Parkstone International

  • Egon Schiele's work is so distinctive that it resists categorisation. Admitted to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts at just sixteen, he was an extraordinarily precocious artist, whose consummate skill in the manipulation of line, above all, lent a taut expressivity to all his work. Profoundly convinced of his own significance as an artist, Schiele achieved more in his abruptly curtailed youth than many other artists achieved in a full lifetime. His roots were in the Jugendstil of the Viennese Secession movement. Like a whole generation, he came under the overwhelming influence of Vienna's most charismatic and celebrated artist, Gustav Klimt. In turn, Klimt recognised Schiele's outstanding talent and supported the young artist, who within just a couple of years, was already breaking away from his mentor's decorative sensuality. Beginning with an intense period of creativity around 1910, Schiele embarked on an unflinching exposé of the human form - not the least his own - so penetrating that it is clear he was examining an anatomy more psychological, spiritual and emotional than physical. He painted many townscapes, landscapes, formal portraits and allegorical subjects, but it was his extremely candid works on paper, which are sometimes overtly erotic, together with his penchant for using under-age models that made Schiele vulnerable to censorious morality. In 1912, he was imprisoned on suspicion of a series of offences including kidnapping, rape and public immorality. The most serious charges (all but that of public immorality) were dropped, but Schiele spent around three despairing weeks in prison. Expressionist circles in Germany gave a lukewarm reception to Schiele's work. His compatriot, Kokoschka, fared much better there. While he admired the Munich artists of Der Blaue Reiter, for example, they rebuffed him. Later, during the First World War, his work became better known and in 1916 he was featured in an issue of the left-wing, Berlin-based Expressionist magazine Die Aktion. Schiele was an acquired taste. From an early stage he was regarded as a genius. This won him the support of a small group of long-suffering collectors and admirers but, nonetheless, for several years of his life his finances were precarious. He was often in debt and sometimes he was forced to use cheap materials, painting on brown wrapping paper or cardboard instead of artists' paper or canvas. It was only in 1918 that he enjoyed his first substantial public success in Vienna. Tragically, a short time later, he and his wife Edith were struck down by the massive influenza epidemic of 1918 that had just killed Klimt and millions of other victims, and they died within days of one another. Schiele was just twenty-eight years old.

  • The name Michelangelo instantly conjures up the Sistine Chapel, the David, the Pieta and countless other great works. In his History of Italian Painting, the French writer Stendhal remarked that, "between Greek antiquity and Michelangelo nothing exists, except more or less skilled forgeries". In Promenade in Rome, Chateaubriant expresses his admiration for the refined lines of the Pieta. A number of great writers such as Manzoni view Michelangelo as one of the indisputable Masters of the western revival in art. The work of Michelangelo has, indisputably, stood the test of time. How was he able, in so few years, to develop the methods behind a body of work worthy of his Greek predecessors? Often referred to as a superhuman and a creative genius, Michelangelo was an incomparable artist of the Italian Renaissance and is often ranked alongside Leonardo da Vinci in terms of influence and achievement. In this work, Jean-Matthieu Gosselin explores Michelangelo's many identities: sculptor, architect, painter and draughtsman.

  • Beyond the sunflowers, irises and portrait of Doctor Gachet, there is the man Van Gogh, signified by his fragility and talent. From his birth in 1853 to his death in 1890, the Post-Impressionist Van Gogh shaped 19th century concepts of painting, with his creativity and technique. He became a forerunner of the Expressionists, the Fauves and Modern art. Today, however, Van Gogh remains the symbol of a painter tortured by illness, by others and, above all, by himself.
    Explore the world of Post-Impressionism with a beautiful collection of paintings from this creative genius. The vibrant colours and whimsical brushstrokes within the paintings provide an insight into the volatile nature of Van Gogh's state of mind.

