Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

1864 - 1901
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

An aristocratic, alcoholic dwarf known for his louche lifestyle, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec created art that was inseparable from his legendary life. His career lasted just over a decade and coincided with two major developments in late nineteenth-century Paris: the birth of modern printmaking and the explosion of nightlife culture. Lautrec’s posters promoted Montmartre entertainers as celebrities, and elevated the popular medium of the advertising lithograph to the realm of high art. His paintings of dance hall performers and prostitutes are personal and humanistic, revealing the sadness and humor hidden beneath rice powder and gaslights. Though he died tragically young (at age thirty-six) due to complications from alcoholism and syphilis, his influence was long-lasting. It is fair to say that without Lautrec, there would be no Andy Warhol (1996.63a,b).

Lautrec began drawing at a young age, when frequent illnesses (portending more serious health problems to come) kept him bedridden at the family estate in Albi in southern France. His favorite juvenile subject was the horse, as seen in the sketch of A Woman and a Man on Horseback (1974.356.45). This probably was owed to the influence of his first teacher, Ren√© Princeteau (1844‚Äď1914), a close family friend and deaf-mute who painted fashionable sporting pictures. Lautrec‚Äôs fascination with horses endured throughout his career, as seen in his 1899 work At the Circus: The Spanish Walk (1975.1.731), one of a group of colored chalk drawings Lautrec made from memory while recovering at a sanitarium, offered to doctors as proof of his improving health.

Due to a genetic weakness resulting from the consanguineous marriage of his parents (who were first cousins), Lautrec’s legs ceased growing after he broke both his femur bones in separate, minor accidents during his adolescence. As an adult, Lautrec had a normally proportioned upper body but the stubby legs of a dwarf; his mature height was barely five feet, and he walked with great difficulty using a cane. Lautrec compensated for his physical deformities with alcohol and an acerbic, self-deprecating wit. His sympathetic fascination with the marginal in society, as well as his keen caricaturist’s eye, may be partly explained by his own physical handicap.

In 1882, Lautrec moved from Albi to Paris, where he studied art in the ateliers of two academic painters, L√©on Bonnat (1833‚Äď1922) and Fernand Cormon (1845‚Äď1924), who also taught √Čmile Bernard (1868‚Äď1941) and Vincent van Gogh (1853‚Äď1890). Lautrec soon began painting en plein air in the manner of the Impressionists, and often posed sitters in the Montmartre garden of his neighbor, P√®re Forest, a retired photographer. One of his favorite models was a prostitute nicknamed La Casque d‚ÄôOr (Golden Helmet), seen in the painting The Streetwalker (2003.20.13). Lautrec used peinture √† l‚Äôessence, or oil thinned with turpentine, on cardboard, rendering visible his loose, sketchy brushwork. The transposition of this creature of the night to the bright light of day‚ÄĒher pallid complexion and artificial hair color clash with the naturalistic setting‚ÄĒsignals Lautrec‚Äôs fascination with sordid and dissolute subjects. Later in his career, he would devote an entire series of prints, called Elles, to life inside a brothel (1984.1203.166[2]).

Lautrec eventually established himself as the premier poster artist of Paris and was often commissioned to advertise famous performers in his prints. One of Lautrec‚Äôs favorite caf√©-concert stars was Yvette Guilbert, who was known as a diseuse, or ‚Äúspeaker,‚ÄĚ for the way she half-sung, half-spoke her songs during performances. She had bright red hair, thin lips, a tall gaunt physique, and wore black elbow-length gloves. Lautrec included her in the poster Divan Japonais (58.621.17): she is the figure in the upper left corner, head cropped off but identifiable by her elongated body and trademark gloves. Likewise, the pinched features and aloof demeanor of the singer Jane Avril, seated in the foreground of the image wearing one of her famously outlandish hats, are subjected to the artist‚Äôs crystallizing vision. By exaggerating the characteristic features of these women, Lautrec conveyed the essence of their personalities.

The style and content of Lautrec‚Äôs posters were heavily influenced by Japanese ukiyo-e prints. Areas of flat color bound by strong outlines, silhouettes, cropped compositions, and oblique angles are all typical of woodblock prints by artists like Katsushika Hokusai (1760‚Äď1849) (JP1847) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797‚Äď1858) (JP2519). Likewise, Lautrec‚Äôs promotion of individual performers is very similar to the depictions of famous actors, actresses, and courtesans from the so-called floating world of Edo-period Japan. For instance, Lautrec‚Äôs poster of May Belfort (41.12.1) can be compared with the figure of Iwai HanshirŇć V (a male actor in female guise) in Three Kabuki Actors by Utagawa Kuniyasu (1794‚Äď1834) (2001.715.4).

