Masterpieces with Single Tree Composition

Fundamentally, all landscape paintings have a focal point, which draws the viewer’s eye to the heart of the paintings composition. For instance (as shown below), the cypress trees serve as the focal point in Vincent van Gogh’s painting ‘Wheat Field and Cypress Trees’, the sun in Claude Monet’s painting ‘Impression’ and the central tree in the painting ‘Banks of the Marne’ by Paul Cezanne.

But what if the composition of the painting comprises of a single tree, the focal point diminishes and the central figure is the lone subject of the painting. Which genre would the artwork fall under – Landscape, subject study or symbolic art? The theme sounds vague, boring and bland but surprisingly this rare composition has been captured beautifully by many master artists. We explore few such masterpieces that aesthetically illustrate this atypical theme.

The Mulberry Tree by Vincent van Gogh-
The isolated tree shown against a rocky terrain has its branches spread out with a blast of fiery colors. Vincent managed to create a magical autumn experience by means of just a single tree.

 

 

Rose bushes under the Trees by Gustav Klimt-
The canvas is like a confetti explosion of various shades of greens and yellows. Klimt’s unique composition of a single tree with rich foliage, depicted with tiny specks of brush strokes is one of his most popular masterpieces.

 

 

The Tree Series by Piet Mondrian-
The solitary trees in the series are depicted in their most basic and simplistic form, true to Mordrian’s art movement ‘De Stijl’ / ’The Style’. Cleverly angled brush strokes, and limited palette void of greens are the unique characteristics of this series.

 

 

The Bonaventure Pine by Paul Signac-
Painted in pointillism style a huge Umbrella Pine tree stretches across the canvas. The subdued background highlights the majestic form and the interesting shape of the tree. Following the pointillism technique of small dots applied in patterns, pixels of lighter tone sprinkled around the tree, suggest sunlight filtering through the leaves, adding a dreamy feel to the painting.

 

 

Autumn trees by Egon Schiele-
The bare lone trees made by the expressionist artists are metamorphic, the series deal with the themes related to death and rebirth. Grey palette, twisted trunk, cloudy sky and entwined branches are a compelling portrayal of a stormy winter, allegorical of misery and loneliness.

 

 

Pine Tree near Aix by Paul Cezanne-
The composition of this artwork differs from the rest, it’s unique and abstract, much like the other artworks of the post impressionist artist. The central figure (i.e. the pine tree) gets cut from all sides and is used as a frame for the painting. The mesh of the branches connecting the sides, combine all the elements to the center of the composition.

 

 

The Oak by Edvard Munch-
The artwork has an interesting color scheme, cool sky tones gradually descend to warm earthy color, diagonally from top left to bottom right. Though the color gradient of the tree is reflected on the background, yet Munch successively managed to highlight the tree as the central figure.

 

 

The Pink Peach Tree by Vincent Van Gogh-
The painting depicts a peach tree in bloom during springtime, despite being painted with subtle and pastel shades the artwork looks vibrant and spirited. The perspective exaggerated by the tapering flow of the brush strokes helps in highlighting the tree as the main subject.

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Th.V. Doesburg, Drei Haeuser by Juan Gris-
The abstract treatment represents the tree as a three-dimensional form viewed from a single perspective. The cubist artist’s composition despite its simplified geometric forms retains the look and feel of a landscape.

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Tree in flower near Vetheuil by Claude Monet-
The father of impressionism’s technique of capturing light and its effect on the color of the object is at play in this painting. The light and shade on the solitary tree are represented brilliantly with precise dabs and dashes of varied tones.

 

 

Little Oak Tree by Franz Marc-
The simplicity of the painting is reminiscent of ‘The Mulberry Tree’ by Vincent van Gogh (first painting on the top), spirals of fresh green leaves are highlighted by the brilliant blue sky and animated strokes of the ground.

 

 

The Fig Tree by Paul Klee-
The lone trees’ composition, monochromatic tones and the arrangement of the colored shapes reflect the artists experience in stain glass.

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L’Arbre (The Tree) by Pablo Picasso-
Picasso’s neutral colored artwork illustrates a stylized tree, with array of bold strokes and distorted shapes, the composition is compact with interlinked forms.

 

 

A Great Tree by  J. W. Turner-
The Watercolor artwork projects a powerful and majestic tree, the composition partly cuts the tree from the sides, highlighting the sunlit part of the tree as the focal point.

 

 

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When Art inspired Art

It has been a common practice for artists to replicate the composition of the paintings made by their favorite master artists.  These replicas have been a result of sincere admiration and genuine inspiration. We have listed few such reproduced artworks that have been created with similar theme as the original masterpiece but yet each the copied painting retains its own uniqueness made with fresh creativity.

