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Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso. It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country village in northern Spain by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces, on 26 April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish Republican government commissioned Picasso to create a large mural for the Spanish display at the Paris International Exposition at the 1937 World's Fair in Paris.
Augustus of Prima Porta (Italian: Augusto di Prima Porta) is a 2.04m high marble statue of Augustus Caesar which was discovered on April 20, 1863, in the Villa of Livia at Prima Porta, near Rome. Augustus Caesar's wife, Livia Drusilla, now known as Julia Augusta, retired to the villa after his death. The sculpture is now displayed in the Braccio Nuovo of the Vatican Museums.
Käthe Kollwitz (July 8, 1867 – April 22, 1945) was a German painter, printmaker, and sculptor whose work offered an eloquent and often searing account of the human condition, and the tragedy of war, in the first half of the 20th century. Her empathy for the less fortunate, expressed most famously through the graphic means of drawing, etching, lithography, and woodcut, embraced the victims of poverty, hunger, and war. Initially her work was grounded in Naturalism, and later took on Expressionistic qualities.
- Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon, and originally titled The Brothel of Avignon) is a large oil painting created in 1907 by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881–1973). The work portrays five nude female prostitutes from a brothel on Carrer d'Avinyó (Avinyó Street) in Barcelona. Each figure is depicted in a disconcerting confrontational manner and none are conventionally feminine. The women appear as slightly menacing and rendered with angular and disjointed body shapes. Two are shown with African mask-like faces and three more with faces in the Iberian style of Picasso's native Spain, giving them a savage aura. In this adaptation of Primitivism and abandonment of perspective in favor of a flat, two-dimensional picture plane, Picasso makes a radical departure from traditional European painting. The work is widely considered to be seminal in the early development of both cubism and modern art. Demoiselles was revolutionary and controversial, and led to wide anger and disagreement, even amongst his closest associates and friends. Painted in Paris during the summer of 1907, Picasso had created hundreds of sketches and studies in preparation for the final work. He long acknowledged the importance of Spanish art and Iberian sculpture as influences on the painting. The work is believed by critics to be influenced by African tribal masks and the art of Oceania,although Picasso denied the connection; many art historians remain
- skeptical about his denials. Several experts maintain that, at the very least, Picasso visited the Musée d'Ethnographie du Trocadéro (known today as Musée de l'Homme) in the spring of 1907 where he saw and was unconsciously influenced by
- African and Tribal art several months before completing Demoiselles.Some critics argue that the painting was a reaction to Henri Matisse's Le bonheur de vivre and Blue Nude.
Tilted Arc was a site-specific sculpture originally commissioned by the United States General Services Administration Arts-in-Architecture program for the Foley Federal Plaza in front of the Jacob Javits Federal Building in Manhattan, New York City.The post-minimalist artwork was designed by the well-known artist Richard Serra and constructed in 1981.However, after much debate it was removed in 1989 following a notorious lawsuit. Richard Serra is one of the leading minimalist sculptors and started his notable body of work at Yale University where he studied fine art.This work exemplifies his minimalist, conceptual style. When Tilted Arc was created Serra was forty years old and was already a respected artist; thus, there was much attention given to the removal of his work.
- Time Transfixed (La Durée poignardée, 1938) is an oil on canvas painting by the Belgian surrealist René Magritte. It is part of the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and is usually on display in the museum's new Modern Wing.
- The painting was one of many done for surrealist patron and Magritte supporter Edward James.This was the second painting delivered to James for his London ballroom. He made this painting for his wife who died from a runaway train in London. She tripped over the tracks, soon being struck by the ongoing train. The first was the portrait of James, Not to be Reproduced.Time Transfixed was purchased by the Art Institute from James in 1970 when he was raising capital to build his surrealist sculpture garden Las Pozas. The painting depicts a "Black Five" locomotive jutting out of a fireplace,at full steam, in an empty room. Above the mantlepiece is a tall mirror. Only the clock and one candlestick standing on the mantlepiece are reflected in the mirror, suggesting that there are neither people nor furniture in the room. Neither of the reflections is positioned realistically for the point of view of the painting; both are misplaced in realistic terms, creating a visual disjunction.
