Edouard Manet

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of Manet's most significant works is "Luncheon on the Grass," which depicts a nude model in the presence of two men. This piece provoked and offended the critics of the time who claimed it was pornographic and immoral.

The Salon, one of the most influential galleries in Paris at the time, refused to exhibit the work, but it proved to be one of the pivotal works of art in the Salon des Refuges, a gallery whose specific reason for existence was to display the rejected works of leading artists. Many of the young Impressionists of the time followed Manet's lead and broke away from the traditional artistic styles of the past. This trend eventually served as the basis for modern art.

Edouard Manet Edouard Manet (1832-1883), a French painter, is considered to be the senior figure among the artists of the Impressionist School. Manet studied the works of Dutch artist Frans Hals in Holland in 1872. Hals taught him to liberate his brushstrokes when creating and to paint with more energy and verve. These techniques provided a basis for Manet to become one of the founders of the Impressionist Movement.
Edgar Degas
Influenced by Japanese prints and especially by photography, Degas diverged from the traditional ideas of balanced arrangements. He introduced what appeared to be accidental cutoff views, off-center subjects, and unusual angles, all quite carefully planned. Sometimes he effected a remarkable balance by giving special weight to the focus of interest, as in Woman with Chrysanthemums (1865; Metropolitan Mus.) and Foyer of the Dance (1872; Louvre). Gradually, Degas turned away from the medium of oil painting, perhaps because of his failing eyesight.

1834-1917, French painter and sculptor, b. Paris; son of a banker. Although prepared for the law, he abandoned it for painting, studying at the École des Beaux-Arts with L. Lamothe, a student of Ingres, and in Italy, copying 15th- and 16th-century masters. He was precociously gifted as a draftsman and a brilliantly subtle and penetrating portraitist (e.g., Bellelli Family, 1859; Louvre). He exhibited for six years in the Salon (1865-70), but later ceased showing there and exhibited with the impressionists, whose works he admired although his approach often differed from theirs. An unflagging perfectionist, Degas strove to unite the discipline of classical art with the immediacy of impressionism. Trained in the linear tradition of Ingres, Degas shared with the impressionists their directness of expression and the interest in and portrayal of contemporary life. His favorite subjects were ballet dancers, women at their toilette, café life, and race-track scenes. He made notes and sketches from living models in motion to preserve informality of action and position. From these he organized his finished work in the studio, not directly from nature as his contemporaries did. Moreover, he created many daring compositional innovations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He produced more freely executed, glowing pastels and charcoal drawings. His works in sculpture include many notable studies of dancers and horses. A number of his paintings and sculptures may be seen in the Metropolitan Museum. Many of his most celebrated works, including Absinthe, The Rehearsal, and Two Laundresses (1882) are in the Louvre. Ranked among the greatest of French artists, Degas profoundly influenced such later artists as Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso.

Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall (1887–1985), born in Belarus to a Hassidic family, began his education at a traditional Jewish school in Vitebsk. After studying with a local artist for several years, the artist moved to St. Petersberg in 1907 and continued his studies at the Zvantseva School. Chagall moved to Paris in 1910 and his inventive imagery won immediate recognition in the city's avant-garde circles. Here he began to assimilate cubist characteristics into his expressionistic style. He is considered a forerunner of surrealism.

The artist returned to Belarus in 1915 where his support of the Bolshevik Revolution led to his appointment as Commissar for the Arts in Vitebsk in 1918. During his tenure, Chagall founded an art school and museum but, disillusioned with the political environment of Russia, he returned to Paris in 1922, where where he spent most of his life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The artist translated his imaginative folkloric imagery to stained glass and designed windows for cathedrals in Metz and Reims. Among his well-known works are I and the Village (1911; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City) and The Rabbi of Vitebsk (Art Inst., Chicago).

 

 

He designed the sets and costumes for Stravinsky's ballet Firebird (1945). Chagall's twelve stained-glass windows, symbolizing the tribes of Israel, were exhibited in Paris and New York City before being installed (1962) in the Hadassah-Hebrew Univ. Medical Center synagogue in Jerusalem. His two vast murals for New York's Metropolitan Opera House, treating symbolically the sources and the triumph of music, were installed in 1966. Much of Chagall's work is rendered with an extraordinary formal inventiveness and a deceptive fairy-tale naïveté. Chagall illustrated numerous books, including Gogol's Dead Souls, La Fontaine's Fables, and Illustrations for the Bible (1956). A prolific artist and dazzling colorist, Chagall's vast oeuvre of both religious and secular subjects has gained worldwide recognition. A museum of his work opened in Nice in 1973. His name is also spelled Shagall.