  • For Claude Monet the designation `impressionist' always remained a source of pride. In spite of all the things critics have written about his work, Monet continued to be a true impressionist to the end of his very long life. He was so by deep conviction, and for his Impressionism he may have sacrificed many other opportunities that his enormous talent held out to him. Monet did not paint classical compositions with figures, and he did not become a portraitist, although his professional training included those skills. He chose a single genre for himself, landscape painting, and in that he achieved a degree of perfection none of his contemporaries managed to attain. Yet the little boy began by drawing caricatures. Boudin advised Monet to stop doing caricatures and to take up landscapes instead. The sea, the sky, animals, people, and trees are beautiful in the exact state in which nature created them - surrounded by air and light. Indeed, it was Boudin who passed on to Monet his conviction of the importance of working in the open air, which Monet would in turn transmit to his impressionist friends. Monet did not want to enrol at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He chose to attend a private school, L'Académie Suisse, established by an ex-model on the Quai d'Orfèvres near the Pont Saint-Michel. One could draw and paint from a live model there for a modest fee. This was where Monet met the future impressionist Camille Pissarro. Later in Gleyre's studio, Monet met Auguste Renoir Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille. Monet considered it very important that Boudin be introduced to his new friends. He also told his friends of another painter he had found in Normandy. This was the remarkable Dutchman Jongkind. His landscapes were saturated with colour, and their sincerity, at times even their naïveté, was combined with subtle observation of the Normandy shore's variable nature. At this time Monet's landscapes were not yet characterized by great richness of colour. Rather, they recalled the tonalities of paintings by the Barbizon artists, and Boudin's seascapes. He composed a range of colour based on yellow-brown or blue-grey. At the Third Impressionist Exhibition in 1877 Monet presented a series of paintings for the first time: seven views of the Saint-Lazare train station. He selected them from among twelve he had painted at the station. This motif in Monet's work is in line not only with Manet's Chemin de fer (The Railway) and with his own landscapes featuring trains and stations at Argenteuil, but also with a trend that surfaced after the railways first began to appear. In 1883, Monet had bought a house in the village of Giverny, near the little town of Vernon. At Giverny, series painting became one of his chief working procedures. Meadows became his permanent workplace. When a journalist, who had come from Vétheuil to interview Monet, asked him where his studio was, the painter answered, "My studio! I've never had a studio, and I can't see why one would lock oneself up in a room. To draw, yes - to paint, no". Then, broadly gesturing towards the Seine, the hills, and the silhouette of the little town, he declared, "There's my real studio."Monet began to go to London in the last decade of the nineteenth century. He began all his London paintings working directly from nature, but completed many of them afterwards, at Giverny. The series formed an indivisible whole, and the painter had to work on all his canvases at one time. A friend of Monet's, the writer Octave Mirbeau, wrote that he had accomplished a miracle. With the help of colours he had succeeded in recreating on the canvas something almost impossible to capture: he was reproducing sunlight, enriching it with an infinite number of reflections. Alone among the impressionists, Claude Monet took an almost scientific study of the possibilities of colour to its limits; it is unlikely that one could have gone any further in that direction.

  • Behind Frida Kahlo's portraits, lies the story of both her life and work. It is precisely this combination that draws the reader in. Frida's work is a record of her life, and rarely can we learn so much about an artist from what she records inside the picture frame. Frida Kahlo truly is Mexico's gift to the history of art. She was just eighteen years old when a terrible bus accident changed her life forever, leaving her handicapped and burdened with constant physical pain. But her explosive character, raw determination and hard work helped to shape her artistic talent. And although he was an obsessive womanizer, the great painter Diego Rivera was by her side. She won him over with her charm, talent and intelligence, and Kahlo learnt to lean on the success of her companion in order to explore the world, thus creating her own legacy whilst finding herself surrounded by a close-knit group of friends. Her personal life was turbulent, as she frequently left her relationship with Diego to one side whilst she cultivated her own bisexual relationships. Despite this, Frida and Diego managed to save their frayed relationship. The story and the paintings that Frida left us display a courageous account of a woman constantly on a search of self discovery.

  • Francisco Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) ist einer der unumstrittenen Meister der spanischen Malerei des 19. Jahrhunderts. Oft wird er aufgrund seines gewagten Stils und seines Credos, dass die persnliche Sichtweise des Künstlers mehr wert ist als die Tradition, der erste Maler der Moderne genannt. Mit seiner großen Auswahl der Werke Goyas wird diese Great Masters-Ausgabe jeden Kunstliebhaber verzaubern.

