Alina 2019-02-08 17:05:00 painters biographies
Robert Motherwell was the youngest and possibly most influential of a group of artists that included Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning. The group renounced the prevalent American style of the 1940s for abstract expressionism. Motherwell also contributed to art journals and his writings are considered a source for those who want to learn more about non-representational art.
Alina 2019-02-07 17:05:00 painters biographies
Hans Holbein, the Younger is known for the compelling realism of his portraits, the most notable of which depict the royal court of Henry VIII. During his life he produced over 150 life-sized and miniature portraits of royalty and nobility.
Alina 2019-02-06 14:51:51 painters biographies
Spanish painter Diego Velázquez was born circa June 6, 1599, in Seville, Spain. Although his early paintings were religious-themed, he became renowned for his realistic, complex portraits as a member of King Philip IV's court. In his later years, the Spanish master produced a renowned portrait of Pope Innocent X and the famed "Las Meninas." He died on August 6, 1660, in Madrid.
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, Spain, circa June 6, 1599. At the age of 11, he began a six-year apprenticeship with local painter Francisco Pacheco. Velázquez's early works were of the traditional religious themes favored by his master, but he also became influenced by the naturalism of Italian painter Caravaggio.
Velázquez set up his own studio after completing his apprenticeship in 1617. A year later, he married Pacheco's daughter, Juana. By 1621, the couple had two daughters.
In 1622, Velázquez moved to Madrid, where, thanks to his father-in-law's connections, he earned the chance to paint a portrait of the powerful Count-Duke of Olivares. The count-duke then recommended Velázquez's services to King Philip IV; upon seeing a completed portrait, the young king of Spain decided that no one else would paint him and appointed Velázquez one of his court painters.
The move to the royal court gave Velázquez access to a vast collection of works and brought him into contact with important artists such as Flemish baroque master Peter Paul Reubens, who spent six months at the court in 1628. Among Velázquez's notable works from that period were "The Triumph of Bacchus," in which a group of revelers falls under the powerful spell of the Greek god of wine.
Velázquez traveled to Italy from June 1629 to January 1631, where he was influenced by the region's great artists. After returning to Madrid, he began a series of portraits that featured members of the royal family on horseback. Velázquez also devoted time to painting the dwarves who served in King Philip's court, taking care to depict them as complex, intelligent beings. Along with his painting duties, Velázquez undertook increasing responsibilities within the court, ranging from wardrobe assistant to superintendent of palace works.
Velázquez made a second trip to Italy from 1649 to 1651. During this time, he was given the opportunity to paint Pope Innocent X, producing a work that is considered among the finest portraits ever rendered. Velázquez also produced a portrait of his servant, Juan de Pareja, which is admired for its striking realism, and the "Venus Rokeby," his only surviving female nude.
Velázquez returned to his portraiture after rejoining the Madrid court, his technique more assured than ever. In 1656, he produced perhaps his most acclaimed work, "Las Meninas." In this snapshot-like painting, two handmaidens dote on future empress Margarita Theresa while Velázquez peers from behind a large easel, ostensibly studying the king and queen, though his gaze meets the viewer's.
In 1658, Velázquez was made a knight of Santiago. After being tasked with decoration responsibilities for the wedding of Maria Theresa and Louis XIV, Velázquez became ill. He died in Madrid on August 6, 1660.
Velázquez is remembered as one of the great masters of Western art. Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali are among the artists who considered him a strong influence, while French Impressionist Édouard Manet described the Spanish great as "the painter of painters."
Alina 2019-01-26 00:05:02 painters biographies
Miyamoto Musashi was born in 1584 in Mimasaka or Harima, Japan. He killed a man in single combat at age 13 and later became a ronin (masterless samurai). He invented the style of fencing with two swords, and claimed to have fought in more than 60 duels. According to legend, Musashi wrote his famous work on strategy— Gorin no sho (The Book of Five Rings), on his deathbed. He died in 1645.