Chagall's dream-based imagery was revered by contemporary Surrealists yet he refused to join the movement, preferring to pursue his individualistic path. Chagall maintained a consistent style throughout his long career. His frequently repeated subject matter was drawn from Jewish life and folklore; he was particularly fond of flower and animal symbols.
Paul Cezanne

Mature Work

Cézanne sought to "recreate nature" by simplifying forms to their basic geometric equivalents, utilizing color and considerable distortion to express the essence of landscape (e.g., Mont Sainte-Victoire,1885-87, Phillips Coll., Washington, D.C.), still-lifes (e.g., The Kitchen Table, 1888-90, Louvre), and figural groupings (e.g., The Card Players, 1890-92; one version, S.C. Clark Coll., New York City).

1839-1906, French painter, b. Aix-en-Provence. Cézanne was the leading figure in the revolution toward abstraction in modern painting.

 

 

 

 

Early Life and Work

From early childhood Cézanne was a close friend of Émile Zola, who for a time encouraged the painter in his work. Cézanne went to Paris in 1861; there he met Pissarro, who strongly influenced his development. He divided his time between Provence and the environs of Paris until his retirement to Aix in 1899. Cézanne's early work is marked by a heavy use of the palette knife, from which he created thickly textured and violently deformed shapes and scenes of a fantastic, dreamlike quality. Although these impulsive paintings exhibit few of the features of his later style, they anticipate the expressionist idiom of the 20th century. Through Pissarro, Cézanne came to know Manet and the impressionist painters. He was concerned, after 1870, with the use of color to create perspective, but the steady, diffused light in his works is utterly unrelated to the impressionist preoccupation with transitory light effects. House of the Hanged Man (1873-74; Louvre) is characteristic of his impressionist period. He exhibited at the group's show of 1874 but later diverged from the impressionist style and developed a firmer structure in his paintings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

His portraits are vital studies of character, e.g., Madame Cézanne (c.1885; S. S. and V. White Coll., Ardmore, Pa.) and Amboise Vollard (Musée du Petit Palais, Paris). Cézanne developed a new type of spatial pattern. Instead of adhering to the traditional focalized system of perspective, he portrayed objects from shifting viewpoints. He created vibrating surface effects from the play of flat planes against one another and from the subtle transitions of tone and color. In all his work he revealed a reverence for the integrity and dignity of simple forms by rendering them with an almost classical structural stability. His Bathers (1898-1905; Philadelphia Mus. of Art) is the monumental embodiment of a number of Cézanne's visual systems. The artist's later works are largely still lifes (among them his famous apples), male figures, and recurring landscape subjects. While retaining a solid substructure, they seem freer and more spontaneous and employ more transparent painterly effects than earlier works. Cézanne worked in oil, watercolor, and drawing media, often making several versions of his works.

Influence and Collections

Cézanne's influence on the course of modern art, particularly on the development of cubism, is enormous and profound. His theories spawned a whole new school of aesthetic criticism, especially in England, that has ranked him among the foremost French masters. There are fine collections of his paintings in the Louvre; the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; and the Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pa.