Lautrec‚Äôs prints often display dazzling technical effects, as new innovations in lithography during the late nineteenth century permitted larger prints, more varied colors, and nuanced textures. The artist frequently employed the spattered-ink technique known as crachis, seen in his series of prints depicting Lo√Įe Fuller (1970.534). Fuller was an American famous in fin-de-si√®cle Paris for her performances combining dance, multicolored artificial lights (her nickname was the ‚ÄúElectric Fairy‚ÄĚ), and music. As she twirled and bounded across the stage, enormous lengths of fabric would billow outward from her body and reflect the colored lights, creating a spectacular effect. Lautrec executed about sixty versions of this print in a variety of colored inks, including gold and silver, which evoke, cumulatively, the effect of her performances.

Lautrec’s poignant depiction of a prostitute in the painting Woman before a Mirror (2003.20.15) offers a counterpoint to Fuller’s dazzling exuberance. Nude save for her black stockings, the woman stands straight-backed as she gazes into a looking glass, dispassionately analyzing her body’s attributes and faults. Meanwhile, the viewer is compelled to do the same, as we are presented with both her ample backside and her blurred reflection. Lautrec presents her neither as a moralizing symbol nor a romantic heroine, but rather as a flesh-and-blood woman (the dominant whites and reds in the composition reinforce this reading), as capable of joy or sadness as anyone. Indeed, the directness and honesty of the picture testify to Lautrec’s love of women, whether fabulous or fallen, and demonstrates his generosity and sympathy toward them.

  • 1840 - 1926

    Oscar-Claude Monet ( 14 November 1840 ‚Äď 5 December 1926) was a French painter and founder of impressionist painting who is seen as a key precursor to modernism, especially in his attempts to paint nature as he perceived it. During his long career, he was the most consistent and prolific practitioner of impressionism's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein air (outdoor) landscape painting. The term "Impressionism" is derived from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant, exhibited in the 1874 ("exhibition of rejects") initiated‚Ķ more

  • 1970

    Andrew Litten is a Cornwall-based English artist born in 1970 in Aylesbury, UK. His paintings have been exhibited in the United Kingdom, including the Tate Modern in London, China, USA, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Poland and Italy.

    Litten attended Amersham College of Art (now Amersham & Wycombe College) in his teens and later began higher art education but found it claustrophobic and restricting.

    He moved to Cornwall in 2001 and chose to begin exhibiting. Early success came in 2003 when his work was included in an exhibition titled ‚ÄėNudes‚Äô in New York City, (along with‚Ķ more

  • 1839 - 1906

    Paul C√©zanne ( 19 January 1839 ‚Äď 22 October 1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century.

    Cézanne is said to have formed the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. Cézanne's often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up… more

  • 1859 - 1891

    Neo-Impressionism is a term applied to an avant-garde art movement that flourished principally in France from 1886 to 1906. Led by the example of Georges Seurat, artists of the Neo-Impressionist circle renounced the random spontaneity of Impressionism in favor of a measured painting technique grounded in science and the study of optics. Encouraged by contemporary writing on color theory‚ÄĒthe treatises of Charles Henry, Eug√®ne Chevreul, and Odgen Rood for example‚ÄĒNeo-Impressionists came to believe that separate touches of interwoven pigment result in a greater vibrancy of color in the‚Ķ more

  • 1867 - 1956

    Emil Nolde¬†(born¬†Hans Emil Hansen; 7 August 1867 ‚Äď 13 April 1956) was a German-Danish painter and¬†printmaker. He was one of the first¬†Expressionists, a member of¬†Die Br√ľcke, and was one of the first¬†oil painting¬†and¬†watercolor¬†painters of the early 20th century to explore color. He is known for his brushwork and expressive choice of colors. Golden yellows and deep reds appear frequently in his work, giving a luminous quality to otherwise somber tones. His watercolors include vivid, brooding storm-scapes and brilliant florals.

    Nolde's intense… more

  • 1887 - 1976

    Laurence Stephen Lowry was an English artist. His drawings and paintings mainly depict Pendlebury, Lancashire, where he lived and worked for more than 40 years, Salford and its vicinity.

