Discover art with ArtEx

Great masterpieces explained in plain English.
Discover what makes them timeless, what inspired their creation, and the fantastic secretes hidden within.

Marc Chagall - Birthday - galleryIntell

Birthday by Marc Chagall

"Love and fantasy go hand in hand "- Marc Chagall It's her birthday and in a moment of emotion and ...

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Guitar on a Chair by Juan Gris

“I prefer the emotion that corrects the rule.” One of the most revolutionary movements of the twentieth ...

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Luigi Russolo Dinamismo di un Automobile, 1912

Dinamismo di un’Automobile by Luigi Russolo

Speed! Technology! Destruction! These were the battle cries of the Futurists, a movement launched by ...

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The Desperate Man by Gustave Courbet

“Proudest and most arrogant man in France” * The pioneering artist of the 19th century, Realist painter ...

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Nafea Fas Ipoipo (When Will You Marry) by Paul Gauguin

“May the day come soon when I’ll be myself in the woods of an ocean island! To live there in ecstasy, ...

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Franz Kline - Mahoning, 1956

Mahoning by Franz Kline

“I paint the white as well as the black, and the white is just as important.” - Franz Kline There ...

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John Graham, Two Sisters, ArtEx

Two Sisters by John Graham

"Starting a painting is starting an argument in terms of canvas and paint." Don't feel bad if you've ...

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The Attended by Brice Marden

"It’s hard to look at paintings. You have to be able to bring all sorts of things together in your mind, ...

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Poems of Peace and War by Guillaume Apollinaire

Reconnais-toi  Cette adorable personne c'est toi Sous le grand chapeau canotier Oeil  Nez La ...

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Cats by Natalia Goncharova

Cats by Natalia Goncharova

"…the creation of new forms, an extending and deepening of the problems of color. This will help me to ...

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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - Clown Cha-U-Kao - galleryIntell

Cha-U-Kao by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

We all know Toulouse-Lautrec's caricature-esque portrayals of the dancers and patrons of the Moulin Rouge, ...

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La Chocolatière by Jean-Etienne Liotard

This portrait is done with pastels! A portrait of a neatly dressed young girl gracefully holding a tray ...

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Young Hare by Albrecht Dürer

 “Nature holds the beautiful, for the artist who has the insight to extract it. Thus, beauty lies even ...

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Konstantin Flavitsky - Princess Tarakanova

Princess Tarakanova by Konstantin Flavitsky

Anyone who has ever come across this painting is unlikely to forget the emotional imagery and a feeling ...

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Jackson Pollock - Autumn Rhythm, 1950

Autumn Rhythm by Jackson Pollock

"Painting is a state of being. … Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is" "Is ...

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Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch

There has always been something enigmatic about Hieronymus Bosch and his shockingly abundant allegorical ...

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Pierre Auguste Renoir - Two Sisters (On the Terrace)

Two Sisters by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The girls in this painting titled Two Sisters are not actually sisters! They are young models Pierre-Auguste ...

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Cambodian Dancers by Auguste Rodin

“If they are beautiful, it is because they have a natural way of producing the right movements…” Graceful ...

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Bathing of the Red Horse by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin

“I had three versions. In the process of working I set out more and more demands from the purely painterly ...

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The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai

3 boats, Mt. Fuji and the ferocious curve of the great wave that threatens to consume anything that comes ...

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Ilya Repin, The Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mahmoud IV, 1878-1891

Zaporozhtsy by Ilya Repin

"A portrait must be at once a painting and a careful evaluation of the face" Legend has it that around ...

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Franz Marc, Reh im Klostergarten, 1912 oil on canvas - galleryIntell

Reh im Klostergarten by Franz Marc

"Today we are searching for things in nature that are hidden behind the veil of appearance... We look ...

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Restaurant de la Machine at Bougival by Maurice de Vlaminck

Restaurant de la Machine at Bougival by Maurice de Vlaminck

“Good painting is like good cooking; it can be tasted, but not explained.” This large rhythmically ...

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Ferdinand Hodler Detail. Portrait of Gertrud Muller

Portrait of Gertrud Müller by Ferdinand Hodler

“The work of art will bring to light a new order inherent in things…the idea of unity.” Portrait of ...

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Gustav Klimt The Kiss, 1907

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

Whoever wants to know something about me - as an artist which alone is significant - they should look ...

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Interior with a Book, 1959. Richard Diebenkorn

Interior with a Book by Richard Diebenkorn

"I can never accomplish what I want - only what I would have wanted had I thought of it beforehand." ...

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Garçon a la Pipe (Boy with Pipe) by Pablo Picasso

“It takes a very long time to become young.” - Pablo Picasso Picasso painted this portrait of a Parisian ...

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Ingres - the Grand Odalisque

Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

"The beautiful is always bizarre." Next to the portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte - Napoleon I on his ...

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Allegory of Sight

Allegory of Sight by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens

This is one of 5 paintings titled The Five Senses painted in 1617 - 1618 by two Flemish masters Jan Brueghel ...

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Henri Matisse - The Flight of Icarus

Icarus by Henri Matisse

Trust Henri Matisse to have a unique approach to well-known narratives of the Greek myths. Best known ...

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Botero - Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa by Fernando Botero

Yes, this is a rendition of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. No, this is not some cute digital artwork ...

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Gerome Black Bashi Bazouk

Black Bashi-Bazouk by Jean-Léon Gérôme.

With pedantic care Jean-Léon Gérome painted his models and every detail of the setting - (click on the ...

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Picasso, La Gommeuse, 1901

La Gommeuse by Pablo Picasso

"...both temptation and downfall incarnate, a high priestess of melancholy and a siren of joie de vivre." Picasso's La ...

