Vincent Willem Van Gogh was born in 1853 and went on to become a post-impressionist artist who had a brilliant eye for color, emotion and beauty. However, he struggled with poverty and mental illness throughout his short life. He died at the young age of 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In this short lifespan, he managed to complete over 2100 artworks of which 860 were oil paintings and 1300 watercolors, sketches and drawings.

The paintings by Vincent Van Gogh are considered to be the most expensive in the world according to famous art critics. His “Irises” was sold for a record amount of $53.9 million dollars, and his “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” was sold for $82.5 million dollars. Let’s take a look at some h his other famous paintings:

  • The Starry Night

This was painted by Vincent Van Gogh in the year 1889. The oil painting depicts the night sky in a swirling visual looming above a sleeping village. This painting is currently at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

  • Sunflowers

Vincent Van Gogh painted two series of sunflowers. These oil paintings depict yellow sunflowers wilting in a vase. These paintings are prominently displayed in museums in London, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Philadelphia and Munich.

  • Self-Portraits

In the short period that Van Gogh devoted to painting, he managed to create more than forty three self-portraits in the form of paintings and drawings. These are now displayed at different art museums all over the world.

It was in the year of 1880, at the age of 27 that Vincent Van Gogh decided to try his hand at becoming an artist. He had no formal art training but tried to make up for it by studying books like Cours de dessin by Charles Bargue and Travaux des champs by Jean-François Millet on his own. Pretty soon he created his own unique style of painting that is tried to be recreated by plenty of struggling artists today.

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Post-Impressionism and Impressionism are two crucial movements in art history according to historians. The artistic creations during these movements changed the path for future artists on how they used their materials and canvas. Even though both Post-Impressionism and Impressionism have the same conceptions, they differ in many ways as seen below:


Impressionism started with Manet laying the groundwork with his new techniques used for immediate perception. He attempted to capture the moment with paint by painting as fast as possible. The other Impressionists did not exactly use the same technique, but still followed Manet’s work very closely. Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustave Caillebotte and Edgar Degas are some of the other famous Impressionist painters of the period.

Post Impressionism

This movement started just after Impressionism in the late eighteen hundreds. It is defined by its response opposing the Impressionism movement. Post-impressionism tried to connect the desire of artists to go beyond the passive representation of perception. The two main threads if Post-Impressionism includes art that is intellectual and cerebral like those by Paul Cezanne and the second thread that is spiritual and romantic like paintings by Vincent Van Gogh. Even though some artists following this movement used the path of shifted reality, others preferred to stick to self-expression.

“The Basket Of Apples” by Paul Cezanne is an interesting example of Post Impressionism paintings. It has a unique style along with a warped perspective, making it look different depending on where you are standing while you view the painting. The Post Impressionism period gave viewers more than to ponder over as well be more active while viewing the paintings. This led the painting causing people to interpret works of art, than just observing them.
At the end of the day, Impressionism and Post Impressionism brought about many changes to how artists of the current age paint and how viewers look at paintings as well.

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Art comes in different forms and shapes all over the world. Some of the commonly used mediums and techniques have been explained below:Oil

  • Oil

This particular medium can capture the details along with the play of light and dark. However, it can take up 9 months to completely dry and sometimes even years for heavy textured oil paintings. Oil paints have been used since the fifth century in Asia. It was brought to Europe by the olden traders around the fifteenth century. Oil was often favored by old masters like Leonardo Da Vinci, Francisco Goya and Rembrandt Van Rijn.

  • Watercolor

Watercolor was used as a medium as early on as the fifth century in Asia on fine silk as well as woven paper. They were introduced to Europe around the 15th century by traders and were picked up by French Impressionists. The ground pigments are mixed with the water soluble binders to create the watercolor paint, to give it that rich hue and color.

  • Acrylic

Acrylic paints entered the art industry in the 1950s. These paints are water soluble while being applied, yet water-resistant after they have dried. This became popular with advertising and with graphic designing. The rich, glossy finish offered by acrylic paints is favored by most magazines.

  • Dye Sublimation

Dye sublimation is one of the recent innovative mediums that have entered the art world. It consists of the digital printing process, where the imagery is transferred onto different materials like metal or plastic or glass. This process is actually based on the scientific process of sublimation wherein any substance transforms from a solid to a gas by skipping the liquid stage. This way the original image is turned into a digital matrix and then the artists gets to have control over the colors and the final look of the image.