Salvador Dali
Although a collaborator with Surrealist filmmaker Luis Bunuel, Dali, whose work was identified with Surrealism more than any other artist by the public, was expelled from the movement by Breton in 1937.
Dali transformed the definition of Surrealism, which combined pure psychic automatism expressing the unconscious process of thought, dream and associated realities to include what he called "critical paranoia," a theory that embraced delusion while remaining aware that reason has been deliberately suspended. With his realistic detail, Dali's paintings describe a hallucinatory reality which is often contradicted by the vision and hallucinatory character his imagery describes; "The Persistence of Memory" (1931), depicting perfectly detailed clocks melting in a Catalan landscape, conveys that theory.
An eccentric and masterful Surrealist in painting and in life, Salvador Dali wrote in his diary two years before entering art school in Madrid during the early 1920s: "I'll be a genius... Perhaps I'll be despised and misunderstood, but I'll be a genius, a great genius." Throughout his life,Dali cultivated eccentricity and exaggerated a predisposition towards narcissistic exhibitionism, claiming that his creative energies were derived from it. The spectrum of imagery from fantastic to nightmarish visions which Dali produced are the supreme evidence of those idiosyncrasies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Born in Figueras, Spain, Dali first studied at the cole des Beaux Arts in Madrid and was influenced by Metaphysical painters de Chirico and Carra while there. Equally admiring the meticulous realism of the Pre-Raphaelites and French 19th century painters, he began to blend conceptual styles and technique. Beginning in 1927, Dali exhibited in Madrid and Barcelona, earning a reputation for being one of the most promising younger painters. A visit to Paris in 1928 brought him into contact with Picasso and the Surrealists Miro, Masson, Ernst, Tanguy and Andr, Breton; shortly thereafter, his first exhibition brought Dali firmly into the Surrealist movement where he was a leading figure during the next ten years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After visiting Italy the same year, he briefly changed his style of painting to reflect the academic influence of Raphael before returning to a more private mythology. By 1940 he left for 15 years in the United States. With his first retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1941, Dali devoted his energies towards publicity during those years before returning to Spain in 1955. Included in major museums worldwide, Dali's work continues to fascinate, most recently with a major exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994 of the celebrated early Surrealist years.

Jim Dine

Jim Dine was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1935. He studied at the University of Cincinnati, the Boston Museum School, and in 1957 received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Ohio University. After graduation, he moved to New York City and became involved with a circle of artists—including Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, and Roy Lichtenstein.
As an artist, Mr. Dine incorporates images of everyday objects in his artwork, but he diverges from the coldness and impersonal nature of pop art by making works that fuse personal passions and everyday experiences. His repeated use of familiar and personally significant objects, such as a robe, hands, tools, and hearts, is a signature of his art.

In his early work, Mr. Dine created mostly assemblages in which he attached actual objects to his painted canvases, as in Shoes Walking on My Brain (1960). From 1959 to 1960, Mr. Dine also was a pioneer of happenings, works of art that took the form of theatrical events or demonstrations.


In 1967, Jim Dine and his family moved to London, England, where he devoted his energies to printmaking and drawing. When he returned to the United States in 1971, he concentrated on figure drawing. Jim Dine is considered among the most accomplished draftsmen of his generation, and is known for his series of self-portraits and portraits of his wife, Nancy. Mr. Dine's attention turned to sculptural work in the early 1980s when he created sculptures based on the ancient sculpture Venus de Milo. His recent art uses imagery borrowed from ancient Greek, Egyptian, and African objects.

Raoul Dufy
From Paris to the Riviera, Raoul Dufy's lively watercolors capture the essence and energy of France during the early 20th century. Born in LeHavre, Dufy began his studies there, taking night classes at L'cole des Beaux Arts. In 1900, after being awarded a scholarship to pursue his artistic ambitions, the artist moved to Paris and enrolled at the cole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts.

 

 

 

 


While the Impressionist-dominated Parisian art scene had a profound impact on Dufy's early landscapes, the artist attended an exhibition of the Salon des Independants of 1905 and was struck by the dazzling colors of Matisse and the Fauvist group. This encounter radically changed the artist's approach to painting. Dufy immediately began to incorporate the lively brush strokes and brilliant color of Fauvism into his work.
Working primarily in watercolor, the artist developed a signature technique of highly stylized calligraphic drawings accented with washes of bold color. His travels around the Mediterranean provided inspiration for many of the artist's best known paintings and the cheerful theme of the seaside is a recurring motif in his work. These immensely popular works exude spontaneity with their exuberant color and dynamic line.
Dufy extended the range of his oeuvre with innovative fabric design, book illustration, ceramics and tapestry. An unparalleled colorist, Dufy's highly decorative works retain a level of freshness and verve that have made them popular with modern audiences.

Keith Haring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Success afforded him the opportunity to control his own market and remain independent, crucial to his vision of his work.
From 1985 until his death in 1990 from complications due to AIDS, Haring concentrated much of his extraordinary energy on visual political messages, particularly focusing on generating action and conveying the dangers and effects of AIDS.

