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Sunday, 4 September 2011


Apollodorus, the Athenian painter  (5th-c BC) is said to have introduced the technique of chiaroscuro (light and shade).

The Italian renaissance artist Sofinisba Anguissola (1532-1625) was the first woman artist to gain prominence as a painter.

Renaissance artist Caravaggio (1571 – 1610) had to flee Rome after killing his tennis opponent in a dispute over a four-handed game.

The Victorian landscape artist Joseph Turner charged £300 for a painting (about £20,000-today) – it was the sort of sum his father, a Covent Garden barber, earned in a year.

The French artist Edgar Degas (1834-1917) is regarded as one of the founders of impressionism, though he preferred to be called a realist. His parents were middle class but had higher aspirations, for several years spelling the family name ‘de Gas’ — suggesting an aristocratic background.

Georgia O'Keeffe (November 15, 1887 – March 6, 1986) was an American artist, who was best known for her giant paintings of flowers. O'Keefe holds the record for the most expensive painting by a female artist sold at auction. Her 1932 work Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1, which once hung in George W. Bush’s dining room, made $44,405,000 at Sotheby’s in New York on November 20, 2014, more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist.

Alfred Stieglitz photograph of O'Keeffe with sketchpad and watercolors, 1918

O'Keefe's favorite place to paint was in the back of her Model-A Ford.

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) was a Paris stockbroker for more than a decade when, aged 33, the Paris stock market crashed and he quit to become a full-time painter.

Paul Gauguin ca. 1891

The Norwegian painter Edvard Munch was most famous for his 1895 work The Scream. After Munch died in Nazi occupied Norway on January 23, 1944, his collection of 5,451 paintings and drawings were found hidden in a locked room.

Munch in 1933

Congo the chimp was a famous abstract painter in the 1950s who sold paintings to Picasso, Dalí and others for up to $26,000.

The American Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollack (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), was known for his "drip and splash" technique, in which he laid his canvas on the floor and poured paint from a can instead of using an easel. Critics, dubbed him "Jack the Dripper."

The art critic Harold Rosenberg introduced the term "action painting" in 1952 to describe the form of abstract art popularized by Jackson Pollock.

Photographer Hans Namuth extensively documented Pollock's unique painting techniques. Wikipedia

Pablo Picasso has sold more works of art individually costing over one million dollars than any other artist. His 211 is well ahead of the 168 for Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Rachel Whiteread was awarded the £20,000 Turner Prize for Best Young British Artist at the Tate Gallery on November 23, 1993 for her "House." She was the first woman to win a Turner Prize.

Outside the gallery just minutes later, the anti-Turner Prize K Foundation awarded her £40,000 for Worst Artist Of The Year. Whiteread accepted the money.

In 1995, pigeons were trained to tell the difference between works by Picasso and Monet.

Indian prodigy Arushi Bhatnagar became the youngest- ever professional artist when she held her first solo exhibition at the Kalidasa Akademi in Ujjain, India, on May 11, 2003. She was 344 days (or 11 months) old at the time. Her first painting — executed with her hands and feet —  was sold for 5,000 rupees ($75).was sold for 5000 Rupee (£65). By the age of four, she’d already notched up 12 solo exhibitions.

In September 2008, English artist Damien Hirst sold a complete show, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, at Sotheby's by auction. He sold 223 of his works for £111 million, setting a record in 2008 for an auction dedicated to one artist. A foal in formaldehyde fetched £2.3 million, while a bull in formaldehyde was sold for £9.2 million. 

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