Vincent van Gogh made over 30 copies of artworks made by his favorite artists- Delacroix, Jean-Francois Millet and Rembrandt. These replicas are not ‘plagiarized ideas’, he reproduced the paintings infusing his own originality with new art techniques and symbolism.

Noon Rest from Work by Jean-Francois Millet (Original)

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Noon – Rest from Work by Vincent van Gogh

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‘Portrait of Young Woman with Unicorn’, a painting made by Raphael was inspired by the ‘Mona Lisa’, painted by Leonardo da Vinci. The landscape in the background, three-quarter cut of the portrait and the subjects pose, clearly takes on the composition of the masterpiece made by Leonardo da Vinci. However Raphael’s model has naivety and innocence in contrast to the mysterious Mona Lisa.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci (Original)

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Portrait of Young Woman with Unicorn by Raphael

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Silk-screen prints of Kate Moss by the British artist Banksy are reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s portraits of Marilyn Monroe. The graffiti artist has given a contemporary makeover to the classic masterpiece with superimposed hairstyle and vibrant backgrounds.

Andy Warhol’s portraits of Marilyn Monroe (Original)

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Banksy’s portraits of Kate Moss

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‘The Balcony’ a painting by Edouard Manet was inspired by ‘The Majas at the balcony’ made by Francisco Goya. Manet applied an interesting color contrast, the three models are Manet’s friends shown in a casual setting. Goya’s theme on the other hand is rather tense, two elegant women are watched over by hostile male figures in the background.

‘The Majas at the balcony’ made by Francisco Goya (Original)

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‘The Balcony’ a painting by Edouard Manet

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‘Women of Algiers in their Apartment’ is a depiction of a Muslim harem, the painting was created after Eugene Delacroix’s visit to Morocco. The artist was captivated by the Oriental culture, brightly colored flowing costumes, Caravans, Veiled women, and Erotic Harems. In homage to this artwork, Pierre-Auguste Renoir created ‘Parisian Women in Algerian Costume (The Harem). Later Picasso in his cubist style made a series of 15 paintings inspired by Delacroix’s masterpiece.

‘Women of Algiers in their Apartment’ by Eugene Delacroix’s (Original)

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‘Parisian Women in Algerian Costume’ by Renoir

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Women of Algiers by Picasso

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Taking inspired from the composition of ‘The Pastoral Concert’ made by Titan, Edouard Manet painted ‘The Luncheon on the Grass’. Unlike Titan’s mythological theme, Manet’s painting had a contemporary setting. In that era, the art critics considered Manet’s painting obscene, lacking any mythological theme or allegorical precedent a nude and a scantily dressed female along with two fully cloth men in an urban setting couldn’t be passed off as a respectable subject. Claude Monet further inspired by Manet’s painting made his own version of ‘The Luncheon on the Grass’.  James Tissot’s version ‘The Foursome’ was more animated but it was much tamer and sober.

‘The Pastoral Concert’ made by Titan (Original)

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‘The Luncheon on the Grass’ by Edouard Manet

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‘The Luncheon on the Grass’ by Claude Monet

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The Foursome by James Tissot

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The composition of ‘Bedroom at Arles’ painted by Roy Lichtenstein is an exact replica of Vincent van Gogh’s painting of the same title. The technique is what gives the Pop artists painting its originality.

‘Bedroom at Arles’ by Vincent van Gogh (Original)

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‘Bedroom at Arles’ by Roy Lichtenstein

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‘The Third of May 1808’ is a painting made by Spanish artist Francisco Goya to honor Spanish resistance to Napoleon’s armies. The artwork inspired Edouard Manet’s painting ‘Execution of Emperor Maximilian’ and Pablo Picassos masterpiece ‘Guernica’. Manet’s painting portrays the execution of the Emperor of Mexico and ‘Guernica’ is and anti-war painting made by Picasso depicting the aftermath of the Nazi German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.

‘The Third of May 1808’ by Francisco Goya (Original)

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‘Execution of Emperor Maximilian’ by Edouard Manet

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‘Guernica’ by Picasso

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The Card Players is a series of oil paintings made by Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cezanne, depicting peasants engrossed in their pipes and playing cards. Cezanne gained inspiration from the painting ‘The Card Players’ made by one of the Le Nain brothers. While the original is highly animated and has a lot of drama, farmers in Cezanne’s artwork are calm and intensely focused on their game.

‘The Card Players’ by the Le Nain brothers (Original)

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‘The Card Players’ by Paul Cezanne

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Johannes Vermeer’s painting ‘The Art of Painting’ is in fact a self portrait, the artist has his back towards the viewer. Perfectly balanced composition, flawless lighting and remarkably realistic technique makes this masterpiece artwork one of the finest creation made by the artist. Salvador Dali revered Vermeer, ‘The Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used As a Table’ is a surrealistic painting made by him in reference to Vermeer’s appearance in his popular painting ‘The Art of Painting’.

