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Friday, 20 September 2013

Famous Painters and Their Paintings of 19th and 20th Century Part (2)

Famous Painters and Their Paintings of 19th and 20th Century Part (2)

Animated Collage of  Famous Painters and Their Paintings of 19th and 20th Century Part (2)

Edward Hopper (1882-1967):

Edward Hopper (1882-1967):

Edward Hopper is considered one of the most seminal modern American artists of the 20th century. Hopper was a New York native, born on July 22, 1882 in upper Nyack, which was a yacht-building community on the Hudson River. Raised in a relatively comfortable middle-class life, he was one of two children from a merchant couple of Dutch ancestry. He and his sister were privileged with good education, and were raised Baptist in a somewhat conservative household.

In 1899, Hopper formalized his art training by undertaking a correspondence course and later on enrolling at the New York Institute of Art and Design. He considered French masters and impressionists Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas as his early influences. A professor, fellow artist Robert Henri, instilled in Hopper the courage to paint with emotion, with a statement, or with a point of view. This would become very evident in Hopper’s later and most definitive works.

He painted modern cityscapes and urban dwellers in a moody, dark palette. At the same time, Hopper’s continued on with his alternative idyllic subjects such as seascapes and rural scenery. Hopper’s works were marked with a calculated discipline in composition, with clever and compelling visual balance that draws the viewer’s eyes to desired subjects in the frame. A viewer would sense highly dramatic tension from Hopper’s scenes, especially those involving human subjects. Void of dynamism or physical action, the subjects communicated instead with nuances. Hopper’s works usually expressed and elicited solitude, withdrawal, pensiveness, regret, and other emotional themes.

With Edward Hopper’s death in 1967, and, subsequently, his wife’s 10 months later, their collection of his more than three thousand works went mostly to the Whitney Museum of American Art—rightfully so for this American artist who successfully and every so poignantly captured the tension and irony of modern American life.

1) Edward Hopper, the famous realist painter, painted Automat in 1927. The oil on canvas painting depicts a woman alone drinking a cup of coffee in an automat. The imagery and symbolism within this painting is meant to speak of the turbulent times in which it was painted. The most obvious image in the Automat is the lone woman sitting in an automated diner. Through the window behind her, the viewer sees the pure dark night. 

2) Early Sunday Morning is a painting by the American artist Edward Hopper. He produced it in 1930, and it captures a typical morning scene in a part of New York City. The painting is particularly noted for Hopper’s accomplished use of light. The artwork is currently owned by the Whitney Museum of American Art.

3) Hotel Lobby is an oil painting done on a canvas, which was created by the American realist painter. It shows two women in the main lobby. The woman on the right is in a blue dress, seated with her legs crossed; the woman on the left is an older woman, in a red coat, and a hat. In front of the older woman is a gentleman that is standing, holding an overcoat in his arm. A framed landscape painting is on the left hand side above the woman, and there is a clerk that is found behind the check in desk as well.

4) Room in New York (1932)Edward Hopper has an uncanny ability to infuse even the most mundane scene with a sense of anxiety and even dread. This is true of his  Room in New York (1932)Painted as if glimpsed through a window, Hopper’s painting takes place at night. A man sits in an overstuffed armchair, intensely reading a paper. A woman in a red dress sits, unhappily turned away from him, at a black, upright piano. One finger gently touches one of its keys. Her dress is festive.

5) In 1929 Edward Hopper painted Chop Suey with oil on canvas. It is 32 by 38 inches and is located in the collection of Barney A. Ebsworth.Many critics think that the woman featured in the painting is facing her doppelganger. Others believe this is not true because the face of the other woman cannot be seen. Light on the subjects is one of the most important features that Hopper enjoyed painting.

6) A first look at Office at Night (by Edward Hopper) might trick a viewer into thinking that nothing odd is going on. A man sits at his desk going over some papers while his secretary has opened the file cabinet. But on closer examination, it begins to dawn on the viewer that something out of the ordinary is happening in Hopper’s beautifully composed oil painting. For one thing, why are these two people in the office at night? What has happened that’s caused them to work so late? Has some emergency called them back to the office? Is something not quite reputable going on that requires the two of them to be there after everyone else has gone home?

