French Art – Famous French Artists & Paintings

March 25th, 2012 No Comments   Posted in Claude Monet

Claude Monet

French art has played a crucial role in many art movements, both past and present. It is perhaps best known for its influence in impressionism and the importance of the French capital, Paris, to the art world. Paris’ Louvre Museum has retained its status as one of the premier spots for art appreciation in the world and even houses The Mona Lisa, one of the world’s most famous paintings.

The key periods of French art include Prehistoric, Medieval, Renaissance & Mannerism, Baroque & Classicism, Rococo & Neoclassicism, 19th & 20th Century Contemporary movements.

The Merovingian dynasty of the Franks was significant in France and Germany., from the fifth century to the eighth century. The Merovingian period of the fifth century began a change in French art which was to continue up to the present day, with new movements being created all the time.

Merovingian’s catalyst for art development was continued on with Carolingian art over a 120-year period from 750 to 900. After Carolingian rule closed around 900, there was little more development or production of significant French art movements for some 60 years. France became a divided country at this point and there were not the right conditions for artistic creativity. The 10th and 11th centuries were dominated by local monastries who took a significant role in France’s art production at that stage.

Prior to the respected Gothic period that was the Romanesque art of Western Europe for around two hundred and fifty years, from 1000 A.D. to the middle of the 12th century in France. The name refers to the influence of, and return to, Roman styles and principles in architecture and art which this movement used.

Gothic art and architecture then took over French are for around 300 years. Whilst originating here, it actually spread quickly to other parts of Europe. The later International Gothic style had less of a reliance and prominence of religion than its former, and it then went onto the further develop from there into Renaissance art. Gothic art included sculpture, panel painting, stained glass, fresco, and illuminated manuscript most prominently.

The French invasion of Italy in the late 15th century allowed the influence of the Renaissance to fully take hold of France’s art direction and leave a mark which remains strong even today.

The French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars brought in new influences which helped to push Renaissance art into new directions and bridge the gap between Renaissance art and the later styles of Romanticism and later Impressionism.

Romanticism brought French landscape painting to the forefront and later led to Gustave Courbet and the Barbizon school as key markers in the further changes to the status quo. The late 19th century brought French Symbolism from Gustave Moreau, the professor of Matisse and Rouault, as well as Odilon Redon.

Impressionism brought an array of French art to the forefront, led by Claude Monet and his use of landscapes and carefully prepared gardens to develop artistic coverage of light changes and vivid paintings. It started the progress towards the many new styles that we have today.

For contemporary art, Impressionism, Cubism, Dada, Expressionism & Surrealism have roots in French art. The early years of the twentieth century were dominated by experiments in colour and content which Impressionism and Post-Impressionism had unleashed. This led to the likes of cubism and fauvism, which themselves have inspired some of the new art movements that appear even today.

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The Top 10 Most Famous Paintings You Must See

February 27th, 2012 No Comments   Posted in Salvador Dal??

Salvador Dali

Famous paintings inspire a sense of culture and history. World renowned artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, Vermeer, Renoir, Da Vinci, and Monet have captivated people for centuries. If you are looking for a popular oil painting reproduction, take a look at this list of the top 10 famous reproductions.

10. From the Lake by Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keefe spent her days at Lake George, New York in the early 1900s, which has inspired many of her works. This painting displays the gentle waves and ripples of Lake George.

9. The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

Probably the most famous painting by Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory was created in 1931 and is now displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Dali introduced the melting pocket watches in this piece. You can also make out a human figure in the middle of the painting.

8. The Dream by Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso pioneered the modern art movement called Cubism and is widely acknowledged as the most important artist of the 20th century.

7. Corner of the Garden at Montgeron by Claude Monet

This famous painting by Monet was originally created in 1877. Monet is known as the classic impressionist. In the Corner of the Garden at Montgeron, Monet has captured the ever-changing nature of light and color.

6. Café Terrace at Night by Vincent Van Gogh

In this painting Van Gogh depicts a cafe in Arles, then Cafe Terrace and today it is called Cafe van Gogh. The style of the painting is unique for Van Gogh with warm colors and depth of perspective.

5. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Jan Vermeer

This is a plain portrait of a girl, presumably before her wedding. The lack of background and color showcases her tear drop pearl earrings.

4. Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre Auguste Renoir

The painting depicts a group of Renoir’s friends relaxing on a balcony along the Seine River. In this painting Renoir has captured the joy of the middle class of late 19 century France, it is a lively painting that brings happiness and excitement to any room.