Lobster Trap and Fish Tail, a mobile by American artist Alexander Calder, is located at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, New York, United States.It is one of Calder's earliest hanging mobiles and "the first to revealthe basic characteristics of the genre that launched his enormous international reputation and popularity."
- Kitagawa Utamaro (喜多川 歌麿, ca. 1753 – October 31, 1806) was a Japanese printmaker and painter, who is considered one of the greatest artists of woodblock prints (ukiyo-e). His name was romanized as Outamaro. He is known especially for his masterfully composed studies of women, known as bijinga. He also produced nature studies, particularly illustrated books of insects.
- His work reached Europe in the mid-nineteenth century, where it was very popular, enjoying particular acclaim in France. He influenced the European Impressionists,particularly with his use of partial views and his emphasis on light and shade. The reference to the "Japanese influence" among these artist soften refers to the work of Utamaro.
Nighthawks is a 1942 painting by American realist painter Edward Hopper that portrays people sitting in a downtown diner late at night. It is Hopper's most famous work and is one of the most recognizable paintings in American art. Within months of its completion, it was sold to the Art Institute of Chicago for $3,000, and has remained there ever since.
The Persistence of Memory (1939)
- The well-known surrealist piece introduced the image of the soft melting pocket watch.
- It epitomizes Dalí's theory of "softness" and "hardness", which was central to his thinking at the time. As Dawn Ades wrote, "The soft watches are an unconscious symbol of the relativity of space and time, a Surrealist meditation on the collapse of our notions of a fixed cosmic order". This interpretation suggests that Dalí was incorporating an understanding of the world introduced by Albert Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity. Asked by Ilya Prigogine whether this was in fact the case, Dalí replied that the soft watches were not inspired by the theory of relativity, but by the surrealist perception of a Camembert cheese melting in the sun.
Liberation by Ben Shah (1945)
- The Third of May 1808 (also known as El tres de mayo de 1808 en Madrid, or Los fusilamientos de la montaña del Príncipe Pío, or Los fusilamientos del tres de mayo) is a painting completed in 1814 by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya, now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. In the work, Goya sought to commemorate Spanish resistance to Napoleon's armies during the occupation of 1808 in the Peninsular War. Along with its companion piece of the same size, The Second of May 1808 (or The Charge of the Mamelukes), it was commissioned by the provisional government of Spain at Goya's suggestion.
- The painting's content, presentation, and emotional force secure its status as a groundbreaking, archetypal image of the horrors of war.
- Although it draws on many sources from both high and popular art, The Third of May 1808 marks a clear break from convention. Diverging from the traditions of Christian art and traditional depictions of war, it has no distinct precedent, and is acknowledged as one of the first paintings of the modern era. According to the art historian Kenneth Clark, The Third of May 1808is "the first great picture which can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention".
Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (French: Nu descendant un escalier n° 2) is a 1912 painting by Marcel Duchamp. The work is widely regarded as a Modernist classic and has become one of the most famous of its time. In its first presentation at the Parisian Salon des Indépendants, it was rejected by the Cubists and caused a huge stir during its exhibition at the 1913 Armory Show in New York. The work is now found in permanent exhibition at the Louis and Walter Arensberg Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia.
The Opening of the Fifth Seal (or The Fifth Seal of the Apocalypse or The Vision of Saint John) was painted in the last years of El Greco's life for a side-altar of the church of Saint John the Baptist outside the walls of Toledo. Before 1908 El Greco's painting was referred to as Profane Love. Cossio had doubts about the title and suggested the Opening of the Fifth Seal. The Metropolitan Museum, where the painting is kept, comments: "the picture is unfinished and much damaged and abraded."
- Duccio di Buoninsegna (Italian pronunciation: [ˈduttʃo di ˌbwɔninˈseɲɲa]; c. 1255-1260 – c. 1318-1319) was an Italian artist, active in the city of Siena in Tuscany, where he was born, in the late 13th and early fourteenth centuries.
- Much about his early life and family is uncertain; but we do have
- records that say he was married with seven children. Although there is a
- lot still unconfirmed about Duccio and his life, there is more
- documentation of him than of other Italian painters of his time and
- earlier. A large part his life must be reconstructed from the evidence
- of works that can be attributed to him with certainty, and from the
- evidence contained in his stylistic development.