Diego Rivera (1886-1957):

Diego Rivera (1886-1957):

Diego Rivera was born on December 8, 1886 in Guanajuato, Mexico. At the age of two, his family had already set him up an art studio; he couldn’t even read. They moved to Mexico City in 1892. His mom descended from Jews that had converted to Roman Catholicism, and his dad descended from Spanish Royalty. At the age of ten, Diego took evening classes at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City. He enrolled in military college to impress his dad, but quit two weeks later.

In 1909, he met Angelina Belhoff, a Russian painter. She became his common law wife for the next 12 years. They ended up having a son, Diego, in 1916. They traveled Europe together, and participated in several shows. Around 1918, he met Elie Fauve, who became his best friend throughout his life. Elie kindled Rivera’s love of murals, and convinced him to go study the masters. He was appointed head of the Department of Plastic Crafts at the Ministry of Education, which he held until 1938. Rivera also created the union of Technical Workers, Painters, and Sculptors in 1930, with buddies Jose Clemente Orozco and David Siqueiros.

In November of 1930, he received his first commission from America which was at the Stock Exchange Club. He received a second soon after at the California School of Fine Arts. After that, Nelson Rockefeller asked him to paint a mural at the Radio Corporations Arts building. Unfortunately, it was destroyed because it had Lenin on it, and America was anti-communist.

In 1940, Frida and Diego were separated, divorced, and remarried within the same year. He was given a commission soon after at the Hotel de Prado, and he painted a mural with a phrase that said “God does not exist.” The mural was not shown for nine years. In July of 1954, Frida died, and Diego was deeply upset. Only after she died did he realize how much he loved her.The next year though, he married his art dealer, whom he had known since 1946. Diego had an operation soon after and she cared for him. He died on November 24, 1957 and is buried at the Rotunda of Famous Men in the Civil Pantheon of Mourning.

1) This work, Man, Controller of the Universe is considered his most important work. It depicts the emergence of man into a new scientific and industrial age. The center of the image displays a robust man dressed in worker’s coveralls and wearing heavy gloves. His hand grasps a lever. Behind him is a part of a giant cog. What appear to be four wings splay out from this central figure. Inside each wing are transcendent scenes of stars and galaxies, but also biological organisms, including cells and bacterium.On either side masses of humanity representing many facets of the human race are gathered and engaged in various activities, from marching soldiers to workers sitting on barrels and industrial pipes.

2) Diego Rivera’s oil on canvas painting entitled La Mujer del Pozo was painted in 1913. The mix of abstract art and Aztec imagery are just a few ways to describe this painting. The bold use of the color green and blue add depth while yellow, brown and pale pinks cover inch of white space. The woman’s oval shaped face and sullen look combined with her traditional dress add to the paintings appeal. The juxtaposition of the shapes and surfaces helps to invoke a series of emotions, while the cubist technique is executed beautifully.

3) The top of Frozen Assets features many of the most popular skyscrapers in New York City. These vary in color and there are fine details to show the true structure and architecture of them. The middle of the painting shows rows of sleeping men in a shelter of steel and glass. Underneath that is the waiting room of a bank with people on the outside as well as the inside. These scenes were meant to show the effects of the Great Depression, which was going on at that time. The colors are dark and most look gloomy to represent the sadness.

4) En el Arsenal is one of the best artworks of Diego Rivera, where he has used bold colors to portray the historical context of Mexican revolution. The painting is a part of the series, “political views of the Mexican people.” The Arsenal demonstrates Diego’s support in the Workers movement during that century. Diego went to great lengths to depict certain individuals and supporters in this painting. In the center of the painting, Frida Kahlo hands out guns to the workers who have decided to fight in the Agrarian revolution.

