American James McNeil Whistler’s wealth afforded a moved to Europe after a few failed employment attempts. His desire to become an artist met success in Paris and London. Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother resulted when the model scheduled for a sitting failed to show up.
Canadian Thomas John Thomson was interested in commercial art, drawing and watercolor painting and, most importantly, the natural environment. His process was capturing nature, editing and embellishing the landscape. Northern River is a fine example of Thomson’s ability to capture foreground, mid-ground and background.
The Supper at Emmaus
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s young life in Milan, Italy, late 1500s was traumatic – plague, famine and death of his father. He found some solace in Rome where his art received approval from the papal court. The Supper at Emmaus is the Biblical story recorded in Luke 24 and hangs in the National Gallery, London.
The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning
Camille Pissarro was born on a Caribbean island, went to boarding school in Paris and later connected with up and coming artists Claude Monet and Paul Cezanne. The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning was painted as seen from Pissarro’s hotel room high above the popular Paris street.
At the Moulin Rouge
Henri da Toulouse-Lautrec was from a wealthy aristocratic family from the south of France. Despite wealth, Toulouse-Lautrec’s childhood and adulthood were filled with severe challenges. At the Moulin Rouge features Toulouse-Lautrec’s favorite image of preforming dancers with a room filled with celebrities.
Käthe Schmidt was influenced by socialist beliefs and a deep sense of compassion. She married Dr. Karl Kollwitz and moved to Berlin’s slums where Karl served the medical needs of poor. She focused her art on their hardships. The Mothers is a small woodcut which reflects the terror of women and children during war.
Storm on the Sea of Galilee
Rembrandt van Rijn was well-trained in portraiture, figures, landscapes, seascapes, architecture, interiors, in a variety of periods including Biblical, political and mythological. Storm on the Sea of Galilee features Rembrandt’s exceptional use of chiaroscuro – the use of both bright light and extreme dark.
Edvard Munch experienced sickness, mental illness and death throughout his life. Much of his art was as a Symbolist painter, using colors and shapes to express deep emotions. Executed with oil and tempera paint and pastel on cardboard, The Scream is one of a series of approximately twenty versions.
The Great Wave
Printmaker Katsushika Hokusai combined his classical Japanese training with Western aesthetic to create unique woodcuts, silkscreens and landscape paintings. The Great Wave illustrates the power of nature as a huge wave threatens fishermen in their open boats and is one of Hokusai’s most famous prints.
Girl With a Pearl Earring
Johannes Vermeer’s early art focused on religious topics. Later, he became interested in capturing middle-class workers in their daily routine, capturing them with a strong sense of dignity and purpose. Girl With a Pearl Earring features an unidentifiable sitter wearing a sign of wealth and status symbol; the pearls earrings.