Initially viewed simply as a graffiti artist who used vacant advertising boards in the New York subway as his canvas in the early 1980s, Keith Haring (1959-1990) provoked debate on the street and within the exclusive art establishment with his radiant comic figures and increasingly political messages.
Arriving in New York in 1978 to study at the School of Visual Arts, Haring was inspired by the East Village club scene identified with punk and rap music, breakdancing and graffiti as a public statement of personal expression.
Working with remarkable speed and clarity, Haring's images convey a conspicuous energy in the brevity of his line, bold color relationships conveying his early interest in graphic design, and simplified figurative forms.
As he became prominent with the gallery and museum world, Haring provoked additional debate by purposely commercializing his own work, reproducing his signature figures on an array of products and opening his own retail stores including Wham Bam in Miami and the Pop Shop in New York.
Paul Klee
1879-1940, Swiss painter, graphic artist, and art theorist, b. near Bern. Klee's enormous production (more than 9,000 works) is unique in that it represents the successful combination of his sophisticated theories of abstraction with a very personal inventiveness that has the appearance of great innocence. The son of a music teacher, he was himself a musician, and musical analogies permeate his writing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He traveled through Europe, open to many artistic influences. The most important of these were the works of Blake, Beardsley, Goya, Ensor, and, especially, Cézanne. In 1911 he became associated with the Blaue Reiter group and later exhibited as one of the Blue Four.

Klee's awakening to color occurred on a trip to Tunis in 1914, a year after he had met Delaunay and been made aware of new theories of color use. Thereafter his whimsical and fantastic images were rendered with a luminous and subtle color sense. Characteristic of his witty, often grotesque, pieces are The Twittering Machine (1922, Mus. of Modern Art, New York City) and Fish Magic (1925, Phila. Mus. of Art). Other works reveal the strong, rhythmic patterns of a relentless terror, as in Revolutions of the Viaducts (1937, Hamburg). World famous by 1929, Klee taught at the Bauhaus (1922-31) and at the Düsseldorf academy (1931-33) until the Nazis, who judged his work degenerate, forced him to resign. In his series of Pedagogical Sketchbooks (tr. 1944) and lecture notes entitled The Thinking Eye (tr. 1961), Klee sought to define his intuitive approach to artistic creation. His last ten years were spent in Switzerland, and nearly 2,600 of his works are in the Klee Foundation, Bern.

Gustav Klimt

In "The Kiss," Klimt's best known work, beautifully rendered figures float dreamlike in space, wrapped in an abstracted mosaic robe that veils graceful organic contours. The rhythmic flowing line and biomorphic form of Klimt's unparalleled paintings became a potent influence on the Art Nouveau movement. In other works he treats the human figure without shadow and heightens the lush sensuality of skin by surrounding it with areas of flat, highly ornamental, and brilliantly composed areas of decoration.
In 1897 Klimt's mature style emerged, and he founded the Vienna Sezession, a group of painters who revolted against academic art in favour of a highly decorative style similar to Art Nouveau. Soon thereafter he painted three allegorical murals for the ceiling of the University of Vienna auditorium that were violently criticized; the erotic symbolism and pessimism of these works created such a scandal that the murals were rejected. His later murals, the "Beethoven Frieze" (1902; Österreichische Gallery, Vienna) and the murals (1909-11) in the dining room of the Stoclet House, Brussels, are characterized by precisely linear drawing and the bold and arbitrary use of flat, decorative patterns of colour and gold leaf. Klimt's most successful works include "The Kiss" (1908; Österreichische Gallery) and a series of portraits he did of fashionable Viennese matrons, such as "Frau Fritza Riedler" (1906; Österreichische Gallery) and "Frau Adele Bloch-Bauer" (1907; Österreichische Gallery).