Alina 2019-01-25 00:05:02 painters biographies
Carlos Mérida was born on December 2, 1891, in Guatemala. From 1910 to 1914, Mérida traveled in Europe studying art and mixing with avant-garde artists. He returned to Guatemala in 1914 and had his first one-man show. Inspired by the revolution in Mexico, Mérida traveled there are became involved in the country’s mural-painting renaissance where he created many of his best works. He died in 1984.
Alina 2019-01-24 00:05:02 painters biographies
André Masson born on January 4th, 1896 in Balagny, France. He was severely wounded in WWI, and joined the Surrealist movement in 1924, becoming the leading practitioner of automatism. He lived in Spain (1934–36) and later the U.S. (1941–45), where he became an important link between Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. He died in 1987.
Alina 2019-01-23 00:05:02 painters biographies
Born in Vesoul, France, in 1824, Jean-Léon Gérôme was a French painter, sculptor and teacher. His best-known works are scenes inspired by his travels in Egypt. His particular style is now known as Academicism—work influenced by European academies or universities, specifically the Académie des Beaux-Arts. Gérôme started off as a painter and ended his career mostly as a sculptor. He died in Paris in 1904.
Alina 2019-01-22 00:05:02 painters biographies
Francisco de Zurbarán was born circa November 7, 1598, probably in Fuente de Cantos, Spain (the date and place of his baptism). As a teenager, he studied painting, and soon was creating pieces for monasteries in Spain. Later, Zurbarán also sent his paintings to the New World. As styles changed, his popularity began to fade before his death at age 65 on August 27, 1664, in Madrid, Spain.
Francisco de Zurbarán was born circa November 7, 1598, probably in Fuente de Cantos, Spain (the date and place of his baptism). As a child, Zurbarán showed a talent for painting, and was sent to Seville in 1614 to apprentice with the artist Pedro Diaz de Villanueva.
After finishing his training in 1617, Zurbarán moved to the town of Llerena, near Fuente de Cantos. After getting married, he worked for years as an artist-for-hire. Following the death of his first wife, María Páez, in 1623, Zurbarán wed Beatriz de Morales in 1625. The money and family connections Zurbarán’s second wife possessed were a boon for his career, enabling him to return to Seville.
At the time, religious orders were a significant source of work for artists, and Zurbarán pursued such commissions once he was in Seville. In 1627, he painted "Christ on a Cross" for a Dominican monastery. A masterpiece, the work secured Zurbarán's standing as a respected, sought-after painter. He received an invitation to stay in the city from the council of Seville in 1629.
As he mainly worked for monastic orders, the majority of Zurbarán's work consisted of religious imagery. Many of his theologically inspired paintings are simple, yet emotionally compelling, works that showcase his naturalistic style, as well as his skilled use of light and shadow. Zurbarán's few secular pieces include exquisite still life images, such as "Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose" (1633), and a "Labors of Hercules" series painted for the Buen Retiro Palace in Madrid.
Although Zurbarán was an accomplished artist, some of his work has revealed his limitations. The creations of his workshop were occasionally of poor quality, perhaps due to his unfit assistants. And when Bartolomé Esteban Murillo's work became popular in Seville, Zurbarán found himself displaced as the city's foremost painter, even though he tried—unsuccessfully—to imitate Murillo's style.
Zurbarán's career was at its height in the 1630s. In the 1640s, monasteries offered fewer commissions, reducing his opportunities. With his domestic market in decline, Zurbarán turned to the New World, exporting a number of canvases. However, fleet seizures kept him from receiving some payments, which exacerbated his financial difficulties. In the 1650s, he once again focused on domestic commissions, though Zurbarán no longer commanded the high fees he once had.
Zurbarán moved to Madrid with his third wife in 1658. He died there, in straitened circumstances, on August 27, 1664. Zurbarán's artistic reputation may have varied during his lifetime, but today his best pieces mark him as a leading painter from the Spanish Baroque period.