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Pablo Picasso was born in 1881 in Spain and went on to become one of the most influential artists in the century. He was a sculptor, a painter, a printmaker, a ceramicist and even a stage designer. At the time, he was considered to be a radical artist. Out of his 91 years on Earth, he devoted nearly 80 years to the artistic development of different kinds.
He was born to Ruiz Blasco in the tiny town of Malaga in Spain in 1881. He was a serious child and seemed to have been predestined for greatness even at a young age. Even though he did not fare well at school, he excelled in drawing. His father encouraged him to draw and paint, and by the time he was 13 years old, his skills had outgrown his father’s. His family moved to Barcelona when he turned 14, where he applied to the School of Fine Arts. He aced the entrance examination and was admitted to the school without a second thought.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, he moved to Paris, France and opened his own art studio. This period is often called as the Blue Period by art critics and art historians since the color blue seems to dominate all of the Picasso’s paintings created during this period. The “Blue Nude”, “the Old Guitarist” and the “La Vie” are famous paintings from this period in Picasso’s life.

The Blue Period is followed by the Rose Period when Picasso started using warmer colors in his creations. The “Family at Saltimbanques”, “Two Nudes” and the “Gertrude Stein” are examples of his exemplary artwork during this period. His most well-known painting depicted the Spanish Civil War and was completed in 1937. The “Guernica” is one of the most exquisite anti-war paintings the world has ever seen.

Salvador Dali is a famous artist of the twentieth century. He managed to dip his hands in sculpture, fashion, advertising, writings, and filmmaking in his lifetime. His flamboyant personality is often credited with his eye to technical detail. His works represent his fascination for Classical and Renaissance Art very clearly.

Salvador Dali’s work is often strife with the themes of death, eroticism and even decay. He has been able to create a sort of visual representation of his hallucinations and dreams, giving the viewers a glimpse into what goes on in his mind. His famous “The Persistence of Memory” has been reproduced several times over and over again since its original rendering by Salvador Dali. It represents how fluid time is through melting watches.

Salvador Dali was born in a small town near Barcelona. His family was a prosperous middle class family with a nice home, who had just lost their first son, prior to the great artist’s birth. Dali was told at a young age itself that he was the reincarnation of his dead older brother. This might have influenced how his thoughts were formed as time went on. The landscapes of his childhood are found in his paintings that he created at a later stage in life. He started his first drawing classes at the age of 10 at the Madrid School of Fine Arts. However, his was soon overcome with sorrow when he lost his mother to breast cancer when he was only 16 years old. Salvador Dali took a trip to Paris, France and me Pablo Picasso in his studio, which had a huge influence on his paintings. This can be seen in his attempts to show different objects in multiple angles.

Art has gone through a lot of movements to produce several beautiful works of art by different artists over the centuries. Each movement has played a role in shaping art to what is it today.

  • Post Impressionism

The artists Paul Cezanne, Vincent Van Gogh and Georges Seurat, created several works during this period. They retained several techniques of Impressionism and included vibrant colors, self-expressionism and varying perceptions to make the viewers of the paintings try to work out what it means, rather than simply observe them.

  • Fauvism

This was pioneered by Henri Matisse by instilling a heightened sense of feelings into the paintings. Blatant and crude brushstrokes were often used along with bright colors straight from their tubes. It had a sense of raw feeling t it, which surprised most viewers.

  • Cubism

Picasso was a pioneer for the Cubism movement. Even though Georges Braque was the leader of the movement, he worked with Picasso so well that sometimes their paintings are indistinguishable from one another at times. Cubism managed to create a lasting impression on many upcoming sculptors and architects of the period.

  • Futurism

This was a very controversial movement as humans were made similar to machines and vice versa. This movement was not only limited to paintings and got extended to influence sculptors, writers, painters and architects as well.

  • Vorticism

This English art movement originated in London and followed the same path as Futurism. It started just before World War I. It was founded by the celebrated painter Wyndham Lewis and the famous poet, Ezra Pound.

  • Constructivism

This particular art movement came about at the end of the October Revolution in Russia. Vladimir Tatlin is credited with starting this art movement and influencing other like minded artists of the period. Interestingly, this period saw more art creations in the form of sculptures, architecture, fashion, ceramics, etc.

The art world like any other industry has its own set of words and terms that are used to describe different things. Let’s take a look at some of the popular terms used:

  • Medium

Any material used by artists to create their art is called medium. A single piece of art can have more than one medium, depending on the artist’s flight of fancy. Most galleries display the medium information of the paintings next to it like “oil on canvas” or “tempera on wood” etc.

  • Canvas

A canvas is usually a strong woven piece of cloth that artists usually paint on. These days canvas can be bought at stores easily. In the earlier days, the artists used to create their own canvases.

  • Sculpture

This is a kind of 3 dimensional art made either by carving or modelling or casting or construction. Several famous pieces of sculptures have been created by the old masters using the carving method.

  • Wood Engraving

This unique form of creating art involves a printing method, where the line is burnt into the woodblock by focusing a heating tool. This has become rather popular in the last couple of years, with plenty of amateurs and new artists picking it up.