Chalk Cliffs on Rügen
Casper David Friedrich’s personal experiences with a strict father and with death at an early age gave him an intense sense of guilt, personal loss and loneliness which he carried into adulthood. Chalk Cliffs on Rügen, like many of his paintings, was an allegorical landscape to reference faith, hope and love.
Paris Street-Rainy Day
Gustave Caillebotte’s wealth allowed him to purchase Impressionism art because he saw value when others did not. Later, he bequeath his collections to museums, impacting the Impressionism collections in many art museums to this day. Paris Street-Rainy Day displays Caillebotte’s extraordinary talent as a painter, capturing Paris boulevards.
Still-Life with Lobster
Anne Vallayer-Coster was a woman who worked in a man’s world of art, requiring a great deal of courage, talent and hard work, and recognized by patrons including royalty. Still Life with Lobster was her last noted painting and is known as the best of her career and one she gave to King Louis XVIII of France.
Due to his mother’s poor health, newborn Michelangelo Buonarroti was placed with a caregiver whose husband was a stone cutter. He loved to play among the beautiful boulders. The Pieta is chiseled from Carrara marble and features Mary and the lifeless body of Jesus. Michelangelo’s masterpiece known for his extreme skill.
Winter Landscape with Skaters
Henrick Avercamp, known as the “Mute of Kampen” because of his inability to speak, was also thought to be deaf. His keen sense of observation was his strength as he painted scenes of life on the ice in the Netherlands. Despite one of the coldest winters in 1608, Winter Landscape with Skaters includes games and fun on the ice.
Cup and Saucer
Henri Fantin-Latour’s father, an artist himself, gave his young son formal art lessons. As an adult, Fantin-Latour continued to develop his skills and gained public recognition. Cup and Saucer features simple, ordinary objects. The use of value effectively shades each shape and fosters eye-movement.
The Slave Ship
Joseph Mallard William Turner was raised by his uncle who supported the development of his artistic skills. Mid-career, he shifted his subject matter from his profitable landscapes to social issues. The Slave Ship portrays the British slave trade where slave “cargo” was thrown overboard to claim insurance dollars.
Peace and Plenty
George Inness grew up in New Jersey and loved to engage in conversations with his religiously diverse relatives, providing him with a great sense of introspection. As a painter, Inness sought to capture the spirituality of nature, Peace and Plenty is a post-Civil War American image.
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin abandoned his wife and children, had a tumultuous relationship with Vincent van Gogh, suffered from depression, quarreled with the government and was in imprisoned for his debt where he died a lonely man. Tahitian Landscape captures vibrant Tahiti as he saw and experienced it.
François-Auguste- René Rodin proved to be a promising sculptor by age seventeen. As an adult, his sculptures were executed purely for the sake of expression rather than the typical historical or literary purposes. The Thinker is known for its intellectual and emotional demeanor and its physicality.