‘The Art of Painting’ by Johannes Vermeer (Original)

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‘The Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used As a Table’ by Dali

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‘Woman with a Parasol’ (Mrs. Monet and their son) was painted by Claude Monet in a single session probably within few hours, the impulsiveness is clearly visible with the bold and dynamic strokes of multiple shades. Upwards perspective, windy atmosphere and the juxtaposition of Mrs Monet with her partly visible son, adds a sense of amazing depth. Inspired by this remarkable artwork, American artist John Singer Sargent, painted ‘Two Girls with Parasols’, the theme and feel of the painting is similar, it depicts a relaxed and casual outing on a sunny, fair weather day.

‘Woman with a Parasol’ by Claude Monet (Original)

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‘Two Girls with Parasols’ by John Singer Sargent

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10 Legendary Muses in Art History

For centuries, in the history of art many master artists captivated by heir muses have created remarkable masterpieces. The magnetic force of the muse has proved to expand the mesmerized artists’ creativity. It’s interesting how the intensity and nature of muse-artist relationship clearly reflects on the artworks. We have featured some of the most popular muses’ who have been responsible for inspiring renowned artists’ in creating highly creative and incredible paintings.

Emilie Louise Flöge an Austrian fashion designer and successful businesswoman made a lasting impression on the symbolist painter Gustav Klimt. A creative, free-spirited and an accomplished woman, who led a bohemian life style had much in common with the artist. She is known to be his life companion, in his final moments Klimt’s last words were “Get Emilie”. She modeled for his paintings, designed attires for the figures in his artworks and greatly influenced the decorative patterns of his paintings.

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Gala Dalí, a powerful inspiration for her husband Salvador Dalí, was also a muse for many other writers and artists of her time. She modeled for some of the best known paintings and sculptures created by her husband. The surrealist painter was so enamored by his wife that eventually he started signing his paintings with his and her name. He stated “(i)t is mostly with your blood, Gala, that I paint my pictures”.

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Lydia Corbett was an inspiration that lead Pablo Picasso into creating 60+ remarkable artworks. She was a charming 19-year-old at the time she met the artist, she tied her blonde hair in a typical high ponytail fashion with fringes. At the first meeting itself he was taken by her youthfulness, innocence and her timid nature. Art historians have termed this phase of Picasso’s art as his ‘Ponytail Period’ and the artworks as ‘Sylvette series’ (Lydia was then called Sylvette). Lydia Corbett is an artist in her own right who has held numerous successful exhibitions of her remarkable artworks.

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George Dyer was a petty criminal when he met British painter Francis Bacon. It is said that Dyer was caught by Bacon conducting burglary into the artist’s apartment. Bacon latter stated that he was attracted to Dyer’s helplessness and immaturity, Dyer on the other hand was awe-struck by the artist’s intellect and self-confidence. Their fiery and passionate relationship led the artist to create some of his most original and creative portraits and artworks.

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Victorine Meurent modeled for many impressionist artists however she was predominantly featured in most of the masterpieces made by Edouard Manet. The artist is said to have been charmed by her when he first saw Meurent in the street carrying her guitar, she use to play the instrument in café-concerts. ‘The Luncheon on the Grass’ and ‘Olympia’ (Shown below) are the two most popular artworks that feature her nude portrayal. An accomplished artist herself, she regularly exhibited at the prestigious Paris Salon.

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Saskia van Uylenburgh, wife of painter Rembrandt van Rijn served as his muse for numerous masterpieces. The artists featured her in many of his mythical, biblical and historical themed artworks and painted numerous portraits of her. Saskia died after giving birth to their fourth child Titus’s, most likely from tuberculosis. There’s a collection of touching artworks which he lovingly created of her while she was sick on her death bed.

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Camille Monet, wife and muse of French painter ClaudeMonet has been featured in number of his masterpieces. ‘The Woman in the Green Dress’, which earned Monet critical acclaim at the Paris salon, is the most popular painting which features her as a subject. Besides being Monet’s muse, she also modeled for other known Impressionist artists, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Edouard Manet. Tragically, Camille died very young due to pelvic cancer, grief-stricken Monet made numerous intense and expressive paintings of his dead wife.
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Elizabeth Siddal, a talented artist herself, inspired her husband Dante Gabriel Rossetti and other artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. She has been the central subject of Rossetti’s symbolic and mythological paintings and drawings which have been said to amount in thousands. Rossetti represented Siddal as Dante’s Beatrice in one of his most famous works, Beata Beatrix. While posing for artist John Everett Millais’ ‘Ophelia’ (Shown below) in 1852, Siddal floated in a bathtub full of water to represent the drowning Ophelia. Millais painted daily into the winter putting lamps under the tub to warm the water.