  • Whistler (Lowell, 1834 - Londres 1903)
    Whistler surgit à un moment crucial de l'histoire de l'art et il joue un rôle de précurseur. Il a, comme les Impressionnistes, la volonté d'imposer ses idées. Son oeuvre se déroule en quatre périodes. Dans une première période de recherche, l'artiste est influencé par le réalisme de Courbet et par le japonisme. Puis Whistler trouve son originalité
    avec les Nocturnes et la série des Cremorne Gardens en s'opposant à l'académisme qui veut qu'une oeuvre d'art raconte une histoire. Lorsqu'il peint le portrait de sa mère, Whistler l'intitule Arrangement en gris et noir (p.31), ce qui est significatif de ses théories esthétiques. S'il dépeint les jardins de plaisir de Cremorne, ce n'est pas pour y figurer, comme Renoir, des personnages identifiables, mais pour saisir une atmosphère. Il aime les brumes des bords de la Tamise, les lumières blafardes, les cheminées d'usine. C'est la période au cours de laquelle il fera figure de précurseur et d'aventurier de l'art ; au bord de l'abstraction, il choque ses contemporains. La troisième période est surtout dominée par ses portraits en pied : c'est elle qui lui apportera la gloire. Mais il saura insuffler à un genre pourtant classique sa profonde originalité. Il restitue les personnes dans leur environnement : cela donne une étrange présence aux modèles. Il crée des portraits qualifiés de médiums par ses contemporains et dont Oscar Wilde s'inspirera pour écrire son Portrait de Dorian Gray. Enfin, vers la fin de sa vie, l'artiste réalise des paysages et des portraits dans la grande tradition, très influencé par Velazquez. Whistler fera preuve d'une impressionnante rigueur en faisant sans cesse coïncider son oeuvre avec ses théories. Il n'hésitera pas à croiser le fer avec les théoriciens de l'art les plus célèbres.
    Sa personnalité, ses foucades, son élégance, en font un sujet idéal de curiosité et d'admiration. Ami proche de Mallarmé, admiré par Marcel Proust, dandy provocateur, mondain ombrageux, artiste exigeant, il fut un novateur audacieux.

  • Peintre flamand du XVIIe siècle, Van Dyck eut une carrière aussi courte qu'éblouissante. Élève de Rubens, il devint vite le protégé des princes et des rois et fut le portraitiste attitré des plus grandes familles italiennes et anglaises. Au travers d'une composition rigoureuse, il confère à ses modèles dignité, grandeur et spiritualité. Dames fières, seigneurs caracolant sur leur cheval, Van Dyck s'entend à rendre l'élégance nonchalante et l'ennui d'une société raffinée. Peintre baroque aux inflexions chatoyantes, il joue d'une palette légère et nuancée et restitue avec la plus grande virtuosité les étoffes de velours, de satin et de soie.

    Van Dyck est considéré comme le fondateur de l'École anglaise du portrait. Il influença Lely, Dobson, Kneller et surtout Reynolds et Gainsborough, ainsi que les peintres français du XVIIIe siècle.

  • Modigliani (1884-1920), peintre sans bonheur dans son Italie natale, ne connut que le chagrin dans sa terre d'adoption, la France. De ce mal-être, l'artiste constitue une oeuvre originale, influencée par l'Art africain, les Cubistes et les nuits alcoolisées de Montparnasse.

    Sa vision de la femme, au corps sensuel, à la nudité presque agressive, aux visages énigmatiques, exprime toute sa souffrance d'être mal aimé, injustement méconnu.

    Modigliani est mort à l'âge de 36 ans. Ce livre se compose des toiles qui firent scandale en leur temps et qui paraissent aujourd'hui bien sages.