    Lowry is famous for painting scenes of life in the industrial districts of North West England in the mid-20th century. He developed a distinctive style of painting and is best known for his urban landscapes peopled with human figures, often referred to as "matchstick men". He painted mysterious unpopulated landscapes, brooding portraits and the unpublished "marionette" works, which… more

  • 1882 - 1963

    Georges Braque ( 13 May 1882 ‚Äď 31 August 1963) was a major 20th-century French painter, collagist, draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor. His most notable contributions were in his alliance with Fauvism from 1905, and the role he played in the development of Cubism. Braque's work between 1908 and 1912 is closely associated with that of his colleague Pablo Picasso. Their respective Cubist works were indistinguishable for many years, yet the quiet nature of Braque was partially eclipsed by the fame and notoriety of ‚Ķ more

  • 1890 - 1941

    Lazar Markovich Lissitzky¬†( 23 November¬†[O.S. 11 November]¬†1890 ‚Äď 30 December 1941), known as¬†El Lissitzky¬†(Russian:¬†–≠–Ľ—Ć –õ–ł—Ā–łŐĀ—Ü–ļ–ł–Ļ, Yiddish:¬†◊Ę◊ú ◊ú◊ô◊°◊ô◊¶◊ß◊ô), was a Russian artist, designer, photographer, typographer, polemicist and architect. He was an important figure of the Russian avant-garde, helping develop suprematism with his mentor, Kazimir Malevich, and designing numerous exhibition displays and propaganda works for the Soviet Union. His work greatly influenced the Bauhaus and constructivist movements, and he experimented with production techniques‚Ķ more

  • 1891 - 1976

    Max Ernst¬†(2 April 1891 ‚Äď 1 April 1976) was a German (naturalised American in 1948 and French in 1958) painter, sculptor,¬†graphic artist, and poet.¬†A prolific artist, Ernst was a primary pioneer of the¬†Dada¬†movement and¬†surrealism.¬†He had no formal artistic training, but his experimental attitude toward the making of art resulted in his invention of¬†frottage‚ÄĒa technique that uses pencil rubbings of objects as a source of images‚ÄĒand¬†grattage, an analogous technique in which paint is scraped across canvas to reveal the imprints of the objects placed beneath. He is also noted‚Ķ more

  • 1920 - 1999

    Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd¬†(24 July 1920 ‚Äď 24 April 1999) was a leading Australian painter of the middle to late 20th century. Boyd's work ranges from impressionist renderings of Australian landscape to starkly expressionist figuration, and many canvases feature both. Several famous works set Biblical stories against the Australian landscape, such as¬†The Expulsion¬†(1947‚Äď48), now at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Having a strong social conscience, Boyd's work deals with humanitarian issues and universal themes of love, loss and shame.

    Boyd was a… more

  • 1922-2011

    Lucian Freud was born in Berlin on 8th December 1922. During Hitler’s ascension to power in 1933, Freud moved to England with his family, assuming British citizenship in 1939. With a budding interest in art encouraged by renowned grandfather Sigmund Freud, Lucian Freud was enrolled in Dartington Hall. However, he proved rebellious, prompting a change of schools from Dane court to Bryanston, where he was later expelled. In 1937, he was accepted into the Central School of Arts and Crafts due to his great three-legged sandstone carving. During his early years, he produced numerous artworks… more

  • American

    Edward Hopper was born in Nyack, New York, a town located on the west side of the Hudson River, to a middle-class family that encouraged his artistic abilities. After graduating from high school, he studied briefly at the Correspondence School of Illustrating in New York City (1899‚Äď1900), and then he enrolled in classes at the New York School of Art (1900‚Äď1906). In his shift from illustration to the fine arts, he studied with William Merritt Chase, a leading American Impressionist painter, and with Robert Henri, who exhorted his students to paint the everyday conditions of their own world‚Ķ more

  • 1909 - 1992

    Francis Bacon was born in Dublin, Ireland to British parents in 1909. He moved to London in the 1920’s as his relationship with his father soured due to his emerging sexual identity as a homosexual.

    Bacon lived a near vagrant life in and around London and spent a lot of time drinking and gambling in Soho. He survived on a very small allowance and was living in poverty until he started to become involved with interior/furniture design. Subsequent to this he was encouraged to take up oil paining by one of his patrons. He found his first breakthrough in 1944 with his triptych Three… more

  • 1858 - 1930

    John Peter Russell (1858-1930), artist, was born on 16 June 1858 at Darlinghurst, Sydney, eldest of four children of John Russell, Scottish engineer, and his wife Charlotte Elizabeth, née Nicholl, a Londoner. His father had migrated as a boy and was a partner in his brother's engineering firm, (Sir) P. N. Russell & Co. John Peter was educated with his brother Percy (later an architect) at The Goulburn School, Garroorigang. From 18 he trained as a 'gentleman apprentice' with the engineering firm, Robey & Co., Lincoln, England, where he became a qualified engineer (later he was able… more

  • 1832 - 1883

    √Čdouard Manet ( 23 January 1832 ‚Äď 30 April 1883) was a French modernist painter. He was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, as well as a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.