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Frida Kahlo once stated “I am my own muse, I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.” In her life-time Frida Kahlo created 55 self-portraits. The experience of excruciating physical pain (due to a childhood accident) and emotional turmoil owing to her tumultuous personal life is characteristically represented by her in her self-portraits.

Self Portrait Frida Kahlo

 

Camille Claudel, a famed French sculptor started her relationship with artist Auguste Rodin as his pupil eventually became his companion and inspiration. Quoted as a ‘woman genius’ by the art critics, she not only played the role of a muse but also influenced sculptor Auguste Rodin’s art style. Interestingly, their turbulent and passionate relationship echo’s on both, Rodin’s and Claudel’s artworks.

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10 Masterpieces that have Transcended Time

Art is decidedly subjective, what might appeal to you may not have the same effect on someone else. For instance, personally, I favor artworks made during impressionism and post impressionism era. There are some who only like realistic art from renaissance period in contrast to a section of art enthusiasts who are fond of modern and contemporary art. Consequently, jotting down a set of ‘Best Artworks’, ‘Greatest Masterpieces’ or ‘Most Famous Paintings’ as such is near impossible. However we have list out 10 masterpieces which are considered most innovative and remarkably intriguing by majority of the art lovers, each made by a different master artist.

Starry night (1889- Post Impressionism), the masterpiece is believed to be a view from Vincent van Gogh’s room in an asylum at Saint-Remy. The upper half of the painting shows a vibrant sky bursting with energy, the turbulent swirls are in sharp contrast with the calm and sleepy village in the lower half of the painting. Based on Vincent’s religiously beliefs, art historians interpret that the cypress tree in the foreground symbolizes the unification of the world with the cosmos.


Impression- Sunrise
(1874- Impressionism), by Claude Monet was displayed in the first art exhibition held by then struggling artists- Manet, Renoir, Degas and Monet. Rebuffed by the art critics, they used the title of this painting to phrase the exhibition as “The Exhibition of the Impressionists” hence accidentally defining the new art movement. His technique of loose and short brushstrokes captured the essence of the Sunrise. The uniquely unfinished look of this artwork is what paved the way for the new art movement- Impressionism.


The Kiss
(1907- Symbolism) Gustav Klimt’s signature style of clubbing decorative patterns with semi- realistic figures has been best achieved in his celebrated artwork-‘The Kiss’.  The painting shows an entwined couple symbolizing love. The masculine geometric shapes on the man’s gown gradually merge in to the lady’s floral pattern symbolizing the couple’s passionate union as one. Further adding to this blissful union is the surreal dreamlike setting of shimmering gold plated background.


Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
(The Young Ladies of Avignon) (1907- Cubism) by Pablo Picasso is considered to be the prototype that shaped Cubism and Modern Art. The masterpiece projects the creative maturity achieved by Picasso over the years, a style that fermented over time through his various experiments and techniques. The painting portrays five female prostitutes from a brothel in Barcelona, with the simplistic and two-dimensional figures Picasso breaks the conventional rules of perspective and realism.


The Persistence of Memory
(1931- Surrealism) by Salvador Dalí, is widely believed to be the masterpiece that best defines the art movement ‘Surrealism’. The painting shows pocket watches melting against a barren backdrop. Composition is dreamlike and the execution is realistic, typical characteristics of a surrealistic painting, as stated by Dali himself “hand painted dream photographs”. The subject of the artwork is insignificance of time, the ants on the left suggest decaying and the distorted central form is often referred as a Self-portrait.


Mona Lisa
(1517- Renaissance) is undoubtedly the most popular portraits in the art world, the greatest creation of renaissance period and the finest masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci. This accomplished portrait is most known for its captivating and mysterious half-smile, it’s been an ultimate source of inspiration for visual and literary arts.  Art expert’s latest belief has been that for the hopping smile, the genius artist, applied optical illusion called sfumato, generated by clever shading around the cheek bones and mouth.


Birth of Venus
(1480- Renaissance) by Sandro Botticelli, is one of the best representation of the origin of the ‘Goddess of love’, a common mythological subject of the Renaissance Period. The painting shows Venus, who has just risen from the sea on a shell, she is gently being blown towards the shore by the God of Wind. On the right, Hora the Goddess of Spring reaches out to cover her with a cloak. Her elegant posture and melancholic gaze makes Botticelli’s Venus look like a mystifying beauty.


The Girl with a Pearl Earring
(1665- Baroque), often referred as ‘The Dutch Mona Lisa’ is one of the most notable painting made by Johannes Vermeer.  The expressions and pose of the subject makes it incredibly interactive. The startled, wide-eyed subject looks back at the viewer with an exceedingly engaging half smile much like Leonard’s Mona Lisa, it seems that the viewer has managed to catch her attention causing her to pause and gaze back over her shoulder.