  • Gustav Klimt (Baumgarten, 1862 Vienne, 1918)
    «Faire un autoportrait ne m'intéresse pas. Les sujets de peinture qui m'intéressent ? Les autres et en particulier les femmes » Aucune référence au monde extérieur ne vient contrarier le charme des allégories, portraits, paysages et autres personnages que l'artiste peint. Des couleurs et des motifs d'inspiration orientale (Klimt a été très influencé par le Japon, l'ancienne Egypte et la Ravenne byzantine), un espace bidimentionnel dépourvu de profondeur et une qualité souvent stylisée de l'image, autant d'éléments utilisés par le peintre pour créer une oeuvre séduisante, où le corps de la femme s'expose dans toute sa volupté. A 14 ans, il obtient une bourse d'Etat pour entrer à la Kunstgewerbeschule (l'Ecole viennoise des Arts et Métiers). Très vite, ses talents de peintre et de dessinateur s'affirment. Ses toutes remières oeuvres lui valent un succès inhabituellement précoce. Sa première grande initiative date de 1879 : il crée cette année-là la Künstlerkompagnie (la compagnie des artistes) avec son frère Ernst, et Franz Matsch. A Vienne, la fin du XIXe siècle est une période d'effervescence architecturale. L'empereur François- Joseph décide, en 1857, de détruire les remparts entourant le coeur médiéval de la ville. Le Ring, financé par l'argent du contribuable, est alors construit : de magnifiques résidences y côtoient de superbes parcs. Ces changements profitent à Klimt et à ses associés, leur fournissant de multiples occasions de faire montre de leur talent.
    En 1897, Klimt, accompagné de quelques amis proches, quitte la très conservatrice Künstlerhausgenossenschaft (Société coopérative des artistes autrichiens) ; il fonde le mouvement Sécession et en prend la présidence. La reconnaissance est immédiate. Au-dessus du porche d'entrée de l'édifice, conçu par José Maria Olbrich est inscrite la devise du mouvement : «A chaque âge son art, à l'art sa liberté. » A partir de 1897, Klimt passa pratiquement tous ses étés sur l'Attersee, en compagnie de la famille Flge. Durant ces périodes de paix et de tranquillité, il eut l'occasion de peindre de nombreux paysages qui constituent un quart de son oeuvre complète. Klimt exécute des croquis préparatoires à la plus grande partie de ses réalisations. Parfois, il exécute plus de cent études pour un seul tableau. Le caractère exceptionnel de l'oeuvre de Klimt tient peut-être à l'absence de prédécesseurs et de réels disciples. Il admirait Rodin et Whistler sans les copier servilement. En retour, il fut admiré par les peintres viennois de la jeune génération, tels Egon Schiele et Oskar Kokoschka.

  • Dalí, Salvador (Figueras, 1904 - Torre-Galatea, 1989)
    Peintre, artiste, créateur d'objets, écrivain et cinéaste, il est connu du public comme un des représentants majeur du surréalisme. Buñuel, Lorca, Picasso, Breton... : ces rencontres constituent autant d'étapes dans la carrière de Dalí. Réalisé avec Buñuel, le film Un chien andalou marque son entrée officielle dans le groupe des surréalistes parisiens où il rencontre Gala, la femme d'Éluard, qui deviendra sa compagne et son inspiratrice. Entre cet artiste éclectique et provocateur et les surréalistes parisiens, les relations se tendront progressivement à partir de 1934 jusqu'à la rupture avec Breton, cinq ans plus tard. Pourtant, l'art de Dalí relève bien de l'esthétique surréaliste dont il a conservé le goût pour le dépaysement, l'humour et l'imagination.