3. The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt, the Vienna master painted the Kiss painting in 1907. The painting depicts a couple surrounded by a gold blanket and ornaments sharing a moment of shear passion – the perfect kiss.

2. Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

One of the today’s most recognized paintings, Van Gogh’s Starry Night is a classic painting that invokes emotions from the serenity of the church steeple to the wild abandon of color used for his late night sky.

1. Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci

The Mona Lisa, the world’s most famous painting, is owned by the French government and hangs in the Louvre in Paris. The painting shows a woman looking out at the viewer with what is often described as an “enigmatic smile”. The Mona Lisa is perhaps the most famous piece in art history; few other works of art are as romanticized, celebrated, or reproduced.

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February 4th, 2012 No Comments   Posted in Art History

Cute funny kids react to the world’s most expensive paintings. “His skin looks so crinkly and old!” “Bella that’s because of the brush strokes. Van Gogh made it look real!” The clip at the beginning is from 2 years ago. One year before the fine brothers and their show. Our show has nothing to do with the Fine Brothers show! If you complain below you’ll be blocked so don’t bother. Thanks! I’m reviving our show we have 9 more episodes to show you. Hope you like them! Thanks for supporting Sophia and Bella by clicking LIKE, FAV and subscribing!!:) Season 2. Episode 1. Art critics 6 year old Bella and 8 year old Sophia talk about Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece, The Portrait of Dr. Gachet which is mysteriously missing! For a great read about the paintings whereabouts in history, we have and recommend this book: ——————————————————————————– Please subscribe to our epic family vlogs and follow Sophia and Bella’s adventures since they were babies :) We’ve been making videos on Youtube for over 5 years now learning about art, making friends, raising money for charities and inspiring kids and adults from around the world! Below are more Know Your Art Episodes, but for our Funny Baby, Amazing Painting/Drawing, Original Short Films, Music/Singing, Charity and Harry Potter Videos, please check out all our PLAYLISTS here: MORE KNOW YOUR ART VIDEOS: KIDS REACT TO FAMOUS ART Season 1 Kids React To Famous Art

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Facts About Pop Art Paintings History

December 26th, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Pop art is an art form first introduced in Great Britain, towards the end of the 1950s. It was brought about by artists who wanted to take the stuffiness out of ‘abstract expressionism’, and bridge the gap between art and the public. This they did by including everyday objects like flags and soup cans in their paintings.

The birth of pop art was to ridicule the monotony that a section of artists associated with abstract expressionism. At the point of time, both the American as well as the British society was recuperating after the World War II, and these artists took potshots at the materialism all around and included objects like Coke cans and comic strips in the paintings. Artist Jasper Johns used the American flag to a large extent, Roy Lichtenstein gave prominence to comic strips, and Andy Warhol made soup cans famous, while stuffed animals were Robert Rauschenberg’s choice of object. These artists included everyday objects in their paintings to make them more appealing to the common man. Art before that was largely confined to the high echelons of society, and the abstract art form was not understood by the layman. Pop artists changed all that by replacing the monotony of art with humor and relevance to daily life.

Pop art did receive its fair share of criticism, as art critics though it was a cheap effort to popularize everyday objects as symbols of art. American society, on the other hand, welcomed pop art with open arms, making it what it is today.

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Abstract Paintings – How to Understand Abstract Art

December 10th, 2011 No Comments   Posted in pablo picasso

pablo picasso

“Everyone wants to understand art. Why not try to understand the song of a bird?…people who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree.” – Pablo Picasso

What Picasso says about understanding art is very relevant to how we approach abstract paintings. Many people think that abstract paintings must have a specific meaning of some sort, which could be clearly understood and articulated if only they knew how. This misconception is not helped by the endless supply of people prepared to spout nonsense about what they think the artist was trying to say. The almost inevitable consequence of this situation is that people can either feel as though they are being excluded from sharing in some secret knowledge, or alternatively conclude that abstract painting is in fact all a sham. Either way, the result is that many people do not feel well-disposed towards modern art or abstract paintings.

I certainly identify with Picasso‘s remark as far as my own paintings are concerned. If I had a specific message or a meaning that I could articulate in words, then I would articulate it in words – the painting would have no purpose. The whole point of creating an abstract painting is that it embodies something that only it can, in a way that cannot be put into words. It is not an essay it is a painting – it encompasses and expresses things in a language that is unique to the medium of paint. That is why we should not try to ‘understand’ abstract paintings in the way people sometimes feel they ought to be able to.

