Art provides people with a means to express themselves. It can be used to spread new ideas, expand your imagination, fill you with emotion or send you a message. Art promotes critical thinking, it teaches us skills like collaboration and independence. It has been part of human existence since the dawn of time, as evident by cave paintings.
Once in a while, a true master comes along, enriching humanity with their art, like these 10 great masters and their masterpieces:
1. Artist: Salvador Dalí (1904 – 1989)
Most known painting: The Persistence of Memory
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marqués de Dalí de Pubol was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres, Spain. Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931.
It epitomizes Dalí’s theory of “softness” and “hardness”, which was central to his thinking at the time. As Dawn Ades wrote, “The soft watches are an unconscious symbol of the relativity of space and time, a Surrealist meditation on the collapse of our notions of a fixed cosmic order”. It is currently located in the New York Museum of Modern Art.
2. Artist: Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)
Most known painting: Guernica
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. As one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore.
The painting Guernica was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country village in northern Spain, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces on 26 April 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. Guernica shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. It is on display in the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain.
3. Artist: Vincent Van Gogh (1853 – 1890)
Most known painting: The Starry Night
Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Post-Impressionist painter of Dutch origin whose work—notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty, and bold color—had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. The Starry Night is an oil on canvas, painted in June, 1889, it depicts the view (with the notable addition of an idealized village) from the east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, just before sunrise. It has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City since 1941.
4. Artist: Rembrandt (1606 – 1669)
Most known painting: The Jewish Bride
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art and the most important in Dutch history. The Jewish Bride was painted around 1667. It gained its current name in the early 19th century, when an Amsterdam art collector identified the subject as that of a Jewish father bestowing a necklace upon his daughter on her wedding day. It is displayed in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.