  • Paul Cézanne (Aix-en-Provence, 1839 - 1906)
    Depuis sa mort il y a deux siècles, Cézanne est devenu le peintre le plus célèbre du XIXe siècle. Il naquit à Aix-en-Provence en 1839, et la plus belle période de sa vie fut sa prime jeunesse en Provence, qu'il passa en compagnie de Zola, également d'origine italienne. Suivant l'exemple de ce dernier, Cézanne partit pour Paris à l'âge de 21 ans. Il fut déserteur pendant la guerre franco-prussienne, partageant son temps entre la peinture en plein air et son atelier. Il déclara à Vollard, un marchand d'art : «Je ne suis qu'un peintre. L'humour parisien me donne du mal. Peindre des nus sur les rives de l'Arc [une rivière près d'Aix] c'est tout ce que je demande ». Encouragé par Renoir, l'un des premiers à l'apprécier, il exposa avec les impressionnistes en 1874 et en 1877. Il fut reçu avec une dérision qui le blessa. L'ambition de Cézanne, selon ses propres paroles, était «de faire de l'impressionnisme quelque chose d'aussi solide et de durable que les peintures des musées ». Son but était d'atteindre au monumental par un langage moderne de tons incandescents et vibrants. Cézanne voulait reproduire la couleur naturelle d'un objet et l'harmoniser avec les variations de lumière et d'ombre qui tendent habituellement à le détruire ; il désirait élaborer une échelle de tons capables d'exprimer la masse et le caractère de la forme. Cézanne aimait peindre des fruits, parce que c'étaient des modèles dociles et qu'il travaillait lentement. Il ne cherchait pas à reproduire la pomme. Il gardait la couleur dominante et le caractère du fruit, mais amplifiait l'attrait émotionnel de sa forme par un agencement de tons riches et harmonieux. C'était un maître de la nature morte. Ses compositions de fruits et légumes sont véritablement impressionnantes : elles ont le poids, la noblesse, le style des formes immortelles. Aucun autre peintre n'a jamais accordé à une pomme de conviction aussi ardente, de sympathie aussi authentique, ni d'intérêt aussi prolongé. Aucun autre peintre de ce talent n'a jamais réservé dans ses natures mortes ses impulsions les plus fortes à la création de choses nouvelles et vivantes. Cézanne rendit à la peinture la prééminence du savoir - de la connaissance des choses - une qualité essentielle à tout effort créatif. A la mort de son père, en 1886, il devint riche, mais ne changea rien à son train de vie frugal. Peu après, Cézanne se retira définitivement dans sa propriété en Provence. Il fut sans doute le peintre le plus solitaire de son temps. Parfois, il était saisi d'une curieuse mélancolie, d'un noir désespoir. Avec le temps, il devint plus sauvage et exigeant, détruisant des toiles, les jetant dans les arbres par la fenêtre de son atelier, les abandonnant dans les champs, les donnant à son fils pour qu'il en fasse des puzzles, ou aux gens d'Aix. Au début du XXe siècle, quand Vollard débarqua en Provence avec l'intention de spéculer en achetant tous les Cézanne qu'il pouvait emporter, les paysans des environs, apprenant qu'un guignol de Paris cherchait à gagner de l'argent avec des vieilles toiles, se mirent à produire dans leurs granges tout un tas de natures mortes et de paysages. Le vieux Maître d'Aix fut submergé par la joie. Mais la reconnaissance vint trop tard. En 1906, il succomba à une fièvre contractée alors qu'il peignait sous une pluie diluvienne.

  • Paul Gauguin was first a sailor, then a successful stockbroker in Paris. In 1874 he began to paint at weekends as a Sunday painter. Nine years later, after a stock-market crash, he felt confident of his ability to earn a living for his family by painting and he resigned his position and took up the painter's brush full time. Following the lead of Cézanne, Gauguin painted still-lifes from the very beginning of his artistic career. He even owned a still-life by Cézanne, which is shown in Gauguin's painting Portrait of Marie Lagadu. The year 1891 was crucial for Gauguin. In that year he left France for Tahiti, where he stayed till 1893. This stay in Tahiti determined his future life and career, for in 1895, after a sojourn in France, he returned there for good. In Tahiti, Gauguin discovered primitive art, with its flat forms and violent colours, belonging to an untamed nature. With absolute sincerity, he transferred them onto his canvas. His paintings from then on reflected this style: a radical simplification of drawing; brilliant, pure, bright colours; an ornamental type composition; and a deliberate flatness of planes. Gauguin termed this style "synthetic symbolism".