    Born into an upper-class household with strong political connections, Manet rejected the naval career originally envisioned for him; he became engrossed in the world of painting. His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) and Olympia, both 1863, caused great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who… more

  • 1867 - 1947

    Pierre Bonnard¬†(French; 3 October 1867¬†‚Äď 23 January 1947) was a French¬†painter,¬†illustrator¬†and¬†printmaker, known especially for the stylized decorative qualities of his paintings and his bold use of color.¬†A founding member of the¬†Post-Impressionist¬†group of¬†avant-garde¬†painters¬†Les Nabis,¬†his early work was strongly influenced by the work of¬†Paul Gauguin, as well as the prints of¬†Hokusai¬†and other Japanese artists. Bonnard was a leading figure in the transition from¬†Impressionism¬†to¬†Modernism. He painted landscapes, urban scenes, portraits and intimate domestic scenes,‚Ķ more

  • 1935

    Jean-Pierre Cassigneul is best known for his striking compositions of fashionable women in floral hats. Using vibrant color and smoky contour, his paintings evoke both the avant-garde graphic sensibilities of Les Nabis, particularly Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard, as well as the radical color palette and sensuous portraiture of Kees van Dongen.

    Cassigneul was born in 1935 in Paris. He had his first solo exhibition at the age of 17 at Galerie Lucy Krohg. Cassigneul studied at l‚Äô√Čcole Nationale Sup√©rieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and was later instructed by the French painter‚Ķ more

  • 1919 2010

    Inspired by the vibrant colors of the Fauves and the energy-in-motion of traditional Chinese calligraphy, Wu Guanzhong achieved an elegant reconciliation of Western and Eastern aesthetics and became one of the acknowledged founders of modern Chinese painting. ‚ÄúIf a painting contains no abstraction nor impressionistic elements,‚ÄĚ he said of his syncretic approach, ‚Äúit is a kite that will never fly. But if the painting completely breaks the connection between human feeling and the object portrayed, the kite string has been broken. I try to keep the line unbroken.‚ÄĚ

    Wu Guanzhong (ŚźīŚÜ†šł≠)‚Ķ more

  • 1938

    Georg Baselitz (born 23 January 1938) is a German painter, sculptor and graphic artist. In the 1960s he became well known for his figurative, expressive paintings. In 1969 he began painting his subjects upside down in an effort to overcome the representational, content-driven character of his earlier work and stress the artifice of painting. Drawing from myriad influences, including art of Soviet era illustration art, the Mannerist period and African sculptures, he developed his own, distinct artistic language.

    He was born as Hans-Georg Kern in Deutschbaselitz , … more

  • 1939 - 1992

    Australian painter, born in Sydney, where he studied at the Julian Ashton Art School, 1957‚Äď9. In 1960 he travelled to Europe on a scholarship and after a few months in Italy moved to London in 1961. At this time there was something of a vogue for Australian art in Britain and he quickly achieved success: he won the international prize at the Paris *Biennale for Young Artists in 1961 and had his first one-man exhibition in 1962, at the Matthiesen Gallery, London. After spending a year and a half in New York and a year in Fiji, he returned to Sydney in 1970. Whiteley's work was based on the‚Ķ more

  • 1869 - 1954

    Henri √Čmile Beno√ģt Matisse ( 31 December 1869 ‚Äď 3 November 1954) was a French visual artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter.[1] Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso, as one of the artists who best helped to define the revolutionary developments in the visual arts throughout the opening decades of the twentieth century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture.

    The intense colourism of the works he painted… more

  • 1844 - 1930

    Repin was the leading artist in the Russian Realist movement in the late 19th century. He was born in the Ukraine, and started as an icon painter. From 1864 to 1873 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in St Petersburg. From 1873 to 1876 he was in Paris, where he was influenced by Delacroix and plein-air painting. In 1878 he joined the Wanderers (Peredvizhniki), a group of artists concerned with the realistic depiction of Russian life and history. He painted genre and historical subjects, and portraits of leading figures of the time.

  • 1931
    British, German

    One of Britain's preeminent post-war painters, Frank Auerbach was born in Berlin, Germany in 1931. Arriving in England as a Jewish refugee in 1939, he attended St Martin's School of Art, London, and studied with David Bomberg in night classes at Borough Polytechnic. He then studied at the Royal College of Art and has remained in London ever since. His first exhibition was held at London's Beaux Arts Gallery in 1956; since then his works have become some of the most internationally collected of living artists.

    Auerbach's organic, yet unified forms are deeply rooted in capturing the… more

  • 1841 - 1919

    Renoir was one of the leading painters of the Impressionist group. He evolved a technique of broken brushstrokes and used bold combinations of pure complementary colours, to capture the light and movement of his landscapes and figure subjects. Following a visit to Italy in 1881 his style changed, becoming more linear and classical.