5) The Flower Carrier is an oil and tempera piece made on Masonite that was created by Diego Rivera in 1935. The painting is a symbolic portrayal of the struggles of a worker in a modern, capitalistic world. The peasant on the ground in the painting has a large basket filled with beautiful and bright pink and purple flowers inside of it. The basket is much larger than the peasant, and it appears to be weighing him down considerably. There is a woman loading the basket onto his back, who is actually much larger than the peasant. She is wearing a purple top with a long orange pleated skirt that covers her legs completely. Behind them are leaves from bushes and the earth under them is brown. The colors of the two people and the flowers stand out completely from the background.

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978):

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978):

Norman Percevel Rockwell was America’s most loved illustrator who was initially insecure about his works, preferring to call them illustrations rather than art. But whatever they were called, he and his pieces gained fame and popularity because he was able to put across nostalgia in his works, a kind of utopia where everything was simple and everyone was nice and kind – the American dream summed up. He told visual stories about everyday life, indeed it was in his illustrations where one could feel and taste the American spirit. He shared the same hopes and dreams with everybody when he himself said, “I paint life as I would like it to be”, thus becoming both hero and friend to everybody. Famous filmmaker Steven Spielberg had even described him as the best person who had ever painted the American dream.

Norman was born on February 3, 1894 in New York. His father was Jarvis Waring Rockwell, Sr. and was a manager for a textile firm, while his mother was Anne Mary Hill. He had an older brother named Jarvis Jr.

At the age of 14, Norman left high school to study art first at the Chase Art School, then at the National Academy of Design, and lastly at the Art Students League where he graduated. Even as a student, Norman had shown both sense of humor and discipline. In 1912, when he was still a student and just 18 years old, Norman was given a big break when he was commissioned to do the illustrations for the book titled “Tell Me Why: Stories About Mother Nature” by Carl Harry Claudy.

Upon graduation in 1913, Norman was immediately hired as Art Editor for Boy’s Life, a publication by the Boy Scouts of America. His first published cover for this magazine was titled “Scout at Ship’s Wheel” for its September 1913 edition.

In 1916, Norman moved to another part of the city. He shared an apartment with a cartoonist working for the Saturday Evening Post named Clyde Forsythe, and it was Clyde who helped him submit his illustration titled “Mother’s Day Off” to that publication. Within one year, Norman had already done 8 cover illustrations, and in the span of four decades working for the Saturday Evening Post, he was able to do a total of 332 original cover illustrations. Such was the popularity Norman had gained that the Post needed an automatic 250,000 increase in copies whenever the cover was done by him.

Norman’s second wife, Mary, died in 1959. In 1961, he was again married to Molly Punderson, an English teacher. He died of emphysema at the age of 84 on November 8, 1978.

Norman Rockwell’s compositions are known for their painstaking detail, paying attention to texture and color. His figures are known for being expertly exaggerated while still maintaining their realism. Among the awards he received was the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 for his “vivid and affectionate portraits”. This is the highest honor given to a civilian.

1) Freedom of Speech was the first in a series of four paintings which depict examples of the four basic freedoms of Americans. Freedom of Speech depicts a young man who appears to be of the American working class, given his plain clothing over which he wears a plain, brown jacket. Protruding from a front pocket of the jacket is a folded document that appears to bear importance in the matter at hand.

2) The Problem We All Live With is an oil on canvas painting by the American artist Norman Rockwell, produced in 1964. Rockwell had produced many works with a social or political theme. This painting was created at a time when racial desegregation was causing conflict throughout the U.S. Education was no longer segregated on the basis of color, and African-American children could attend schools which had previously been all white. 

The painting shows a young African-American girl in a white dress, with white shoes and socks. She is carrying items she needs in school in her left hand. She is walking, and is escorted by four U.S. marshals, two in front of her and two behind, whose heads are not shown. They are dressed in plain clothes, but wearing armbands to show their authority. They are there to protect the girl from protesters, none of whom are shown.

3) Breaking Home Ties by Norman Rockwell was created specifically for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post and appeared on the September 25, 1954 edition.

The painting depicts a young man, his father, and a dog sitting beside a farm truck. The clever placement of a partially visible train ticket in the boys pocket and a rail in the foreground suggests the son and his Dad are awaiting the arrival of a train that will carry the boy away from home. Books and a “State U” pennant further tell us he is off to college. The father’s posture is slumped, indicating sadness over his son’s departure.