Dance at le Moulin de la Galette
(1876- Impressionism) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir- The artwork shows, couples dancing in the open-air dance hall and a café on a Sunday afternoon. The joyful ambiance fashioned by Renoir reflects the typical life style of the Parisians. The figures have soft contours, mildly blending with each other, adding a dreamy feel to the painting. The entire canvas is covered with spots of light and shadow, suggesting sunlight filtering through the trees, adding a gleaming summery experience to the scenario.


The Fighting Temeraire
(1838- Romanticism), a seascape made by J. W. Turner, is known for its dramatic play of sunlight and its spectacular theme. The 998-gun ship, played an important role in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, in the seascape it is being towed away by a steamer to be broken up for scrap. The theme is a salute to the passing of the majestic ship, decolorized and faded it seems a thing of the past. For the sunset, Turner used the technique of glazing over impasto, captures the spirit of the moment in the most magnificent manner.

 

The Curious Case of- ‘The Barnes Collection’

 

Albert Barnes a chemist by profession is known as one of the most insightful and intuitive art collector. In late 19th century/early 20th century, when modern artists like Picasso, Matisse and Modigliani were considered too vague and forward, he invested in their artworks and gradually made an art collection of 2,500 art items which is currently worth at least $25-billion.

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With his perceptive vision, he bought priceless artworks at advantageous prices. Artworks worth millions in today’s time were bought by him within four to three-figures price range. Today ‘The Barnes collection’ is considered to be the best private art collection of post-Impressionist era. The amazing collection includes – 69 Cézannes, 60 Matisses, 44 Picassos, 178 Renoirs, 18 Henri Rousseau, 14 Modigliani, 6 Georges Seurat, Edgar Degas, 7 Vincent van Gogh and more.

Shown below are some of the prized assets-

 

 

But his excellent taste in art is not the only thing he is known for, after Barnes’ death, ownership of his exclusive collection had become a very controversial issue. Only once, did Barnes showcase his private collection publically, the displayed artworks were brutally criticized and ridiculed by the local art circle leaving a permanent resentment towards the art critics and institutes of Philadelphian.

Before long, he got a mansion built and designed especially for his collection, access to which was limited to selected few, mainly art students. Idea was to make a school and use the art for educational programs rather than showcasing it as a typical museum. The arrangement of the paintings, ancient artifacts, furniture and other antique pieces (African sculptures, Asian prints, medieval manuscripts, Old master paintings of Peter Paul Rubens, and Titian) in the mansion was unique and aesthetically interesting unlike a museum-like clichéd display.

Artworks as displayed in Barnes Mansion

 

 

For the sake of his art collection, he founded ‘The Barnes Foundation’ which stated clearly that the artworks should be only used for educational purpose, they shouldn’t be sold and that the pieces should not be moved out of the mansion under any condition. The foundation permitted the collection to be open to the public, only for few days a week.

The building where the Barnes collection was displayed in Lower Merion

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After Barnes death, in due course, as the masterpiece artworks value increased, The Philadelphia Art Museum, the very institute Barnes detested, claimed that the collection deserved to be made public. Supporters of the original foundation and nonprofit corporations voiced against the proposal since it conflicted with Barnes wishes. The factions accused the government of overlooking and disrespecting the basic rights of private property and monetizing the collection for tourism purpose. After years of legal struggle, the city finally obtains it for $107 million, a measly amount compared to the estimated $25 billion worth collection.

Supporters of the Barnes foundation protesting against the relocation of the art collection

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Barnes protest

Vandalized signs of the protester’s

Photo by William Thomas

‘The Art of the Steal’ is an excellent documentary worth watching (not to be mistaken with the Hollywood movie releases in 2013), it follows this controversial struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes’ 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art.

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Other than Barnes’ radical art collection and controversies, what’s more intriguing and admirable is his keen sense of art and intuitive nature. Entrepreneur to the core, the fact that he formed a foundation to protect his art possession proves that he anticipated that his collection in due time would become priceless. He spent most of his fortune on the artworks which the art critics of his time, yet didn’t recognize as masterpieces. Art collectors and enthusiasts like Albert Barnes are rarities in the art world.

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Why are some Artworks so expensive?

For outsiders, art world is an alien place where prices are illogically high and the artworks are fanatically sought-after items. However there are perfectly logical reasons to these so-called bizarre prices and the passion of the art collectors. Out of, the sea of reasons to ‘why art is expensive’ here are few factors that rule the evaluation process.

Auction house

Image source – dailymail.co.uk

 

Historical significance– Artists like Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Picasso were responsible for starting new revolutionary art movements. Their artworks created with radical techniques and style went on to change the face of the art world forever and laid down foundations for new art era’s. These masterpieces with historical baggage gain enormous value.

Le bassin aux nymphéas (Water lilies series) sold for $80 Million in 2008, made by Claude Monet, the founder of Impressionism.