    Renoir was born in Limoges in south-west France, where he began work as a painter on porcelain. He moved to Paris, joining the studio of the fashionable painter Charles Gleyre in around 1861-2. Courbet influenced the young Renoir. In Paris he encountered… more

  • 1954

    Albert Oehlen, born in 1954 in Krefeld, is a German painter living and working in Cologne, Germany. Marked by freedom and creativity, Oehlen’s oeuvre is characterized by expressionist brushwork, écriture automatique, the history of abstraction and an ongoing quest for new extremes.

    In the 80s, Oehlen became a dominant figure in the Berlin and Cologne art scene, alongside the Neue Wilde¬†such as Martin Kippenberger or Werner B√ľttner. The German artist attempts to deconstruct the medium, investigating painting‚Äôs most essential aspects such as colour, the brushstroke as a gesture,‚Ķ more

  • 1893 - 1983

    Joan Mir√≥‚Äôs painting The Hunter (Catalan Landscape) brings together the real and the imaginary, abstraction and figuration, and image and text in a way that would characterize much of his work to come. In the canvas‚ÄĒa landscape filled with personal symbols and evocations of life on his family‚Äôs farm in Montroig, Spain, such as a tree trunk sprouting a leaf and the eponymous hunter carrying a freshly killed rabbit‚ÄĒhe rendered the everydayness of the farm with a poetic intensity. This impetus to reveal the marvelous in the quotidian attracted the attention of Andr√© Breton, the founder of‚Ķ more

  • 1928 - 1987

    Andy Warhol¬†born¬†Andrew Warhola Jr.; August 6, 1928 ‚Äď February 22, 1987) was an American artist, film director, and producer who was a leading figure in the¬†visual art movement¬†known as¬†pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and¬†celebrity culture¬†that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting,¬†silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture. Some of his best-known works include the silkscreen paintings¬†Campbell's Soup Cans¬†(1962) and¬†Marilyn Diptych¬†(1962), the‚Ķ more

  • 1865 - 1911

    Valentin Alexandrovich Serov (Russian: –í–į–Ľ–Ķ–Ĺ—ā–łŐĀ–Ĺ –ź–Ľ–Ķ–ļ—Ā–įŐĀ–Ĺ–ī—Ä–ĺ–≤–ł—á –°–Ķ—Ä–ĺŐĀ–≤; 19 January 1865 ‚Äď 5 December 1911) was a Russian painter, and one of the premier portrait artists of his era.

    Serov was born in Saint Petersburg, son of the Russian composer and music critic Alexander Serov, and his wife and former student Valentina Serova also a composer in her own right. Raised in a highly artistic milieu he was encouraged to pursue his talents by his parents and in his childhood he studied in Paris and Moscow under Ilya Repin and in the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts (1880‚Äď1885) under Pavel‚Ķ more

  • 1880 - 1916

    Franz Moritz Wilhelm Marc (8 February 1880 ‚Äď 4 March 1916) was a German painter and printmaker, one of the key figures of German Expressionism. He was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a journal whose name later became synonymous with the circle of artists collaborating in it.

    His mature works mostly depict animals, and are known for bright colouration. He was drafted to serve in the German Army at the beginning of World War I, and died two years later at the Battle of Verdun.

    In the 1930s, the Nazis named him a degenerate artist as part of their… more

  • 1881- 1973

    Pablo Ruiz Picasso¬†(25 October 1881 ‚Äď 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor,¬†printmaker,¬†ceramicist¬†and¬†theatre designer¬†who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the¬†Cubist¬†movement, the invention of¬†constructed sculpture,¬†the co-invention of¬†collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the¬†proto-Cubist¬†Les Demoiselles d'Avignon¬†(1907), and the anti-war painting¬†Guernica¬†(1937),¬†a‚Ķ more

  • 1958

    Zhang Xiaogang is a Chinese painter and preeminent member of the contemporary Chinese avant-garde. His Surrealist-inspired, stylized portraits executed in smoothly rendered oil paint maintain a formal and stiffly posed aesthetic, focusing on the aftereffects of the Cultural Revolution and the meaning of family, history, and memory in China today. Born in 1958 in Kunming, China, Zhang went on study painting at Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts in Chongqing. Forced to work construction and other odd jobs instead of teaching painting as he had intended, Zhang fell into a deep… more

  • 1887 - 1927

    Juan Gris, original name Jos√© Victoriano Gonz√°lez, (born March 23, 1887, Madrid, Spain‚ÄĒdied May 11, 1927, Boulogne-sur-Seine, France), Spanish painter whose lucidly composed still lifes are major works of the style called Synthetic Cubism.