Austrian painter and founder of the school of painting known as the Vienna Sezession. Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) shocked early 20th century audiences with his unorthodox, subtly erotic paintings.
Born in Baumgarten, a suburb of Vienna, Klimt's interest in art was nurtured by his father, an engraver in gold and silver. The artist's formal training began at Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna. After studying at the Vienna School of Decorative Arts, Klimt in 1883 opened an independent studio specializing in the execution of mural paintings. His early work was typical of late 19th-century academic painting, as can be seen in his murals for the Vienna Burgtheater (1888) and on the staircase of the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Marie Laurencin

Born illegitimately in Paris, Marie Laurencin was a unique female painter who, though baptized in the artistic movement that would change the very currents of early twentieth century art, such as Fauvism and cubism, went on to develop her own distinctive aesthetic world. She was introduced to Black, who was a classmate at art school, to a run-down apartment called “le Bateau-Lavoir”, which served as a hangout/atelier for poor progressive artists.It was there that she spent a legendary youth with the likes of Picasso and Apollinaire. She went on to adopt the pale colors and clean form that characterize her works, many of which feature female forms, and carve out an important place among the many talents of the Paris school.

Laurencin would go on to spend a life full of ups and downs that spanned two World Wars and included a marriage to a German baron; defection to Spain; divorce; and return to Paris where she became a socialite. She died in Pairs at the age of 73.
One can detect several different stages in Laurencin’s work over the years; yet permeating all her work is the sensitivity of an exceptionally perceptive woman and a lyricism tinged with angst. The pastel tones of rose, purple, blue and gray evince a glimmer of unmistakable intelligence and the existence of a cautiously hinted sensuality that create a soft and serene atmosphere, as if the entire scene were covered with a veil of mystery.

In addition to paintings, Laurencin was also very accomplished in the applied arts, creating numerous, primarily printed, illustrated; designing stage sets and costumes for the likes of the Russian Ballet; and becoming involved in interior design. Her representative works include The Fan, The Kiss, and The Three

Roy Lichtenstein

A New York City native, Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) began his art studies in 1939 at the Art Student's League under urban scene painter Reginald Marsh. The artist continued his studies at Ohio State University where he was introduced to European Modernism and the works of Picasso, Klee and Kandinsky. His studies were interrupted by military service, but, after the war, Lichtenstein returned to Ohio State and completed a
Masters in Fine Art degree in 1949.

As a central figure in the Pop Art movement of the 1960s, Lichtenstein sought an anonymous style, removing all personal reference from his work to convey the appearance of mass production. Borrowed imagery from the pages of magazine advertisements and newspaper comic strips became the focus of his compositions. In discussing his work, Lichtenstein once said: "All my art is in some way about other art, even if the other art is cartoons."

Working with stencils, Lichtenstein developed a technique using rows of dots that mimicked the commercial printing patterns used in the production of comic books. This resemblance was further emphasized by Lichtenstein's selection of a palette of bright primary colors that replicated the chromatic range of comic books. In addition, the artist has produced several large scale sculptures commissioned for public places, most notably "Mermaid" in Miami Beach. Lichtenstein's unconventional paintings, regarded by many as beyond the bounds of fine art during the 1960s, are now considered icons of the Pop Art movement and have secured the artist's place in art history.
Lichtenstein has had retrospectives at the Tate Gallery in London, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

Henri Matisse

1869-1954, French painter, sculptor, and lithographer. Along with Picasso, Matisse is considered one of the two foremost artists of the modern period. His contribution to 20th-century art is inestimably great. Matisse began to study law and, during an illness in 1890, took up painting, thereafter forsaking law entirely. He studied first with the academician Bouguereau and then with Gustave Moreau, in whose studio he met many painters who would soon attain prominence with him in the fauvist movement. Matisse's earliest work was exceptionally mature. He explored impressionism (e.g., La Desserte, 1897; Niarchos Coll., Athens) and, coming into contact with the theories of Paul Signac, drew upon neo-impressionist styles as in Luxe, calme et volupté (c.1905; private coll.).

To learn aspects of composition he made variations on the works of the old masters in the Louvre, a practice he continued for many years (e.g., Variation on a Still-life by de Heem, c.1915; S. A. Marx Coll., Chicago). Matisse began exhibiting in 1896 and at first was unsuccessful. In 1905 at Collioure, a Mediterranean village, he began using pure primary color as a significant structural element. His portrait of Mme Matisse, known as The Green Line (1905; State Mus., Copenhagen), exemplifies this abstract, intellectual use of color. In 1905 he exhibited at the Salon d'automne with the group of artists called fauves [Fr.,=wild beasts], so named for their remarkable, exuberant use of color. Matisse became a leader of fauvism, delighting in vivid color for its sensual and decorative value. After the demise of fauvism Matisse continued to use color to communicate his joy in bold pattern and striking ornament, e.g., in The Moorish Screen (1921; Phila. Mus. of Art) and Lady in Blue (1937; private coll.).