 

The basic market equilibrium of demand and supply is applicable in the art world as well. Once a Master artist passes away, his artworks get limited, in other words supply gets restricted hence his paintings become rare articles and more in demand.

The fame of Vincent van Gogh began to spread during the last few year of his life and it reached its peak after his death, whereas during his lifetime, he apparently sold only one painting. One of world’s most popular and most expensive painting- Irises got sold for $53 million (adjusted price $111 million) in 1987.

 

Artworks created during the period marked as the turning point in an artist’s career are of great value. Each artist has a defining point in his life where his technique matures and gets marked as his signature style, which is generally his mid-career. Originality and inventiveness of these pioneer artworks is what adds value and esteem.

Picasso’s career after passing many phases like blue and rose period finally took a radical turn when he discovered Cubism. One of world’s most expensive painting- Les Femmes d’Alger (Women of Algiers) got sold for $179 million this year (2015) at Christie’s.

 

Artworks are also evaluated based on its Subject matter and CompositionSignificance of what the artworks subject narrates, symbolizes and conveys are few of the key evaluator.

Composition significantly affects the visual impact and overall illustrative quality of the painting. Focal point of the painting, correlation between the lines and shapes, optical harmony, angels and arrangements are some of the layout techniques that distinguish a masterpiece from the rest.

Dance at le Moulin de la Galette  made by Pierre Renoir got sold for $78 million (adjusted price $141 million) in 1990. The subject of the artwork illustrates the typical life style and celebratory nature of the Parisians. The artwork is skillfully broken in to numerous micro compositions, which adds perspective and movement.

 

Appreciation adds value, in principle this is the most significant and central reason for art pricing. Some artworks are just appealing without any explanation as to why. Lofty prices rule such masterpieces purely because of its aesthetic value and appeal.

Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers and Water Lily Pond are the finest examples of artworks that have universal appeal. The former was auctioned for $39 million (adjusted price $82 million) in 1987 and the latter was sold for $80 million (adjusted price $79 million) in 2008.

 

Cost, admiration and appeal also climbs if there is any fascinating or emotional story related to the artwork. A Glamorous muse, tragic romance, eccentric behavior of the artist, spirited effort are few such instances.

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer got sold for $135 Million (adjusted price $157 Million) in 2006, made by Gustav Klimt. Like Adele Bloch-Bauer, who was known for her scandals and bohemian lifestyle, her gold-embellished portrait is also surrounded with controversies. After Nazi’s confiscated the painting, Adele’s niece fought for over 9 years with Austrian government  for its procession.

 

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Art for Feng Shui

The basic theory of Feng Shui (meaning ‘wind ‘and ‘water’) is to create a positive setting for the circulation of the invisible energy flow present in our living environment. The course of the life force (Chi) around us influences our success, relationships and health. Obstructions to this flow can cause disharmony resulting to adverse repercussions. To achieve balance and accord, Feng Shui consultants guide us as to- ‘what’ and ‘how’ to arrange the matter around us. As per Feng Shui guidelines, synchronization and stability can be achieved by arranging personalized objects, in the right manner in our surroundings.

In Feng Shui, art plays a very important role in energizing the atmosphere. It is one of the easiest and most flexible elements that can be used to modify energies and attract positive vibrations. The artwork selected should candidly communicate the motive and secure the objective accurately.

Water signifies prosperity, success and wealth. Select a landscape with flowing water for the North segment of your house for abundance in cash inflow or career advancement. The course of the flowing water in the artwork should give the impression of moving in the direction of the viewer, in other words towards the house. Shown below are some of the artworks by Master’s suitable for the North sector of the house.

La Grenouillere by Claude Monet

Fishing boats at Sainte Marie by Vincent van Gogh

Rest along the Stream by Alfred Sisley

Artworks that exemplify love, togetherness and happiness needs to be placed in Southwest sector of the house, for energizing love, deepening family relationships and developing new associations. Shown below are some of the artworks by great Master’s apt for the Southwest subdivision of the house.

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

The Luncheon of the Boating Party by Renoir

A painting that radiates potency and longevity is good for the Health sector of the house (East).
Wheat Field with Cypresses by Vincent van Gogh- The evergreen trees cypress in the painting signify longevity and strength. Scenic slush greenery and cultivated fields make the painting best suited for well being and liveliness. The wood element in the painting is also favorable for the East.

Irises by Vincent van Gogh Irises an ornamental flowering plant that survives in hard conditions like dried semi-desert and rocky mountains illustrates potency and dazzling energy. The solid long stems with blossoming flowers make it a powerful print for healing and fertility.

Artworks or prints that communicate movement and new opportunities should be placed in the ‘Fame and Reputation’ segment of the house (South). Select a print with vibrant colors, blazing with energy and packed with action.
Starry Night over the Rhone by Vincent van Gogh- The numerous spiral stars signify new opportunities and activities. The Water element in the painting adds positive energy for success. Activate your ‘Fame and Recognition’ sector with this energized painting.