4) Russian Schoolroom is an interesting oil painting by Norman Rockwell which dates back to 1967. This is a depiction of a class of attentive Russian students, who are supposedly listening to their teacher’s lesson. On the left there is also a bust of Vladimir Lenin who was a Soviet leader. There is one boy who is not focusing as the other students are, and he is evidently looking to the other side.

This painting was used as an illustration in Look magazine with the intent of providing more detail about the Soviet life in those years. It is a subtle way of depicting non-conformity in a very strict political era.

5) Rosie the Riveter is an oil painting that is a classic example of Regionalism. The imagery of the piece became a symbol for the millions of “Rosies” across America working for the World War II effort. In the picture, Rosie is portrayed wearing denim work wear, eating her lunch sandwich, with her rivet gun at rest on her knee. The painting was commissioned as cover art for the Saturday Evening Post magazine in 1943.

M.C. Escher (1898-1972):

M.C. Escher (1898-1972):

Maurits Cornelis Escher, more popularly known as M.C. Escher, was born in the Netherlands on June 17, 1898. His father, George Arnold Escher, was a civil engineer, and his mother was Sara Gleichman. He was the youngest of 4 children. Maurits was a sickly boy, and although his grades were relatively poor, he did, however, excel in drawing. He took up piano lessons and classes in carpentry until the age of 13. He then went to the Haarlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts in 1919, where he had initially studied Architecture but transferred to Graphic Arts after only one week. He left the school in 1922 after having gained knowledge on drawing and wood cutting.

Maurits then traveled extensively. In 1922, upon seeing the Alhambra, a 14th century Moorish castle, for the first time, Maurits became engrossed with the Regular Division of the Plane. This principle of plane division which is based on tessellation or tiling is the covering of a surface or plane with interlocking shapes. It was also during his travels when he met his wife, Jetta Umiker, in 1924. They resided in Rome but each year, Maurits would travel around Italy to draw and sketch which would serve as basis for his works. They had one son named Giorgio Arnaldo. World War II forced the family to return to the Netherlands. Maurits died at the age of 73 on March 27, 1972.

Maurits became famous for his works combining impossible reality, infinity, and tessellation. His first work was a woodcut print done in 1937 titled “Still Life and Street” which showed books resting on two adjacent buildings, a huge jar in the crossroads, and tiny dolls between the two buildings. During this time, Maurits became interested with the plane symmetry groups after his brother sent him an academic paper by George Polya about the said concept. He since then applied some mathematical approach in expressing symmetry in his works.

1) The Waterfall by M.C. Escher is a famous litograph print that features a paradoxical element. This litograph was a masterpiece of the Dutch artist, Mauritz Cornelis Escher, which he created in 1961.

This 1961 litograph represents a small city or village set in a high aqueduct, and features the waterwheel as the central image. The aqueduct’s walls step downward, and this figure makes it appear as though it is sloping downhill. Furthermore, the aqueduct seems to turn thrice – once to the left, twice straight ahead, and thrice towards the left.

Based on Escher’s idea of the picture, some water should be added periodically to the perpetual motion machine, so it could compensate for the process of evaporation. Moreover, the two solid towers that support the structure are topped by two polyhedra. To a typical observer, the painting may appear as though everything is in perfect place. However, you will discover that there are strange elements in it as the water seems to flow uphill, which is a rather confusing element of this litograph.

2) Relativity by M. C. Escher is a classic lithograph that presents the visual imagery of a world where the laws of gravity have ceased to exist. This lithograph was first printed in December of 1953, and it has become a legendary work of surrealist imagery.

3) Ascending and Descending is a lithograph finished in March 1960 measuring 14 by 11.25 inches, depicting an abstract theme with a never-ending staircase on top of a large building. Painted completely in a monochromatic artistic vision, the large building is merely a distraction from the impossible squares on top of the roof. The squared shaped stairs loop is filled with identically dressed men. Escher used the Penrose stairs as an inspiration to create an endless staircase in which a group of people keep climbing but never get any higher. The stairs are also called the impossible staircase. Escher developed the theme even further in the Waterfall, finished one year later.