The viewer should not look for a clear narrative in an abstract painting – it is not going to tell a story, or refer to an external ‘subject’ in the same way that a figurative painting will. But that does not mean there is no meaning or no subject, or that abstract paintings cannot communicate with and move people. When asked about subject matter, the Abstract Expressionist artist Jackson Pollock said, “I am the subject”. Pollock’s statement is not just true, it is inevitable.

The experiences, personality, memories and mood of the abstract artist cannot help but be fed into the painting if the artist approaches the work in an open and honest way. I do not need an external subject or idea before I can create a painting – I simply begin. The fact that I am me and no-one else is what makes my work different to anyone else’s, and the same is true of all artists. The colours I choose, the marks a make, the accidents I choose to leave, or to obliterate, these are all things that I choose because of who I am.

If you were to present several different artists with the same basic design on a canvas and ask them to pick up a brush and develop the painting, the differences in what they would choose to do would be enormous. I have watched other abstract artists at work on paintings and thought “I would never in a million years have chosen that colour and put it there.” Not because I think it is wrong or bad, but because they are who they are and (to quote that other leading artist, Morrisey!) “only I am I”.

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5 Great Surrealist Paintings

November 10th, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Salvador Dal??

Salvador Dali

The Surrealist movement believed in trying to express in their art the contents of the mind when conscious control was vanished, such as in dreams or accidental wordplay. Though often difficult to understand, many of these images have nonetheless become popular and iconic pieces of art.

Perhaps the most famous is in the “Treachery of Images” series of paintings by Rene Magritte. The painting is of a pipe on a plain beige background, captioned famously with “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” or “This is not a pipe”.Many people are puzzled by this statement, until they realize the trick: the painting is not a pipe, but an image of a pipe. Magritte loved puns and verbal games such as these, and often said he wanted his audience to take a second look at their surroundings and reexamine their assumptions about reality.

Another famous surrealist artist is Salvador Dali, who painted “Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Awakening”. Though this is not his most famous work, it is the most representative of the Surrealist practice of imbuing every detail of their painting with mysterious but highly meaningful personal references. In this case, Dali tries to make a visual version of Freudian dream interpretation; many art scholars agree that the yellow and black tigers are representative of a bee, the bayonet refers to sudden awakening, and the pomegranates represent female sexuality. These bizarre images are set in the distinctive pale blue sky and water well-known to any fan of Dali.

Though Giorgio de Chirico predated the Surrealist movement, he is often grouped with them in the popular imagination and was a great influence on many Surrealist painters. His “Melancolie Hermetique” is an example of the sparse, unadorned style which many in the movement adopted, as well as the strange spatial dislocation of objects such as the floating head and the unexplained boxes and pillars.

MarkChagall’s “I and the Village” was heavily influenced by the images of his childhood in a Hasidic Jewish village in Eastern Europe. The whimsical images are thought of as Surrealist for their magical, dreamlike quality; most notably, a cow and a green man stare at each other inexplicably in the forefront of the painting. Chagall explained to museum historians that the focus on the man and cow together in the forefront represents nostalgia for the lifestyle he was raised in, where animals and humans were mutually dependent on each other. Moreover, animals are considered humanity’s link to the universe in his religious beliefs, and the circles in the background are symbolic of the sun, moon, and earth.

The Spanish painter Joan Miro is often considered a Surrealist as well, but his techniques and results were far different. He used the process of automatic drawing, allowing his hand to move randomly, and the resulting spontaneous shapes were incorporated into much of his work. “Bleu II” one of three paintings in a series Miro completed after a visit to America where he met with American abstract expressionist painters, is an example of the sense of purity and artistic freedom one feels in his work.

You can read about surrealist painting and more at The Modern Arts Prints.