Poppy field by Vincent van Gogh- The fiery red poppy flowers against the brilliant green fields painted with animated brushstrokes, if placed in a South region, it will be favorable for ‘Fame and Reputation. Trees and mountains in the background suggest growth and support.

Southeast region of the house, which is for ‘Prosperity and Abundance’, needs artworks that symbolize good fortune, ampleness and opulence.
Still Life with Quince Pears by Vincent van Gogh The painting screams abundance and prosperity. The gold-like yellow pears are most appropriate for dining hall or kitchen.

The Harvest by Vincent van Gogh Harvest the most productive season of the year symbolizes good fortune and rewarding results. A print most appropriate for acknowledgment and acclaim.

Creativity and Children’ division (South) of the house requires an artwork denoting expansion, a new beginning and prosperous growth.
Almond blossom by Vincent van Gogh- The budding almonds in the painting illustrates beginning of a new life and growth. Placing this print in the ‘Children and Creativity’ section would be fruitful.

Small Pear Tree in Blossom by Vincent van Gogh The painting represents prosperous expansion and profitable results, most appropriate for creative development and new foundations.

For ‘Knowledge and Skill’ zone (Northeast) a tranquil and composed artwork would be fitting. It should signify inner growth and spiritual expansion.
Rose bushes under the Trees by Gustav Klimt The rich foliage highlights the Earth energy of the Northeast sector. The tree adorned with multiple dabs of green indicates change of season which in Feng Shui denotes positive alteration and willingness to accept change. The flowers symbolize rewarding results. A potent print for the ‘Knowledge and Skill’ zone.

Heidelberg by E. Phillips Fox – This artwork also grounds the earth energy for Northeast. The green foliage and serene atmosphere awakens insightful and intuitive thoughts.

Finally, select artwork that communicate the most with you and expresses your intentions. Instead of deciding base on commercial ads selling Feng Shui products, rely on your instincts.

 

Claude Monet’s love affair with nature

Claude Monet, one of the most famous painter in the history of art, known best as the father of Impressionism had a fanatical fascination for landscapes. His style of capturing light and natural forms laid the foundation of the revolutionary art movement- impressionism. All his life he experimented with variations of color, passing effect of light and reflection.

Even as a student in the art academy, Monet never liked being confined to the classrooms. He was more interested in exploring and capturing Mother Nature with his paints on the canvas. His avant-garde technique of loose and short brushstrokes captured the essence and impression of the landscape’s. The uniquely unfinished look of his artwork is what ended the realistic classical art era and paved the way for a new art movement- impressionism. Shown below are some of his most popular paintings.

Impression- Sunrise (shown above) was one of the paintings displayed in the first art exhibition held by all the impressionist artists (Manet, Renoir, Degas, Monet etc) the artwork coined the word impressionism. It was made by the artist within 40 minutes. The critics used the title of the painting to phrase the exhibition as-“The Exhibition of the Impressionists” hence accidentally defining the new art movement.

The town of Argenteuill with its scenic appeal lured the artist in to making some of the most exquisite and groundbreaking paintings. Shown below are a few of his artworks which reflected some of Argenteuil’s most picturesque view’s, one of them being the artists own garden in Argenteuil.

The Bridge at Argenteuil

Bassin d’Argenteuil

The Artist’s Garden in Argenteuil

Monet made a series of remarkable paintings of the celebrated Poppies at Argenteuil. Three of which are shown below.

Poppy Field (Mrs. Monet and her son in the background)

 Poppy Field in a Hollow

Poppy Field

Woman with a Parasol (Mrs Monet and their son) was painted in a single session probably within few hours, the impulsiveness is clearly visible with the bold and dynamic strokes of multiple shades. The subject of the painting is casual, it depicts a relaxed family outing on a sunny, fair weather day. Upwards perspective, windy atmosphere and the juxtaposition of Mrs Monet with her partly visible son, adds a sense of amazing depth.

Some of Monet’s monumental coastal landscapes (shown below) have received much appreciation by art historians and collectors. The illustrative and flowy effect in his seascape’s is depicted with great dexterity by the artist, using his signature style of energetic, animated and free flowing brushstrokes.

Vétheuil

The Beach at Sainte Adresse

 French Port of Le Havre

Three Fishing Boats

Flower Beds at Vétheuil (shown below) is one of the artworks made by Monet during his stay in the town of Vétheuil, along the Seine. The uniqueness of this artwork is the usage of complementary colors applied in a thick and fragmentary manner, adding a spirited commotion to the painting.

Unlike other artist of that time Monet composed artworks with industrial subjects and manmade green belts with much grace and artistry. Below is one of the finest example of the same. This bold choice marked his artworks with originality and gave his paintings a very contemporary look.