  • Lang vor der Erfindung von neuen, mit exotischen Monstern gespickten Medien wie Comics und Computerspielen zeigte der niederländische Maler Hieronymus Bosch in seinen Gemälden, oft mit einer Prise Humor verbunden, eine große Anzahl von schrecklichen, wahrlich Furcht einflßenden Fantasiewesen, wie sie ausgefallener nicht hätten sein knnen. Aus seiner Malerei resultiert eine lange Diskussion über den Wahnsinn der vom rechten Weg abgekommenen Menschen, die die Weisungen Christi ignoriert hatten. Hieronymus Bosch (ca. 1450-1516) lebte in einer Welt, die sich durch den immer grßeren Einfluss der Renaissance und der Religionskämpfe grundlegend verändert hat. In bildhafter Form werden das Paradies und die Hlle dargestellt, zwischen denen oft nur ein kleiner Abstand liegt, und es liegt am Menschen, ihn zu überwinden oder sich zu verweigern. Diese Entscheidung war es, die Bosch mit seinen fantastischen Metaphern illustrieren und versinnbildlichen wollte. Virginia Pitts Rembert interpretiert das Werk des Malers und zeigt uns das uvre des Hieronymus Bosch aus einer neuen Perspektive und dechiffriert in Kleinstarbeit die geheime Symbolik des niederländischen Künstlers.

  • 17th-century Flemish painter Van Dyck's career was as short as it was dazzling. A student of Rubens, he very quickly became the favourite painter of princes and kings and was the portraitist of English and Italian families of the high nobility. With his rigorous compositions, Van Dyck endowed his models with dignity, grandeur, and spirituality. Proud ladies and lords gambolling on their horses - Van Dyck knew how to render the nonchalant elegance and the ennui of a refined society.

    A Baroque painter with a shimmering style, he played with a light and nuanced palette, and reproduced, with the greatest virtuosity, garments of velour, satin, and silk. Van Dyck is considered the founder of the English school of portraiture. He was an influence on Lely, Dobson, Kneller, and most notably Reynolds and Gainsborough, as well as French painters of the 18th century.

  • Rembrandt is completely mysterious in his spirit, his character, his life, his work and his method of painting. What we can divine of his essential nature comes through his painting and the trivial or tragic incidents of his unfortunate life; his penchant for ostentatious living forced him to declare bankruptcy. His misfortunes are not entirely explicable, and his oeuvre reflects disturbing notions and contradictory impulses emerging from the depths of his being, like the light and shade of his pictures. In spite of this, nothing perhaps in the history of art gives a more profound impression of unity than his paintings, composed though they are of such different elements, full of complex significations. One feels as if his intellect, that genial, great, free mind, bold and ignorant of all servitude and which led him to the loftiest meditations and the most sublime reveries, derived from the same source as his emotions. From this comes the tragic element he imprinted on everything he painted, irrespective of subject; there was inequality in his work as well as the sublime, which may be seen as the inevitable consequence of such a tumultuous existence.
    It seems as though this singular, strange, attractive and almost enigmatic personality was slow in developing, or at least in attaining its complete expansion. Rembrandt showed talent and an original vision of the world early, as evidenced in his youthful etchings and his first self-portraits of about 1630. In painting, however, he did not immediately find the method he needed to express the still incomprehensible things he had to say, that audacious, broad and personal method which we admire in the masterpieces of his maturity and old age. In spite of its subtlety, it was adjudged brutal in his day and certainly contributed to alienate his public.
    From the time of his beginnings and of his successes, however, lighting played a major part in his conception of painting and he made it the principal instrument of his investigations into the arcana of interior life. It already revealed to him the poetry of human physiognomy when he painted The Philosopher in Meditation or the Holy Family, so deliciously absorbed in its modest intimacy, or, for example, in The Angel Raphael leaving Tobias. Soon he asked for something more. The Night Watch marks at once the apotheosis of his reputation. He had a universal curiosity and he lived, meditated, dreamed and painted thrown back on himself. He thought of the great Venetians, borrowing their subjects and making of them an art out of the inner life of profound emotion. Mythological and religious subjects were treated as he treated his portraits. For all that he took from reality and even from the works of others, he transmuted it instantly into his own substance.