He experimented frequently with different sorts of expressive abstraction, as in The Blue Nude (1907; Baltimore Mus. of Art), Mlle Landsberg (1914; Phila. Mus. of Art), and The Piano Lesson (1916; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City), but he rejected cubism in order to develop his own ideas. In 1908 Matisse wrote out his theories for La Grande Revue; he wished, if possible, to paint a visual representation of his emotional reaction to a subject rather than its realistic appearance. By 1909 the artist's fame was worldwide. Matisse's early sculptured works reveal an interest in African sculpture and in Rodin's treatment of forms. Matisse designed for the ballet (1920, 1938) and illustrated works by Mallarmé (1932) and Baudelaire (1944), among many others.

His superbly simple line drawings rank among the greatest works of graphic art of the 20th century. When he was nearly 80, Matisse volunteered to decorate the Dominican nuns' chapel at Vence, France. In his last years he made brilliant paper cutouts and stencils (e.g., Jazz, 1947; Phila. Mus. of Art), as gay and as strong in design as his earliest work. The largest collections of Matisse's works may be found in the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; and the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

Joan Miro
I make no distinction between painting and poetry.... The poetic paintings of 20th century master Joan Miro (1893-1983) amuse, inspire and captivate audiences worldwide. Born in Barcelona, Spain, Miro studied art at School of Fine Arts at La Llotja and Gali's Escola d'Art.

 

 

 

 

 

His earliest works show the influence of the Fauve and Cubist movements which were fashionable in Spain during the early part of the century. In 1920, Miro traveled to Paris and painted with Surrealists Andr, Masson and Max Ernst. While frequently identified with the Surrealist movement, Miro never fully accepted the movement's creed and refused to sign the Surrealist Manifesto. Miro's vibrant canvases transport the viewer to alien worlds inhabited by all manner of whimsical creatures.

His work has been characterized as psychic automatism, an expression of the subconscious in free form. By 1930 Miró had developed a lyrical style that remained fairly consistent. It is distinguished by the use of brilliant pure color and the playful juxtaposition of delicate lines with abstract, often amoebic shapes. Throughout his life, Miro felt a deep connection to his Catalan heritage and much of the symbolism that is so prevalent in his work is deeply rooted in this bond. In 1940 Miro returned to Spain and began to explore new media including large scale sculpture, ceramics, murals and tapestries. Following his first retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in 1941, Miro achieved international acclaim and is recognized as a pioneer of Modernism. After 1941, Miró lived mainly in Majorca. He painted murals for hotels in New York City and Cincinnati and for the Graduate Center at Harvard. In 1958 he completed ceramic decorations for the UNESCO buildings in Paris. Many of his canvases are in the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, both in New York City.

Claude Monet

1840-1926, French landscape painter, b. Paris. Monet was a founder of impressionism. He adhered to its principles throughout his long career and is considered the most consistently representative painter of the school as well as one of the foremost painters of landscape in the history of art. As a youth in Le Havre, Monet was encouraged by the marine painter Boudin to paint in the open air, a practice he never forsook.

After two years (1860-62) with the army in Algeria, he went to Paris, over parental objections, to study painting. In Paris, Monet formed lasting friendships with the artists who would become the major impressionists, including Pissarro, Cézanne, Renoir, Sisley, and Bazille. He and several of his friends painted for a time out-of-doors in the Barbizon district. Monet soon began to concern himself with his lifelong objective: portraying the variations of light and atmosphere brought on by changes of hour and season. Rather than copy in the Louvre, the traditional practice of young artists, Monet learned from his friends, from the landscape itself, and from the works of his older contemporaries Manet, Corot, and Courbet. Monet's representation of light was based on his knowledge of the laws of optics as well as his own observations of his subjects.