Train in the Countryside

Monets garden in Givery was a major source of inspiration for his most notable paintings that captured the quintessential characteristics of impressionism. The water lilies series that he made during this phase are considered to be his most treasured masterpieces. Often, a single spot was made by him on numerous canvasses under different lighting and weather conditions. The artworks when placed together depict the changing hues and shades with a silky flow. Shown below are two of his paintings from the Water Lilies series.

 The Japanese Footbridge and the Water Lily Pool

 

How Great Artists’ Decreasing Vision Increased their Artistic Vision

Even if we categorize great masters under different movements and era’s, each artist regardless of that has a style that is distinct from the rest. For instance, Monet and Degas were from the same movement- ‘Impressionism’, yet their methods and techniques were poles apart. This individualistic style is what we call an ‘artists vision’, seeing the world through the eyes of the master. However as these artists ocular vision decreased, surprisingly their artistic vision increased. With age, most of them struggling with  vision disorder causing eye power deterioration and so their art style’s also changed, unpredictably that lead to the creation of some of the most innovative and discrete artworks.

portraits2

Degas, Monet and Renoir were amongt many other great masters who had eye disorder, as their ocular vision decreased their artistic vision increased.

Monet had nuclear cataract, this caused blurred vision and loss of color sensitivity. The world for him now appeared foggier and yellow hued. His color palette shifted from bright blues and greens to subdued yellows, purples and reds. Some of the most distinguished Water lily paintings were created during this phase, the artworks had a unique neutral and muddy appeal. His blurred vision however added an interesting abstractness to his artworks.

Monet - The Water Lily Pond

‘The Water lily pond’ by Claude Monet. His paintings developed a muddy appeal after he contracted Cataract. CLICK TO BUY PRINTS OF IMPRESSIONIST ARTISTS ON AMAZON.in

Degas was another impressionist artist who was tormented by vision problem, he had eye retinal disease called ‘Retinopathy’. Unlike Monet who changed his color palette, Degas switched his media, in place of oil colors he started using pastels. The use of pastels added a dreamlike surreal feel to his ballerina paintings. Increasingly, his artworks developed an enigmatic unfinished look. This abrupt and fragmented feel added a very defining character to his paintings.

Degas - Dancers-

‘Dancers’ by Edgar Degas. Due to his eye disorder he switched his media, in place of oil colors he started using pastels. CLICK TO BUY PRINTS OF IMPRESSIONIST ARTISTS ON AMAZON.in

Van Gogh the most celebrated post impressionist artist’s artworks had two distinct characteristics- rich yellow and bright halos. The yellow dominance in his paintings during his ‘Yellow period’ can be attributed to the intake of ‘Digitalis’, a drug given to him for treating his epilepsy. It caused Van Gogh to develop a ‘yellow vision’, which further lead him to use the color in the most intense and ground-breaking manner. Van Gogh also suffered from lead poisoning (caused due to the toxic lead-based paints used by him), which contributed to the circular swirls in his paintings, as lead- poisoned patients often see halos around lights due to swelled retinas.

Van Gogh - The harvest

‘The Harvest’ by Vincent van Gogh. The yellow dominance in his paintings was due to the intake of ‘Digitalis’, a drug responsible for his ‘yellow vision’. CLICK TO BUY PRINTS OF IMPRESSIONIST ARTISTS ON AMAZON.in

Pissarro known as the tearful impressionist artist had a malfunctioning tear duct because of which he couldn’t paint outdoors. His eyes were to be shielded from wind and dust to avoid severe inflammation and swelling. However that didn’t stop him from painting landscapes, he painted indoors seated behind a glass window. Some of the finest Paris cityscape’s and still life were created by him from indoors.

Pissarro - Still Life

‘Still life’ by Camille Pissarro. Some of the finest still life were created by him from indoors. CLICK TO BUY PRINTS OF IMPRESSIONIST ARTISTS ON AMAZON.in

Cezanne and Renoir were myopic and coincidentally both the artists refused to wear glasses. They utilized the blurriness caused due to their shortsightedness to their advantage. Renoir used soft and gentle brush strokes while Cezanne added ambiguity and abstraction to his artworks with great dexterity.

Cezanne - RE

Still life’s by Cezanne and Renoir. They utilized the blurriness caused due to their shortsightedness to their advantage. CLICK TO BUY PRINTS OF IMPRESSIONIST ARTISTS ON AMAZON.in

Matisse, Rembrandt, Rodin and Cassatt are few among other noted masters who have been identified with eye disorder. In spite of the challenges they faced due to the diseases they didn’t give up painting instead their creativity touched new heights and they produced some of the finest masterpieces.

 

CLICK TO BUY PRINTS OF ALL IMPRESSIONIST AND POST-IMPRESSIONIST ARTISTS ON AMAZON.in