  • In 1905 Georgia travelled to Chicago to study painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1907 she enrolled at the Art Students' League in New York City, where she studied with William Merritt Chase. During her time in New York she became familiar with the 291 Gallery owned by her future husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz. In 1912, she and her sisters studied at university with Alon Bement, who employed a somewhat revolutionary method in art instruction originally conceived by Arthur Wesley Dow. In Bement's class, the students did not mechanically copy nature, but instead were taught the principles of design using geometric shapes. They worked at exercises that included dividing a square, working within a circle and placing a rectangle around a drawing, then organising the composition by rearranging, adding or eliminating elements. It sounded dull and to most students it was. But Georgia found that these studies gave art its structure and helped her understand the basics of abstraction. During the 1920s O'Keeffe also produced a huge number of landscapes and botanical studies during annual trips to Lake George. With Stieglitz's connections in the arts community of New York - from 1923 he organised an O'Keeffe exhibition annually - O'Keeffe's work received a great deal of attention and commanded high prices. She, however, resented the sexual connotations people attached to her paintings, especially during the 1920s when Freudian theories became a form of what today might be termed "pop psychology". The legacy she left behind is a unique vision that translates the complexity of nature into simple shapes for us to explore and make our own discoveries. She taught us there is poetry in nature and beauty in geometry. Georgia O'Keeffe's long lifetime of work shows us new ways to see the world, from her eyes to ours.

  • Marc Chagall was born into a strict Jewish family for whom the ban on representations of the human figure had the weight of dogma. A failure in the entrance examination for the Stieglitz School did not stop Chagall from later joining that famous school founded by the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts and directed by Nicholas Roerich. Chagall moved to Paris in 1910. The city was his "second Vitebsk". At first, isolated in the little room on the Impasse du Maine at La Ruche, Chagall soon found numerous compatriots also attracted by the prestige of Paris: Lipchitz, Zadkine, Archipenko and Soutine, all of whom were to maintain the "smell" of his native land. From his very arrival Chagall wanted to "discover everything". And to his dazzled eyes painting did indeed reveal itself. Even the most attentive and partial observer is at times unable to distinguish the "Parisian", Chagall from the "Vitebskian". The artist was not full of contradictions, nor was he a split personality, but he always remained different; he looked around and within himself and at the surrounding world, and he used his present thoughts and recollections. He had an utterly poetical mode of thought that enabled him to pursue such a complex course. Chagall was endowed with a sort of stylistic immunity: he enriched himself without destroying anything of his own inner structure. Admiring the works of others he studied them ingenuously, ridding himself of his youthful awkwardness, yet never losing his authenticity for a moment.
    At times Chagall seemed to look at the world through magic crystal - overloaded with artistic experimentation - of the Ecole de Paris. In such cases he would embark on a subtle and serious play with the various discoveries of the turn of the century and turned his prophetic gaze like that of a biblical youth, to look at himself ironically and thoughtfully in the mirror. Naturally, it totally and uneclectically reflected the painterly discoveries of Cézanne, the delicate inspiration of Modigliani, and the complex surface rhythms recalling the experiments of the early Cubists (See-Portrait at the Easel, 1914). Despite the analyses which nowadays illuminate the painter's Judaeo-Russian sources, inherited or borrowed but always sublime, and his formal relationships, there is always some share of mystery in Chagall's art. The mystery perhaps lies in the very nature of his art, in which he uses his experiences and memories. Painting truly is life, and perhaps life is painting.

  • Was Leonardo's pronounced vocation for scientific research a help or a hindrance to him as an artist? It is normal to quote him as an example of scientific and artistic theory joined together. In him, genius took on a new meaning combining reason that actually reinforced the imagination and the emotions. A profound savant and an incomparable creator, he was the only man in the history of mankind who has at once delved into the most radiant beauty and who has united the science of Aristotle with the art of Phidias.
    Studying nature with passion and all the independence proper to his character, Leonardo da Vinci did not fail to combine precision with liberty and truth with beauty. The master's reason of being and glory consist in this final emancipation, this perfect mastery of modeling, of illumination, and of expression, and of this breadth and freedom. Others may have struck out new paths also, but none traveled further or mounted higher than this master of Renaissance art.