    Gris studied engineering at the Madrid School of Arts and Manufactures from 1902 to 1904, but he soon began making drawings for newspapers in the sensuously curvilinear Art Nouveau style. He moved to Paris in 1906 and settled at the Bateau-Lavoir, an artists’ dwelling where his compatriot Pablo Picasso lived. Gris was thus in touch with the… more

  • 1941 - 2010

    Sigmar Polke¬†(13 February 1941 ‚Äď 10 June 2010) was a German painter and photographer.

    Polke experimented with a wide range of styles, subject matters and materials. In the 1970s, he concentrated on photography, returning to paint in the 1980s, when he produced abstract works created by chance through chemical reactions between paint and other products. In the last 20 years of his life, he produced paintings focused on historical events and perceptions of them.

  • 1917 - 2005

    Yan Ming,. Born in 1917. In 1936, he studied at the National Hangzhou Art Academy and later transferred to Shanghai Meizhuan. Masters from Pan Tianshou, Zhang Hongwei, Wang Shengyuan, Xie Gongzhan, and Mr. Wu Fuzhi. Member of the National Hangzhou Art School Painting and Calligraphy Research Association, which was presided over by Mr. Pan Tianshou. In 1938, there was a work to participate in the Nanyang Art Exhibition by Mr. Liu Haisu. In 1939, he participated in the "Shanghai Celebrity Painting and Calligraphy Exhibition" hosted by Mr. Wang Yachen. After that, he devoted himself to art… more

  • 1902 - 1959

    Albert Namatjira was an Australian Arrente artist largely credited with pioneering contemporary indigenous Australian art and popularizing it worldwide. Namatjira was born on July 28, 1902 in Alice Springs, Australia and adopted Christianity at an early age, dividing his cultural upbringing between a Western and Aboriginal one. He was taught to paint by Rex Batterbee while he guided the artist around Central Australia and had his first solo show two years later in Melbourne, becoming an overnight sensation. His paintings often depict color-contrasted landscapes: purple rolling mountains in… more

  • 1866 - 1944

    Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky¬†( 16 December¬†[O.S. 4 December]¬†1866¬†‚Äď 13 December 1944) was a Russian painter and art theorist. Kandinsky is generally credited as one of the pioneers of abstraction in western art, possibly after Hilma af Klint. Born in Moscow, he spent his childhood in Odessa, where he graduated at Grekov Odessa Art school. He enrolled at the University of Moscow, studying law and economics. Successful in his profession‚ÄĒhe was offered a professorship (chair of Roman Law) at the University of Dorpat (today Tartu, Estonia)‚ÄĒKandinsky began painting studies (‚Ķ more

  • 1891 - 1942

    Grant Wood is known for his stylized and subtly humorous scenes of rural people, Iowa cornfields, and mythic subjects from American history‚ÄĒsuch as the Art Institute‚Äôs iconic painting American Gothic (1930). Along with other Midwestern Regionalist painters like John Steuart Curry and Thomas Hart Benton, Wood advocated for a realistic style and recognizable subjects that showed local places and common people, a radically different approach from European modernism and its push toward abstraction.

    Living most of his life in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wood studied metalsmithing with Arts and… more

  • 1917 - 1992

    Sir Sidney Robert Nolan¬†(22 April 1917¬†‚Äď 28 November 1992) was one of Australia's leading artists of the 20th century. Working in a wide variety of mediums, his oeuvre is among the most diverse and prolific in all of modern art. He is best known for his series of paintings on legends from Australian history, most famously Ned Kelly, the bushranger and outlaw. Nolan's stylised depiction of Kelly's armour has become an icon of Australian art.

  • 1953 - 1997

    Martin Kippenberger¬†(25 February 1953 ‚Äď 7 March 1997) was a German¬†artist¬†known for his extremely prolific output in a wide range of styles and media,¬†superfiction¬†as well as his provocative, jocular and hard-drinking public persona.

    Kippenberger was "widely regarded as one of the most talented German artists of his generation,¬†according to¬†Roberta Smith¬†of the¬†New York Times. He was at the center of a generation of German¬†enfants terribles¬†including¬†Albert Oehlen,¬†Markus Oehlen, Werner B√ľttner,¬†‚Ķ more

  • 1848 - 1903

    Eug√®ne Henri Paul Gauguin ( 7 June 1848 ‚Äď 8 May 1903) was a French Post-Impressionist artist. Unappreciated until after his death, Gauguin is now recognized for his experimental use of color and Synthetist style that were distinct from Impressionism. Toward the end of his life, he spent ten years in French Polynesia. The paintings from this time depict people or landscapes from that region.