4) Three Worlds is a lithograph painting dating back to the year 1955. It is one of the most popular works of art by M.C. Escher because it provides a deep insight of different worlds. The print essentially shows a pool or lake, where one can see several leaves floating on the water’s surface. One can also see several trees reflected in the water. Thus one can get a look of the water’s surface, which is one of the worlds, as well as the ‘second world’ where one can see what lies above the surface. The ‘third world’ is the life beneath the water, where one can see a large fish swimming.

5) House of Stairs is another lithograph print by M.C. Escher, a Dutch artist that came up with really interesting works of art that inspire one to look into the details and think beyond what the eye can see. House of Stairs was first printed in the year 1951 and it is black and white.In it one can see the interior of a very tall structure full of stairs and doorways. There are 46 creatures crawling up and down the stairs. These lizard-like creatures were created by Escher and they are referred to as “wentelteefje.

6) Another World by Maurits Cornelis (M.C.) Escher is also sometimes referred to as Other World.This particular creation was completed in 1947 and is of the woodcut print variety.

Another World displays a 5-sided cube featuring brick filled open archways on all sides. The bottom archway appears to be looking up from the base. The bottom area appears as an almost three dimensional view of space. The top archway is closed as would be a ceiling. In the middle, we see a crater like surface that looks out upon a galaxy. In each perspective we see either a human-faced birdlike creature (statue) or a cornucopia or horn dangling from chains. This work is one of paradox, portraying an inconsistency of the senses.

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989):

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Salvador Dalí was one of the most eccentric artists ever. He dubbed a spectacular handle bar mustache, beginning in the 1920’s, and is best known for his achievements in Surrealism Art. He used many methods to reflect his ideas, including paint, charcoal, film, and sculpture, all which were amusing and avant garde in their time.

Born on May 11, 1904, Dalí was told from the beginning that he was a reincarnation of his brother who had died nine months before he was born. His parents told him this often, and he was named after his dead brother. Throughout his life, he often reflected upon this, and he believed it himself. His artistic ambitions were encouraged from a young age, and he attended a drawing school on his youth. In 1919, at the age of 14, Dalí’s dad held an exhibition in their house for him.Besides Picasso, Dalí was influenced by Raphael, a Renaissance artist, Vermeer, a Dutch Baroque artist, and Velazquez, a Spanish Baroque artist. His work does not reflect their influence on him too much, but those were the artists he appreciated most.

In 1929, he met Luis Buñuel. Together, they made and produced a movie called Un Chien Andalou. It was 17 minutes long, and it incorporated all the Surrealists ideals. In it, ants come out of a watch, which later he painted in his painting, the Persistence of Memory. It is black and white, and in the beginning of the film, a boy on a bicycle is hit by a car, and ants start coming out from his hand. The film has no plot, and is suppose to make the viewer seem like they are dreaming. On the set of making this short film, he met Gala, a Russian immigrant whom he fell in love with. She was eleven years older than him, and she was married to a Surrealist poet at the time. His father disapproved of her and her connection with the Surrealists. In 1930, Dalí exhibited in Paris a work with a surrealist exhibit of the “Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.” Underneath the drawing, it said, “sometimes, I spit on my mother’s portrait just for fun.” His father begged him to apologize for the rude comment, and when Dalí refused, his father disinherited him.

The next year, he came out with The Persistence of Memory, which is considered his best work. In the painting, pocket watches melt on braches and counter tops. Another watch has ants spewing out, reminiscent of the movie. On the right, half a face is laying on the ground, which is another image that Dalí uses in several of his paintings. The image is usually interpreted as representing Einstein’s theory on time, since the theory had been written and printed around that time.In 1982, Franco was out of power, and a King was on the throne again. King Juan Carlos gave Dalí the title of Marqués de Dalí de Púbol. The King’s favorite artist was Dalí, and Dalí gave him the last drawing he ever made. Gala died later that year, and he was deeply depressed. Dalí lost all will to live, and attempted suicide by dehydrating himself. He was moved to his castle in Púbol, which he had built for Gala, and a fire started in his room. He was rescued, but it was always believed to have been started by Dalí as another attempt at suicide. In November 1988, Dalí was taken to the hospital for heart failure. He suffered there for three months, and on January 23, 1989, Dalí died, with King Juan Carlos by his side.

