Artists– An artist is a person who puts his creativity and skill to produce a piece of art. He takes great care to make his work stand out. Many things fall under it. Modern art has grown considerably to accommodate various things within it. For instance, paintings, sculpture, poems, films, etc.
Earlier artists did not have the method of films, photography, etc to express themselves. Instead, they largely relied on literature, painting and sculpture to bring out their creativity.
Over the course of history, there have been many master artists who have left their impression on this world. To clarify, their art has kept them alive in people’s hearts.
An artist tries to convey his emotions and thoughts through his art. His art may also depict the historical and cultural happenings of the time. That is why it is important to observe a piece of art closely.
What makes an artist great?
To quote Oscar Wilde, “No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” The very essence of an artist lies in his ability to look at things differently. A great artist manages to make people feel something when they see his art.
There have been several such artists. Their art is studied to this day even though it was made hundreds of years ago. In other words, a great artist makes timeless pieces of art.
Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Picasso, Dali, etc are some of the master artists the world has known but we are not going to look at them. Apart from them, there have been several other great artists who have produced some stellar works. However, their fame has been overshadowed by that of these masters. So, let us have a look at some great artists who should be more famous than they are now.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Bruegel was the most famous Flemmish painter of all time. Born in Breda, which falls in modern day Netherlands, Bruegel was widely famous for his landscape paintings. He made several painting in his lifetime. His paintings are dated and signed which makes it easier to track his progress.
Some of his most famous paintings are The Census at Bethlehem (1566), Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (1558), The Triumph of Death (1562), among many more. Later, Bruegel turned to multi-figure compositions. These included crowds of people loosely captured in the picture, usually seen from a higher ground.
Hokusai was known by several names during his lifetime. He was a Japanese artist who excelled in ukiyo-e school of paintings. Ukiyo-e is a series of prints and paintings made on blocks of woods. This form flourished in Japanese art from late 17th to late 19th century. He modernized print traditional styles.
He is most famous for his series of Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. In this series, the master print of The Great Wave off Kanagawa (1831) made him famous internationally. He even made his book of illustrations, Hokusai Manga, which contained thousands of sketches. In addition, he brought innovations in his subject and composition.
Born in Brabant, modern day Netherlands, Bosch was widely famous for his triptychs. A triptych is a picture or a carving that is divided into three sections or three carved panels that can be folded. The theme of his work was mostly religious. He largely made use of oil on oak panels to create his paintings.
The Garden of Earthly Delights (1515), Adoration of the Magi (1485-1500) and The Last Judgement (1482) are some of his most famous works. His works are done with exquisite detail which helps to bring out his genius. Further, his works see the depiction humans, animals, monsters, etc. Almost all of his paintings are symbolic and he explores the concept of morality.
Rousseau, a French artist, is considered to an epitome of a painter who worked in the Naive manner. His style of work was ridiculed by people of his time. However, he earned the respect of modern artists like Picasso and Kandinsky. Rousseau is known widely for his portrayal of lush jungles, beasts and exotic figures.
His paintings are richly coloured and meticulously detailed which highlight his passion. The Sleeping Gypsy (1897), The Dream (1910) and The Merry Jesters (1906) are some of the artist’s masterpieces. Most of his painting are revolve around the green and were inspired by the botanical gardens and zoos.
Rivera was a Mexican artist best known for his murals. Largely, his paintings depicted the theme of social inequality. Earlier in his life, he made use of the Cubist style of painting. Moreover, he is one of the most important names involved in bringing back murals as an art form in Latin America.
His large frescoes helped to establish the mural movement in Mexico. The Flower Carrier (1935), Dance in Tehuantepec (1928) and In the Arsenal (1928) are few among his many works. Of these, the first two are paintings while the latter is a mural. Above all, each and every artwork of his holds a story behind it.
Doménikos Theotokópoulos, popularly known El Greco, was a Greek artist. He was an artist of the Spanish Renaissance. His works reflect elements of mannerism. Greco is well known for his way of painting elongated figures. View of Toledo (1600), The Immaculate Conception (1607-1613), etc are few of his notable works.
A very unique thing about him is that he signed paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters. Greco used a wide variety of colours in his paintings which really mesmerize the audience. His paintings largely revolved around mythological and religious themes. He denied the classical notions of making art. In other words, he believed in the artist’s own creativity.
We can see traces of symbolism and expressionism in his paintings. Munch, a Norwegian artist, largely focused on psychological themes. Consequently, his emotional and psychological state can be understood from his works. The Scream (1893), Anxiety (1894) and Train Smoke (1900) are some of his most famous works.
His paintings are made up of intense colours and have a sense of mystery around them. Munch depicted various human emotions through his works. This was because of his childhood experiences which deeply impacted his future as an artist. Due to his depiction of emotions, Munch is successful in striking a chord with his audience.
Hans Holbein the Younger
Holbein was a German artist and one of the greatest portraitists of the 16th century. He painted the English ruling elite. Light and texture, exquisite portrayals of fabric, glass and fur, etc are some of his abilities. His artworks are considered as realist. Several of his portraits are rich with background details.
The Ambassadors (1533), Portrait of Henry VIII (1537) and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1542) are few among his many notable works. He has paid meticulous attention while creating art. His paintings of the members of the royal court are important since they conveyed authority, power and the right of royalty to rule in times of religious turmoil like the Reformation.
All these artists have given the world a plethora of rich art. There are several others like them who are overshadowed by the masters. In short, it is important to study their art as well because we never know what we may learn from it.