    His work was influential on the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, and he is well known for his relationship with Vincent and Theo van Gogh.… more

  • 1960 - 1988

    Jean-Michel Basquiat ( December 22, 1960 ‚Äď August 12, 1988) was an American artist who rose to success during the 1980s as part of the Neo-expressionism movement.

    Basquiat first achieved fame as part of the graffiti duo SAMO, alongside Al Diaz, writing enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed of Manhattan's Lower East Side during the late 1970s, where rap, punk, and street art coalesced into early hip-hop music culture. By the early 1980s, his paintings were being exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. At 21, Basquiat became the youngest artist to ever take part in… more

  • 1853 - 1890

    Vincent Willem van Gogh¬†¬†30 March 1853¬†‚Äď 29 July 1890) was a Dutch¬†Post-Impressionist¬†painter who posthumously became one of the most famous and influential figures in¬†Western art¬†history. In a decade, he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860¬†oil paintings, most of which date from the last two years of his life. They include¬†landscapes,¬†still lifes,¬†portraits, and¬†self-portraits, and are characterised by bold colours and dramatic, impulsive and expressive¬†brushwork¬†that contributed to the foundations of¬†modern art. He was not commercially successful and,‚Ķ more

  • 1921 - 2013
    Chinese, French

    Known for his proficiency with both Eastern and Western artistic traditions, and his ability to employ both simultaneously within his work, Zao Wou-Ki has become an important figure in mid-century art historical canon. Born Zhao Wou-Ki (assuming the name Zao after 1947) in 1920 in Peking (now Beijing), Wou-Ki attending the National School of Arts, Hangchow, for six years before becoming a drawing instructor there. In 1947, the artist moved to Paris where he would become friends with the artists Alberto Giacometti and Joan Miró. His work, done in an abstract, gestural style quickly drew… more

  • 1904 - 1989

    Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dal√≠ i Dom√®nech, Marquess of Dal√≠ of P√ļbol¬†( 11 May 1904¬†‚Äď 23 January 1989) was a Spanish surrealist artist renowned for his technical skill, precise draftsmanship, and the striking and bizarre images in his work.

    Born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, Dalí received his formal education in fine arts in Madrid. Influenced by Impressionism and the Renaissance masters from a young age he became increasingly attracted to Cubism and avant-garde movements. He moved closer to Surrealism in the late 1920s and joined the Surrealist group in 1929… more

  • German

    Ernst Ludwig Kirchner¬†(6 May 1880 ‚Äď 15 June 1938) was a German¬†expressionist¬†painter¬†and¬†printmaker¬†and one of the founders of the artists group¬†Die Br√ľcke¬†or "The Bridge", a key group leading to the foundation of¬†Expressionism¬†in 20th-century art. He volunteered for army service in the¬†First World War, but soon suffered a breakdown and was discharged. His work was branded as "degenerate" by the¬†Nazis¬†in 1933, and in 1937 more than 600 of his works were sold or destroyed.

  • 1932

    Known for his use of both photorealism and abstraction in painting, often simultaneously, Gerhard Richter is one of the most important artists working today. Born on 9 February 1932 in Dresden, he began his career as an advertisement and stage painter before attending art school first in Dresden, then in Dusseldorf. The significance of Richter’s career and body of work is evident in his many solo exhibitions at museums worldwide, including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Portrait Gallery, London; and National Art Museum of China, Beijing. Further, his work was featured in… more

  • 1830 - 1903

    Camille Pissarro¬†(¬†10 July 1830¬†‚Äď 13 November 1903) was a Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas (now in the US Virgin Islands, but then in the Danish West Indies). His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro studied from great forerunners, including Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. He later studied and worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac when he took on the Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54.

    In 1873 he helped establish a… more

  • 1945

    Anselm Kiefer (born 8 March 1945) is a German painter and sculptor. He studied with Peter Dreher and Horst Antes at the end of the 1960s. His works incorporate materials such as straw, ash, clay, lead, and shellac. The poems of Paul Celan have played a role in developing Kiefer's themes of German history and the horrors of the Holocaust, as have the spiritual concepts of Kabbalah.

    In his entire body of work, Kiefer argues with the past and addresses taboo and controversial issues from recent history. Themes from Nazi rule are particularly reflected in his work; for… more

  • 1962

    Yue Minjun is a contemporary Chinese artist known for his inventive take on self-portraiture. Grouped into the Cynical Realism movement in China, alongside artists Fang Lijun and Liu Wei, he refutes this labelling of his work. His brightly colored depictions of maniacally laughing figures are influenced both by Pop Art and Surrealism. His works act as a tacit form of social and political critique which deals with both Chinese history and the Western canon of art. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm actually trying to make sense of the world,‚ÄĚ he said of his work. ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs nothing cynical or absurd in what I do.‚ÄĚ Born in‚Ķ more

  • 1929

    Arnulf Rainer (born 8 December 1929) is an Austrian painter noted for his abstract informal art.