1) The Persistence of Memory was painted by Salvador Dali in 1931 and is one of his most famous works. Surrealism was a cultural movement which had its origins in the 1920’s. Surrealist works of art feature an element of surprise, unforeseen comparisons, and irreverent humor. At times this art, which is a free flowing expression of the artist’s imagination, is difficult to interpret and The Persistence of Memory is no exception. It uses the concept of hard and soft objects.

2) The Ecumenical Council has various special attributes which make it not only a masterpiece, but also an interesting painting that calls for a lot of attention and comprehension. In the painting one can see several religious scenes. There are also numerous symbols that are related to Dali himself.At the top, in the center of the painting one can see the Holy Trinity. The Father is not shown as the traditional old man, but rather a young man, painted in gold. He is covering his face and Dali decided not to paint his genitals. To the left of the Father, Dali painted Jesus, holding a cross in his hand. On the right there is the Holy Spirit with a dove flying above. In between one can see a scene that refers to the coronation of the Pope. Just below this, Dali painted his own wife, kneeling down and in her hands one can see a cross and a book. Many critics claimed that they thought that Dali wanted her to look like St. Helena, the saint who had found relics of the cross.

3) Christ of Saint John of the Cross is by far one of the most famous religious paintings of modern day. Painted in 1951. A surreal vision of Jesus Christ a year before the painting was completed served as the inspiration for this masterpiece. The religious image came to Dali full of different hues that seemed to stick in his mind. He saw an image of Christ from the view of God. This angle was strategically drawn and the painter used an actual muse to get an accurate perspective on how the body would dangle from a cross.

4) Swans Reflecting Elephants is an interesting oil on canvas painting by Spanish artist Salvador Dalí. This painting dates back to the year 1937 . Salvador Dalí liked to make use of double images. This was one of his most common techniques. In fact this painting comes from his Paranoiac-critical period where he tried to create visual illusions and hallucinatory forms. The double images in this painting are the swans and the elephants.

5) The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus was painted in 1959 by Salvador Dalí. The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus was one of the greatest masterworks of Dali. The original painting is 14 feet tall and 9 feet wide and comprises of all sorts of symbolism from Spanish history to the Christian religion. Dali derived inspiration for the theme and colors of his painting from The Surrender of Breda by Spanish painter, Velazquez. Apart from Gala (Dali’s wife, who was always his chief muse) and Velazquez, Dali was also inspired by Columbus. It was believed that Columbus was Catalonian, not Italian and Dali also belongs to Catalonia in Figueres, Spain.

6) The First Days of Spring by Salvador Dalí is the lovely, welcoming expanse of blue sky on the top of the canvas. A work that is part oil painting and part collage, The First Days of Spring shows two figures in the left foreground. One is a man leaning against a strange, human-sized doll. They sit in front of a painting that is painted in the way to make a strip of gray land look three dimensional. On top of it is a brightly colored abstract figure. In the middle distance, a man sits in a chair, looking outward.On the highway itself is a brightly colored creature that seems an amalgam of a parrot fish, blue coral and some creatures that might exist only in the mind of the famously eccentric artist. A bit down the highway is a picture. In the distance stands another lonesome figure.

7) The Face of War is an oil on canvas painting which he produced in 1940, which was a difficult year due to World War II. Salvador Dali was inspired by this traumatic period and painted The Face of War, which essentially depicts a frightening, brownish face, which represents the ugliness of war.This face is similar to a skull or to the face of a cadaver, and it is seen with a desert landscape as background. In this face’s eye sockets and mouth opening one can see three smaller, similar faces. One can also see many serpents swarming around the face, and a hand print in the lower right corner.

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