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Art History Questions : Famous Paintings of Diego Rivera

March 23rd, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Art History

Famous paintings by Diego Rivera are found on walls all over Mexico, as he started the Mexican Mural Renaissance in the early 20th century. Discover the significance of his artwork withtips from a successful artist and history teacher in this free video on famous artists. Expert: Carlos Navarro Contact: Bio: Carlos Navarro is an artist and history teacher at Design and Architecture Senior High, in Miami, Fla., who was born in Havana, Cuba. Filmmaker: Paul Muller

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Anders Zorn Paintings

February 14th, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Famous Art

Anders Leonard Zorn (February 18, 1860 August 22, 1920) was a Swedish painter, sculptor and printmaker in etching. Zorn was born in Mora, Dalarna. He studied at Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm, Sweden from 1875-1880. He travelled extensively to London, Paris, the Balkans, Spain, Italy and the United States, becoming an international success as one of the most acclaimed portrait painters of his era. His sitters included three American Presidents, one of whom was Grover Cleveland in 1899. Zorn is also famous for his nude paintings and realistic depictions of water. Some of his most important works can be seen at Nationalmuseum (National Museum of Fine Arts) in Stockholm. Among them is Midsummer Dance (1897), a depiction of dancers in the evening light of a rural Midsummer Eve celebration. Other museums holding works by Zorn include the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The Zorn Collections in Mora (Dalarna County, Sweden) is a museum dedicated to the works of Anders Zorn. It was designed by Ragnar Östberg and opened in 1939. At the 1900 Paris Universal Exposition, he received the French Legion of Honour. More information and paintings at

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Andy Warhol Paintings

January 18th, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was responsible for the introduction of a new school of thought in painting. Before Andy Warhol, painting was considered to be the something related to the depiction of the elites and the aristocrats. Warhol contradicted these pre-existing notions in his paintings. He said that paintings can draw their inspiration from the most common place things in life. The painter should just have the right mind to be able to portray it.

Warhol drew his attention from varying things. As a matter of fact, the inspiration behind his paintings has often amused the artists. Warhol used a ‘soup can’ image as his inspiration and made many paintings that revolved around the young people. Warhol shoe painting is yet another master-piece by the artist. In this painting he amalgamated bright colored shoes against the backdrop of a dark shade. This painting became quite popular and led Warhol‘s journey into the Television and media. Warhol was also hugely inspired by the journey of Marilyn Monroe. Her transition from being a common lady to being the most celebrated artist of her era was fascinating to Andy. Andy painted many paintings of Marilyn Monroe. The interesting part is that all these paintings that he made of Marilyn Monroe are an adaptation of a single picture of hers.

Andy also picked up the controversial issues of the society and portrayed the problems related with them in his paintings. He released many series that were based on the social and cultural problems of his times. His gun series of paintings is still a topic of much discussion amongst the art critics. These paintings promulgated in the public eye the disadvantages of the increasing use of guns in the American society. Andy Warhol paintings provided food for thought to many people. They still do incite people to think.

Throughout his life, Andy Warhol tried to see inspiration and motivation in things that make life of the common. Whereas he was a celebrated artist, his works speak purely of all the attraction that he held for the life of the common.

Warhol painted to promulgate issues that were considered trifle or mere or below standard in the painting era that existed before him. He carved his niche. The best part about Andy Warhol painting was that his art was affordable. The prices were not the kind that would have left you bankrupted. Hence, many art lovers, irrespective of their financial positions, were able to afford Andy Warhol original pieces. Lately, many of Andy Warhol Paintings have found place in different streams like fashions, media etc. This is because Andy‘s paintings have been very influential in molding the thought process of millions in the society.

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Renaissance Paintings

December 8th, 2010 No Comments   Posted in Salvador Dalí

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Renaissance art represents the best known traditional art movement which remains popular today, some 500 years later.

Indeed, its greatest contributors are still household names around the world and respected as highly as any artists of the more modern painting eras. This article aims to identify the most famous renaissance paintings and explain a little about each.

The Renaissance era covers many different changes across society, not just painting, and represents the transition from middle ages to modern day. The paintings of this era are respected and well known as a key factor of this. Renaissance art began in Italy and spread around Europe to become influential in many different European countries from 1400 to around the end of the 16th century.

Due to it’s excessive influence of the time, many paintings of the time featured religious depictions and symbolism. Sandro Botticelli’s Magnificat and Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love are examples of the typical styles used of the time.

The best known artists of the Renaissance period come from Italy, France, Netherlands, England, Northern Europe & Spain. Further research into these individual artists will uncover the most famous renaissance paintings. Other good examples of art from this time to study include Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, & The Vitruvian Man, Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, Pietà, David and Donatello’s Primavera & The Birth of Venus. The oil paintings of this time led directly to Baroque art, which followed onto the contemporary art forms that we have today. Its importance remains for all the see, and continues to inspire and attract many into art.

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