    Rainer was born in Baden, Austria. During his early years, Rainer was influenced by Surrealism. In 1950, he founded the Hundsgruppe (dog group) together with Ernst Fuchs, Arik Brauer, and Josef Mikl. After 1954, Rainer's style evolved towards Destruction of Forms, with blackenings, overpaintings, and maskings of illustrations and photographs dominating his later work. He was close to the Vienna Actionism, featuring body art and… more

  • 1920 - 1999

    A realist painter of modern urban life, John Brack emerged during the 1950s in Melbourne as an artist of singular originality and independence. His highly cerebral, smooth and hard-edged painting style was unique in the context of both the expressive figuration of Melbourne contemporaries such as Arthur Boyd and Albert Tucker, and the rapid growth of abstraction in his time.

    After leaving school at 16, Brack worked as an insurance clerk in Melbourne when he was prompted to study art after seeing reproductions of work by Vincent van Gogh. He enrolled in evening drawing classes with… more

  • 1887 - 1985

    Marc Chagall was born on July 7, 1887, in Vitebsk, Russia. From 1907 to 1910 he studied in Saint Petersburg, at the Imperial Society for the Protection of the Arts, and later with Léon Bakst. In 1910 he moved to Paris, where he associated with Guillaume Apollinaire and Robert Delaunay and encountered Fauvism and Cubism. He participated in the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne in 1912. His first solo show was held in 1914 at Der Sturm gallery in Berlin.

    Chagall visited Russia in 1914 and was prevented from returning to Paris by the outbreak of war. He settled in Vitebsk… more

  • 1920 -2014
    Chinese, French

    Chu Teh-Chun¬†or¬†Zhu Dequn¬†(24 October 1920 ‚Äď 26 March 2014) was a¬†Chinese-French¬†abstract painter acclaimed for his pioneering style integrating traditional¬†Chinese painting¬†techniques with Western¬†abstract art. Chu Teh-Chun enrolled in the National School of Fine Arts (now¬†China Academy of Art), where he studied under¬†Fang Ganmin¬†and Wu Dayu. He was the first ethnic Chinese member of the¬†Acad√©mie des Beaux-Arts¬†of France,¬†and together with¬†Wu Guanzhong¬†and¬†Zao Wou-Ki¬†were dubbed the "Three Musketeers" of modernist Chinese artists trained in China and‚Ķ more

  • 1927

    Alex Katz (born July 24, 1927) is an American figurative artist known for his paintings, sculptures, and prints.  - Wikipedia

  • 1936

    Martial Raysse’ oeuvre spans more than 60 years in numerous mediums including ready- mades, sculptures, cinema, drawing and painting. After reaching fame as the foremost pop artist in France, and the first one to incorporate neons in his painted works, Raysse has now returned to a more conventional approach to painting. In his recent works, he deftly combines compositions partially derived from those of old masters with contemporary subjects. Numerous elements are nimbly fused to create scenes that become almost mythical: oneiric landscapes are home to purple-skinned humans taking part in… more

  • 1864 - 1901

    An aristocratic, alcoholic dwarf known for his louche lifestyle, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec created art that was inseparable from his legendary life. His career lasted just over a decade and coincided with two major developments in late nineteenth-century Paris: the birth of modern printmaking and the explosion of nightlife culture. Lautrec’s posters promoted Montmartre entertainers as celebrities, and elevated the popular medium of the advertising lithograph to the realm of high art. His paintings of dance hall performers and prostitutes are personal and humanistic, revealing the sadness… more

  • 1867 - 1945

    Born in the Prussian city of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia) in 1867, Käthe Kollwitz established herself in an art world dominated by men by developing an aesthetic vision centered on women and the working class. Her representations of women, including her frequent self-portraits, effectively communicated her subjects’ predicaments during a period when women were still negotiating ways to represent themselves in the arts. While her naturalistic style appeared out of touch in an era that witnessed the birth of abstraction, her depictions of universal human experiences, given depth and… more

  • 1959

    Yoshitomo Nara (Ś•ąŤČĮ Áĺéśôļ, Nara Yoshitomo, born 5 December 1959 in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese artist. He lives and works in Nasushiobara, Tochigi Prefecture, though his artwork has been exhibited worldwide. Nara has had nearly 40 solo exhibitions since 1984. His art work has been housed at the MoMA and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (LACMA). His most well-known and repeated subject is a young girl with piercing eyes.