He often showed natural color by breaking it down into its different components as a prism does. Eliminating black and gray from his palette, Monet rejected entirely the academic approach to landscape. In his later works Monet allowed his vision of light to dissolve the real structures of his subjects. To do this he chose simple matter, making several series of studies of the same object at different times of day or year: haystacks, morning views of the Seine, the Gare Saint-Lazare (1876-78), poplars (begun 1890), the Thames, the celebrated group of Rouen Cathedral (1892-94), and the last great lyrical series of water lilies (1899, and 1904-25), painted in his own garden at Giverny (one version, a vast triptych c.1920; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City). In 1874 Sisley, Morisot, and Monet organized the first impressionist group show, which was ferociously maligned by the critics, who coined the term impressionism after Monet's Impression: Sunrise, 1872 (Mus. Marmottan, Paris).

The show failed financially. However, by 1883 Monet had prospered, and he retired from Paris to his home in Giverny. In the last decade of his life Monet, nearly blind, painted a group of large water lily murals (Nymphéas) for the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris. Monet's work is particularly well represented in the Louvre, the Marmottan (Paris), the National Gallery (London), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. It is also included in many famous private collections.

Pablo Picasso

1881-1973, Spanish painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and ceramist, who worked in France. He is generally considered in his technical virtuosity, enormous versatility, and incredible originality and prolificity to have been the foremost figure in 20th-century art.

Early Life and Work

A precocious draftsman, Picasso was admitted to the advanced classes at the Royal Academy of Art in Barcelona at 15. After 1900 he spent much time in Paris, remaining there from 1904 to 1947, when he moved to the South of France. His power is revealed in his very early works, some of which were influenced by Toulouse-Lautrec (such as Old Woman, 1901; Philadelphia Mus. of Art). Picasso's artistic production is usually described in terms of a series of overlapping periods. In his "blue period" (1901-4) he depicted the world of the poor. Predominantly in tones of blue, these melancholy paintings (such as The Old Guitarist, 1903; Art Inst. of Chicago) are among the most popular art works of the century. Canvases from Picasso's "rose period" (1905-6) are characterized by a lighter palette and greater lyricism, with subject matter often drawn from circus life. Picasso's Parisian studio attracted the major figures of the avant-garde at this time, including Matisse, Braque, Apollinaire, and Gertrude Stein. He had already produced numerous engravings of great power and began his work in sculpture during these years.

CubismIn

1907 Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (Mus. of Modern Art, New York City), a radical departure from the artistic ideas of the preceding ages and now considered the most significant work in the development toward cubism and modern abstraction (see modern art). The influence of Cézanne and of African sculpture is apparent in its fragmented forms and unprecedented distortions. The painting heralded the first phase of cubism, called analytic cubism. This severe, intellectual style was conceived and developed by Picasso, Braque, and Gris c.1909-12. Picasso's Female Nude (1910-11; Philadelphia Mus. of Art) is a representative painting and his Woman's Head (1909; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City) a representative sculpture of this style.

In the synthetic phase of cubism (after 1912) his forms became larger and more representational, and flat, bright decorative patterns replaced the earlier, more austere compositions. The Three Musicians (1921; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City) exemplifies this style. Picasso's cubist works established firmly that the work of art may exist as a significant object beyond any attempt to represent reality. During both periods of cubism experiments by Picasso and others resulted in several new techniques, including collage and papier collé.

Other Stylistic Innovations

Picasso's enormous energy and fecundity was manifested by another development. In the 1920s he drew heavily on classical themes and produced magnificent monumental nudes and monsters that were reminiscent of antiquity and rendered with a certain anguished irony.These works appeared simultaneously with synthetic cubist paintings. Picasso was for a time saluted as a forerunner of surrealism, but his intellectual approach was basically antithetical to the irrational aesthetic of the surrealist painters. The artist sought to strengthen the emotional impact of his work and became preoccupied with the delineation of agony. In 1937 the bombing of the Spanish town of Guernica impelled him to produce his second landmark painting, Guernica (Mus. of Modern Art, New York City), an impassioned allegorical condemnation of fascism and war. The profits he earned from a series of etchings and prints made in the 1930s went to help the Republican cause.

