killed in military action at Verdun in 1916, following in the footsteps of his by then good friend, August Macke. He was just 36 years old
Born into a bourgeoisie household in Paris, France, in 1832, Edouard Manet was fascinated by painting at a young age. His parents disapproved of his interest, but he eventually went to art school and studied the old masters in Europe. Manet's most famous works include "The Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia." Manet led the French transition from realism to impressionism. By the time of his death, in 1883, he was a respected revolutionary artist.
Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse (December 31, 1869 - November 3, 1954) was a noted French artist, working in a number of modes, but principally as a painter he is considered one of the most significant artists of the early 20th century. He was born in Le Cateau, Picardy and grew up in Bohain-en-Vermandois.
In 1887 he went to Paris to study law. After gaining his qualification he worked as a court administrator in Cateau Cambresis. But following an attack of appendicitis during his convalescence he took up painting. On his recovery he returned to Paris in 1891 to study art at the Académie Julian and became a student of Odilon Redon and Gustave Moreau. Influenced by the works of Edouard Manet, Paul Signac and Paul Cézanne he painted in the Fauvist manner, becoming known as a leader of that movement.
His first exhibition was in 1901 and his first solo exhibition in 1904. His fondness for bright and expressive colour became more pronounced after he moved southwards in 1905 to work with André Derain and spent time on the French Riviera, his paintings marked by having the colors keyed up into a blaze of intense shades and characterized by flat shapes and controlled lines, with expression dominant over detail. The decline of the Fauvist movement after 1906 did nothing to affect the rise of Matisse; he had moved beyond them and many of his finest works were created between 1906 and 1917.
In 1921 Matisse settled in Nice and continued to work in a more luxurious environment with less attention and a more 'decorative' style. In 1941 Matisse was diagnosed with cancer and following surgery he soon needed a wheelchair; this did not stop his work however. But as increased weakness made a easel impossible he created paper cut collages called papiers découpés, often of some size, which still demonstrated his eye for color and geometry.
He died in Nice. Unlike many artists he had international fame and popularity during his lifetime. Right from his early shows in Paris he attracted collectors and critics.