- Many times he had debts and fines; historians believe that he had a
- difficult time managing his life and his money. His artistic talents
- were enough to overshadow his lack of organization as a citizen, and he
- became famous in his own lifetime. In the 1300s Duccio became one of the
- most favored and radical painters in Siena. He is considered to be the
- father of Sienese painting and along with a few others the founder of Western art. He was hired throughout his life to complete many important works in government and religious buildings around Italy. Duccio is credited with creating the painting style of Trecento and the Sienese school, and contributed significantly to the Sienese Gothic style.
- Duccio began to break down the sharp lines of Byzantine art, and
- soften the figures. He used modeling (playing with light and dark
- colors) to reveal the figures underneath the heavy drapery; hands,
- faces, and feet became more rounded and three-dimensional.
Lorenzo Ghiberti - Gates of Paradise
Fra Filippo Lippi - Madonna and Child with the Birth of the Virgins (mid 1400's)
- Primavera, also known as Allegory of Spring, is a tempera panel painting by Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli. Painted ca. 1482, the painting is described in Culture & Values (2009) as "[o]ne of the most popular paintings in Western art". It is also, according to Botticelli, Primavera (1998), "one of the most written about, and most controversial paintings in the world." While most critics agree that the painting, depicting a group of mythological figures in a garden, is allegorical
- for the lush growth of Spring, other meanings have also been explored.
- Among them, the work is sometimes cited as illustrating the ideal of Neoplatonic love. The painting itself carries no title and was first called La Primavera by the art historian Giorgio Vasari who saw it at Villa Castello, just outside Florence, in 1550.
- The history of the painting is not certainly known, though it seems to have been commissioned by one of the Medici family. It contains elements of Ovid and Lucretius and may have been inspired by a poem by Poliziano. Since 1919 the painting has been part of the collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
- The Virgin of the Rocks (sometimes the Madonna of the Rocks) is the name used for two paintings by Leonardo da Vinci,
- of the same subject, and of a composition which is identical except for
- several significant details. The version generally considered the
- earlier of the two hangs in the Musée du Louvre in Paris and the other in the National Gallery,
- London. The paintings are both nearly 2 metres (over 6 feet) high and
- are painted in oils. Both were painted on wooden panel; that in the
- Louvre has been transferred to canvas.
- Both paintings show the Madonna and Christ Child with the infant John the Baptist
- and an angel, in a rocky setting which gives the paintings their usual
- name. The significant compositional differences are in the gaze and
- right hand of the angel. There are many minor ways in which the works
- differ, including the colours, the lighting, the flora, and the way in
- which sfumato
- has been used. Although the date of an associated commission is
- documented, the complete histories of the two paintings are unknown, and
- lead to speculation about which of the two is earlier.
Rogier van der Weyden - Descent from the Cross (1435)
- The Descent from the Cross (Greek: Ἀποκαθήλωσις, Apokathelosis), or Deposition of Christ, is the scene, as depicted in art, from the Gospels' accounts of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus taking Christ down from the cross after his crucifixion (John 19:38-42). In Byzantine art the topic became popular in the 9th century, and in the West from the 10th century. The Descent from the Cross is the 13th Station of the Cross.
- Other figures not mentioned in the Gospels who are often included in depictions of this subject include St. John the Evangelist, who is sometimes depicted supporting a fainting Mary (as in the work below by Rogier van der Weyden), and Mary Magdalene. The Gospels mention an undefined number of women as watching the crucifixion, including the Three Marys, (Mary Salome being mentioned in Mark 15:40), and also that the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene saw the burial (Mark 15:47). These and further women and unnamed male helpers are often shown.
- The Garden of Earthly Delights is the modern title given to a triptych painted by the Early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch. It has been housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1939. Dating from between 1490 and 1510, when Bosch was between about 40 and 60 years old, it is his best-known and most ambitious, complete work.
- It reveals the artist at the height of his powers; in no other painting
- does he achieve such complexity of meaning or such vivid imagery.
Pontormo - Descent froom the Cross