Later Life and Work

In his later years Picasso turned to creations of fantasy and comic invention. He worked consistently in sculpture, ceramics, and in the graphic arts, producing thousands of superb drawings, illustrations, and stage designs. With unabated vigor he painted brilliant variations on the works of other masters, including Delacroix and Velázquez, and continued to explore new aspects of his personal vision until his death. His notable later works include Rape of the Sabines (1963; Picasso Mus., Paris) and Young Bather with Sand Shovel (1971; private collection, France). By virtue of his vast energies and overwhelming power of invention Picasso remains outstanding among the masters of the ages.

Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) was born in the Dutch West Indies to a Jewish father and a Creole mother. Despite the insistence of his father, Pissarro refused to make his career in commerce and left for Paris in 1855 where he entered the Academy Suisse. Initially, he was trained in a conservative style, but by the early 1870s, rejected this training and joined the Impressionist painters. Of all the Impressionists, Pissarro was unique in his avoidance of river and seascapes, choosing instead to re-create the beauty of the land and cityscape, both structure and activity. He had the ability, like Monet, to capture a specific scene at a particular moment. In 1885, Pissarro joined the Divisionists, adopting a loosely pointillistic technique. He soon abandoned this technique, however, and returned to Impressionistic ideas.
Pierre Auguste Renoir

1841-1919, French impressionist painter and sculptor, b. Limoges. Renoir went to work at the age of 13 in Paris as a decorator of factory-made porcelain, copying the works of Boucher.

In 1862 he entered M. C. Gleyre's studio, where he formed lasting friendships with Bazille, Monet and Sisley. His early work reflected myriad influences including those of Courbet, Manet, Corot, Ingres and Delacroix. He began to earn his living with portraiture in the 1870s; an important work of this period was Madame Charpentier and her Children (1876; Metropolitan Mus.). Simultaneously he developed the ability to paint joyous, shimmering color and flickering light in outdoor scenes such as The Swing and the festive Moulin de la Galette (both: 1876; Louvre). Renoir traveled in Algeria and in Italy (1881-82), returning to Paris where a successful exhibition (1883) established him financially.He had gone beyond impressionism. His ecstatic sensuality, particularly in his opulent, generalized images of women, and his admiration of the Italian masters removed him from the primary impressionist concern: to imitate the effects of natural light.

After a brief period, often termed "harsh" or "tight," in which his forms were closely defined in outline (e.g., The Bathers, 1884-87; private coll.), his style of the 1890s changed, diffusing both light and outline, and with dazzling, opalescent colors describing voluptuous nudes, radiant children, and lush summer landscapes. From 1903, Renoir fought the encroaching paralysis of arthritis at the same time that his work attained its greatest sensual power and monumentality. Despite illness and personal tragedy he began to produce major works of sculpture (e.g., Victorious Venus, Renoir Mus., Cagnes-sur-Mer). Among his most celebrated paintings are: Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881; Phillips Coll., Washington, D.C.); Dance at Bougival (1883; Mus. of Fine Arts, Boston); Lady Sewing (Art Inst., Chicago); and Bather (1917-18; Philadelphia Mus. of Art). Renoir's work is represented in most of the important galleries in the world. The Art Institute of Chicago; the Barnes Collection, Merion, Pa.; Clark Institute, Williamstown, Mass.; and the Louvre have large collections. His son, the film director Jean Renoir, wrote a biography (tr. 1962).

Andy Warhol

Best remembered for his declaration that everyone would have fifteen minutes of fame, artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987) cultivated celebrity status and achieved a level of notoriety normally reserved for Hollywood stars.

Born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the artist began studies there at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1945. In 1949, Warhol moved to New York where he established himself as a successful commercial designer working for leading fashion houses. Taking his inspiration from commercial art and popular culture, Warhol produced a series of works that appropriated imagery from advertisements and tabloids, eliminating personal references and any trace of the artist's hand. His mechanically produced works were in stark contrast to the highly personal statements of theAbstract Expressionist A 1962 exhibition that featured his "Campbell's Soup Cans" and "Coca-Cola Bottles" brought Warhol instantaneous celebrity status and he was proclaimed the leader of the Pop Art movement. In 1963 Warhol established his New York studio which he called "The Factory" and increasingly relied on assistants to produce his work. In 1965 the artist shifted his focus to film and performance art. He produced numerous multi-media events he labeled "The Exploding Plastic Inevitable." The Andy Warhol Museum opened in the artist's hometown of Pittsburgh in 1994