Portrait: Caspar David Friedrich, a German Romantic landscape painter

22 May 2024 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  7 minutes

Caspar David Friedrich by Gerhard von Kügelgen

Caspar David Friedrich by Gerhard von Kügelgen

Caspar David Friedrich was a German Romantic landscape painter, generally considered the most important German artist of his generation. He is best known for his allegorical landscapes, which typically feature contemplative figures silhouetted against night skies, morning mists, barren trees or Gothic ruins. His primary interest was the contemplation of nature, and his often symbolic and anti-classical work seeks to convey a subjective, emotional response to the natural world. Friedrich’s paintings characteristically set a human presence in diminished perspective amid expansive landscapes, reducing the figures to a scale that, according to the art historian Christopher John Murray, directs “the viewer’s gaze towards their metaphysical dimension”.   read more…

Portrait: Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch Golden Age painter, printmaker, and draughtsman

27 December 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  5 minutes

Rembrandt statue and the sculptures of 'The Night Watch' at the Rembrandtplain in Amsterdam © Hippolyte/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rembrandt statue and the sculptures of ‘The Night Watch’ at the Rembrandtplain in Amsterdam © Hippolyte/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, usually simply known as Rembrandt, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, printmaker, and draughtsman. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art. It is estimated Rembrandt produced a total of about three hundred paintings, three hundred etchings, and two thousand drawings.   read more…

Portrait: Leonardo da Vinci, Italian painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect

24 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  7 minutes

Leonardo da Vinci by Francesco Melzi

Leonardo da Vinci by Francesco Melzi

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he also became known for his notebooks, in which he made drawings and notes on a variety of subjects, including anatomy, astronomy, botany, cartography, painting, and paleontology. Leonardo is widely regarded to have been a genius who epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal, and his collective works compose a contribution to later generations of artists matched only by that of his younger contemporary, Michelangelo.   read more…

Portrait: Salvador Dalí, world renown Spanish surrealist

22 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  9 minutes

Salvador Dali with his pet ocelot Babou in 1965 © Library of Congress - Roger Higgins

Salvador Dali with his pet ocelot Babou in 1965 © Library of Congress – Roger Higgins

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquess of Dalí of Púbol was a Spanish surrealist artist renowned for his technical skill, precise draftsmanship, and the striking and bizarre images in his work. Born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, Dalí received his formal education in fine arts in Madrid. Influenced by Impressionism and the Renaissance masters from a young age, he became increasingly attracted to Cubism and avant-garde movements. He moved closer to Surrealism in the late 1920s and joined the Surrealist group in 1929, soon becoming one of its leading exponents. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931, and is one of the most famous Surrealist paintings. Dalí lived in France throughout the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) before leaving for the United States in 1940 where he achieved commercial success. He returned to Spain in 1948 where he announced his return to the Catholic faith and developed his “nuclear mysticism” style, based on his interest in classicism, mysticism, and recent scientific developments.   read more…

Portrait: Pablo Picasso, painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright

22 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  5 minutes

Pablo Picasso in 1962 © Argentina. Revista Vea y Lea - magicasruinas.com.ar

Pablo Picasso in 1962 © Argentina. Revista Vea y Lea – magicasruinas.com.ar

Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a dramatic portrayal of the bombing of Guernica by the German and Italian airforces during the Spanish Civil War.   read more…

Portrait: Architect, city planner, painter, furniture and stage designer Karl Friedrich Schinkel

25 December 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Berlin, Portrait Reading Time:  16 minutes

Schinkel in 1836 © Carl Joseph Begas

Schinkel in 1836 © Carl Joseph Begas

Karl Friedrich Schinkel was a Prussian architect, city planner, and painter who also designed furniture and stage sets. Schinkel was one of the most prominent architects of Germany and designed both neoclassical and neogothic buildings. His most famous buildings are found in and around Berlin.   read more…

Portrait: The sculptor, painter, architect and poet Michelangelo

28 August 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Portrait Reading Time:  9 minutes

Michelangelo by Daniele da Volterra © Metropolitan Museum of Art - online collection

Michelangelo by Daniele da Volterra © Metropolitan Museum of Art – online collection

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni or more commonly known by his first name Michelangelo was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance born in the Republic of Florence, who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Considered by many the greatest artist of his lifetime, and by some the greatest artist of all time, his artistic versatility was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival, the fellow Florentine and client of the Medici, Leonardo da Vinci.   read more…

Portrait: Le Corbusier, one of the most important and influential architects of the 20th century

27 June 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Portrait, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Centre Le Corbusier Zürich © Roland zh/cc-by-sa-3.0

Centre Le Corbusier Zürich © Roland zh/cc-by-sa-3.0

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, who was better known as Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), was a Swiss-French architect, designer, painter, urban planner, writer, and one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930. His career spanned five decades, with his buildings constructed throughout Europe, India, and America. Since 2016, The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement is a World Heritage Site consisting of a selection of 17 building projects by Le Corbusier.   read more…

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