  • I ritratti metallici, i nudi e le nature morte di Tamara de Lempicka racchiudono lo spirito dell'Art Deco
    e dell'età del jazz, e riflettono l'elegante ed edonistico stile di vita della ricca e privilegiata élite parigina nel periodo compreso tra le due guerre. Combinando una tecnica decisamente classica a elementi presi in prestito dal Cubismo, e cercando ispirazione nei maestri del ritratto - come Ingres e Bronzino - la sua arte rappresentò la massima espressione della modernità in fatto di glamour, moda e mondanità. Questo volume celebra la bellezza luminosa ed elegante dei più significativi dipinti dell'artista, realizzati negli anni Venti e Trenta, e narra la straordinaria storia della sua vita: dai primi anni a cavallo tra i due secoli, nella Polonia e nella Russia zarista, al clamoroso successo parigino e al lungo declino del periodo americano, per giungere infine alla sua trionfale riscoperta negli anni Settanta, quando i suoi ritratti divennero vere e proprie icone a livello mondiale.

  • Questo volume contiene numerose opere create da Picasso tra il 1881 e il 1914. Inizialmente, lo stile
    dell'artista è influenzato da El Greco, da Munch e da Toulouse-Lautrec, che lui scoprì da studente a
    Barcellona. Affascinato dall'espressione psicologica, nel suo periodo Blu (1901-1904) Picasso descrive lo squallore morale: le scene di genere, le nature morte e i ritratti sono carichi di malinconia. In seguito, l'artista manifesta un vivo interesse per le figure di acrobati e comincia il periodo Rosa. Dal 1904, data del suo arrivo a Parigi, la sua estetica si evolve in modo considerevole. L'influenza di Cézanne e della scultura iberica lo portano al Cubismo, caratterizzato dalla moltiplicazione dei
    punti di vista sulla superficie pittorica. Oltre a una selezione di dipinti giovanili, questo volume presenta anche numerosi disegni, sculture e fotografie di Picasso.

  • Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) ließ nach seinem Tod 19 000 Kunstwerke zurück und schon die Bildauswahl für dieses Buch war eine wahre Mammutaufgabe.
    Turner hatte als Romantiker und Landschaftsmaler ein unvergleichliches Gespür für das Meer und war als Pionier neuer Techniken, mit denen er innovative Farbtne und -Nuancen schuf, stark beeinflusst von Goethes Farbenlehre.
    Turner war außerdem ein erfolgreicher Gallerist, Professor an der Royal Academy und ein unermüdlich Reisender, der stets mit einer Vielzahl unglaublicher Kunstwerke, vor allem aus Venedig, zurück nach England kam. Mit seinem Blick für das Dramatische dokumentierte er auf seiner Leinwand auch die Schlacht von Waterloo, das Feuer, das das englische Parlament zerstrte, und andere historische Ereignisse seiner Zeit. Heute sind seine Werke Teil der Sammlungen großer Museen in London, Los Angeles, New York und Washington DC.

  • Cet ouvrage présente un grand nombre d'oeuvres de Pablo Picasso réalisées entre 1881 et 1914. La première manière de l'artiste est marquée par l'influence du Greco, de Munch et de Toulouse-Lautrec qu'il découvre à Barcelone. Fortement intéressé par l'expression psychologique, il exprime dans sa période « bleue » (1901-1904) la misère morale : scènes de genre, natures mortes et portraits sont empreints de mélancolie. Il se passionne ensuite pour des figures de saltimbanques ; période « rose ». À partir de 1904, date de son installation à Paris, son esthétique évolue considérablement. L'influence de Cézanne et de la statuaire ibérique le conduisent au Cubisme, caractérisé par la multiplication des points de vue sur l'espace-plan du tableau. Outre les premières oeuvres de Picasso, cet ouvrage présente nombre de dessins, de sculptures et de photographies.

  • Vassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) était un peintre russe qui fut lÊun des premiers à réellement sÊaventurer dans lÊart abstrait. Il sÊévertua à représenter son monde intérieur dÊabstraction malgré les critiques négatives de ses pairs. Il sÊéloigna de la peinture potentiellement figurative dans le but dÊexprimer ses émotions, le conduisant à un usage inédit de la forme et de la couleur. Bien que ses fluvres aient été fortement censurées à son époque, elles eurent énormément dÊinfluences quelques années plus tard.