Tag Archives: Northern Renaissance Master

Leonardo and Picasso: Artists of Their Times www.segmation.com

Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso are two of the most famous painters in history (if not the most famous); one a Renaissance genius renowned for his skillful realism, the other a modern legend and co-founder of Cubism.

Did you know that even though Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world, he only produced less than 30 paintings in total? Even then, many of them were left unfinished. Picasso, on the other hand, created nearly 2000 paintings – plus sculptures, drawings, ceramics, and hand-pulled prints that combine to over 50,000 works of art! (To be fair though, Leonardo also left behind a substantial number of drawings, sketches, and pages full of notes.)

One reason for this vast difference in the number of paintings produced is that both artists were products of the times in which they lived. When Leonardo was alive, artists didn’t have the luxury of creating art for art’s sake. Instead they were commissioned by the church, guilds and wealthy patrons to create paintings and sculptures that were expected to depict certain themes. For this reason, Leonardo needed to find work where he could. During times of war, he had to work as a military architect and engineer, designing methods of defense. Making art took a backseat to the work necessary for survival.

By the time Picasso was born 362 years after Leonardo’s death, the world was a different place. Artists had more freedom than ever to paint what they wanted. Self-expression in art was more widely accepted and expected. Instead of being commission-based, most artwork was sold in galleries to private collectors, as money flowed more abundantly through society than it did during the Renaissance. By the 20th century, successful artists such as Picasso were able to sustain themselves from the sale of their artworks alone, and did not need to seek alternate forms of employment to make ends meet.

These factors may contribute to the reason why Picasso created so many more artworks than Leonardo, even though Leonardo is the creator of the most famous painting in the world. Who knows what more Leonardo could have accomplished if he’d been alive in modern times?

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Albrecht Dürer – Northern Renaissance Master

Albrecht Dürer - Northern Renaissance Master

Albrecht Dürer - Northern Renaissance Master

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Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528) was a German artist from Nuremberg. He is generally regarded as the greatest painter of the Northern Renaissance (in Europe, outside of Italy). His talents included the use of paints, woodcuts, engraving, and watercolors. He introduced classical themes in his works and applied many theories of mathematics, perspective, and ideal proportions. He influenced a great number of painters in succeeding generations. Our collection of Albrecht Dürer patterns includes several self portraits and many examples of his styles including Saint Jerome in His Study, Knight, Death, and the Devil, Melencolia, Young Hare, Adam and Eve, Praying Hands, Great Piece of Turf, and many portraits including Oswolt Krel, Hieronymus Holzschuher, Barbara Dürer, Bernhard von Reesen, Emperor Sigismund, and Elsbeth Tucher.

This set contains 36 paintable patterns.

How Works of Art Become Famous

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Have you ever wondered why certain works of art are so famous? For instance, why does the Mona Lisa enjoy celebrity status, even though there have been scores of other well-painted portraits throughout history?

Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is currently known as the most famous painting in the world, but in previous centuries, it was merely regarded as a well-executed portrait by one of the Renaissance’s greatest luminaries. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the painting skyrocketed to fame. It was stolen in 1911 and recovered in 1913 – two dramatic events that catapulted the painting into the limelight. Mechanical reproduction and commercialism further propelled the fame of the painting, with the image being sold on various types of merchandise as well as appearing in countless advertisements. By now, the Mona Lisa’s fame is self-perpetuating and her legend is well-established.

The Venus de Milo is another example of a work of art that became famous not just for its beauty. Although it is one of only a few extant sculptures from the Classical period, the Venus de Milo enjoys its particular fame due to the massive propaganda efforts put forth by the French in the early 19th century, in an attempt to proclaim that their Venus was a better work of art than an Italian version of the Goddess.

The relative fame of an artwork depends on far more than just skill or execution; factors such as the timing and location of the piece, the social and political atmosphere of when it was created, and the artist’s ability to create an emotional resonance between the artwork and the viewers all play a part in why some artworks are more coveted than others. In the end, a healthy dose of fate, luck or chance doesn’t hurt, either.