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Friday, September 30, 2011

Five on Friday - Interesting Facts about 5 Famous Artists

Today's Five on Friday offers some interesting facts about five famous artists, which include a few of my favorites.  Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo and Vincent van Gogh.  There's also a little (easy) quiz at the end, just for fun! 

If you don't see the information below, look for the "Read More link!

Leonardo da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519)

Leonardo da Vinci was a vegetarian and animal rights activist, he would buy caged birds and set them free. Leonardo left fewer than 30 paintings, and these aren’t even all finished; however, he also left hundreds of drawings, sketches, and pages of notes. He was one of the first artists in Italy to use oil paints instead of egg tempera, and even concocted his own recipe for oil paints. There are no pieces of sculpture that can definitely be attributed to Leonardo, even though art historians know he learned sculpture when an art apprentice in Verrocchio’s studio. (This is why you should always sign your work!)

Michelangelo (March 6, 1475 - February 18, 1564)

Michelangelo's full name is  Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.   One of hismost famous works is 'Pieta', a depiction of Jesus Christ on the lap of mother Mary. Pieta is the only work that was signed by Michelangelo. Michelangelo was often dissatisfied with himself and his work.  He took a break from his work as an artist to join the military from 1527 to 1529 in order to defend the Republic of Florence.  Michelangelo used to spend months in selecting marble blocks which he used for famous sculptures such as “David” and “Moses”.  He was also a poet. There are about 300 of his poetic works still in existence. Michelangelo was appointed as an architect for the dome of St. Peter's
Basilica. The sketch for this work of his was found in 2007. Michelangelo died on February 18, 1564 at the age of 88. He was the first Western artist whose biography was published while he was alive.

Vincent van Gogh (March 30, 1853 – July 29, 1890)

In a short period of only ten years Vincent Willem van Gogh  made approximately 900 paintings.He just sold one painting during his lifetime and only became famous after his death. That painting was Red Vineyard at Arles, which is now in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. It was exhibited in Brussels in 1890 and sold for 400 francs.

Pablo Picasso (October 25, 1881 – April 8, 1973)

You may know him simply as Picasso, but his full Name Has 23 Words: Picasso was baptized Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso. He was named after various saints and relatives. The "Picasso" is actually from his mother, Maria Picasso y Lopez. His father is named Jose Ruiz Blasco. Pablo Picasso's first word was the Spanish word for pencil.

Salvador Dali (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989)

Salvador Dali believed he was his dead brother's reincarnation. There is also a portrait or a silhouette of Dali in every one of his paintings.  Dalí employed extensive symbolism in his work. For instance, the hallmark "soft watches" that first appear in The Persistence of Memory suggest Einstein's theory that time is relative and not fixed. The idea for clocks functioning symbolically in this way came to Dalí when he was staring at a runny piece of Camembert cheese on a hot day in August.


In the 'Five on Friday' montage picture above you can see the following (not listed in order): Red Vineyard at Arles by Vincent van Gogh; Portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler by Picasso; The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali; Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci; Creation of Adam by Michelangelo.  They are not listed in order here, so from top to bottom and left to right, do you know which one is which?

Until next time!
C'mon the Mighty Magpies!!! (Timely Australian Football League Reference) 


If Leonardo still live today, I might even venture into bird business as well. :D


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