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Piet Mondrian - Windmill in the Gein, 1907

Windmill in the Gein by Piet Mondrian

This painting by the famous Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (1872 - 1944) is filled with the warm glow of ...

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Pisarro - the-boulevard-montmartre-at-night-1897

The Boulevard Montmartre at Night by Camille Pissarro

"Painting, art in general, enchants me. It is my life. What else matters? When you put all your soul ...

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Au Cirque Marc Chagall

Au Cirque by Marc Chagall

"It is a magic word, circus, a timeless dancing game where tears and smiles, the play of arms and legs ...

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Portrait of Dr. Gachet

Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent Van Gogh

"I have a portrait of Dr. Gachet with the heart-broken expression of our time." Van Gogh wrote to ...

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Rain, Steam and Speed by JMW Turner

JMW Turner's landscapes have a divine, surrealistic and symbolic quality. His paintings may be viewed ...

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Mystery and Melancholy of a Street by Giorgio de Chirico

“To become truly immortal, a work of art must escape all human limits: logic and common sense will only ...

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Edward Steichen

Greta Garbo by Edward Steichen

A critic once said about Steichen's work that he "is not satisfied showing us how a person looks, but ...

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H. Berton by Edme Quenedey

A first photo copy machine, if you will. A revolutionary way that allowed the artist to reproduce an ...

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Frantisek Kupka - Orphism

L’eau by Frantisek Kupka

“When we try to remember a dream... often we only retain a skeleton of the dream images... a vague grid, ...

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Mary Cassatt (American, 1844 - 1926 ), Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878, oil on canvas, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon

Little Girl in a Blue Armchair by Mary Cassatt

“I have had a joy from which no one can rob me – I have been able to touch some people with my art.” ...

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Marcel Duchamp Portrait of Chess Players

Portrait of Chess Players by Marcel Duchamp

"I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players ...

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Wassily Kandinsky - first abstract painting - Picture with Circle, 1911

Picture with Circle by Wassily Kandinsky

In 1935 Wassily Kandinsky wrote to his art dealer J.B. Nauman: At the time I was dissatisfied with the ...

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L’Amazone by Amedeo Modigliani

“What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious, the mystery of the ...

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Street Scene in Berlin (Berliner Strassenszene) by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

“It seems as though the goal of my work has always been to dissolve myself completely into the sensations ...

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Haystacks: Autumn by Jean-Francois Millet

"The most joyful thing I know is the peace, the silence that one enjoys in the woods or on the tilled ...

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Clyfford Still, 1944-N No.2, ArtEx featured

1944-N No. 2 by Clyfford Still

"You can turn the lights out. The paintings will carry their own fire." A painter whose style remains ...

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Boy with Knapsack – Color Masses in the Fourth Dimension by Kazimir Malevich

“Suprematism is the rediscovery of pure art, which, in the course of time, had become obscured by the ...

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Orange, Red, Yellow by Mark Rothko

"I think of my pictures as dramas, the shapes in the pictures are the performers." - Mark Rothko Аll ...

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Raoul Hausmann, Tatlin at Home, 1920

Tatlin at Home by Raoul Hausmann

"We called [the] process “photomontage,” because it embodied our refusal to play the part of the artist. ...

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Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte

It's one  of those paintings that come to symbolize a whole city. Gustave Caillebotte's Paris Street; ...

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The Polish Rider by Rembrandt van Rijn

One of the most beloved paintings by the Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn, The Polish Rider is also a ...

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Jasper Johns - Flag

Flag by Jasper Johns

“One night I dreamed that I painted a large American flag, and the next morning I got up and I went out ...

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James Lord by Alberto Giacometti

James Lord by Alberto Giacometti

“You look like a real thug. If I could paint you as I see you and a policeman saw the picture, he’d arrest ...

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Juan Gris, Newspaper and Fruit Dish, 1916

Newspaper and Fruit Dish by Juan Gris

José Victoriano Carmelo Carlos González-Pérez, better known as the great Spanish cubist Juan Gris (1887-1927) ...

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Luis Tomasello

Atmosphere Chromoplastique by Luis Tomasello

Barnett Newman famously said about his monolithic Vir Heroicus Sublimis that he expects the viewer ...

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Edward Hopper,' Chop Suey', 1929. Oil on canvas. Collection of Barney A. Ebsworth

Chop Suey by Edward Hopper

"I have tried to present my sensations in what is the most congenial and impressive form possible to ...

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Henri-Edmond Cross, Hair (cropped)

La Chevelure by Henri-Edmond Cross

The hidden face behind a thick curtain of hair is the sole object of La Chevelure (Hair) by Henri-Edmond ...

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Gabriele Munter, Malade (Krank) 1917

Malade by Gabriele Munter

"My pictures are all moments of life - I mean instantaneous visual experiences, generally noted very ...

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Figures in the Night Guided by the Phosphorescent Tracks of Snails by Joan Miro

“It is as though he [Joan Miro] had decided to condense all that he loves most - women, the night, stars, ...

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Wayne Thiebaud - River Intersection

River Intersection by Wayne Thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud's landscapes look like aerial views of beautiful happy pieces of land and still-life paintings ...

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The Gleaners by Jean-Francois Millet

“It is the treating of the commonplace with the feelings of the sublime that gives to art its true power.” One ...

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The Musician by Tamara de Lempicka

Art and design of the Jazz Age epitomized the glamour of the era. Bold color, shimmery metallics, and ...

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Natura Morta by Giorgio Morandi

"It takes me weeks to make up my mind which group of bottles will go well with a particular tablecloth. ...

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Fragonard - The Swing

The Swing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

a.k.a. The Happy Accidents of the Swing, 1767 Jean- Honoré Fragonard's The Swing was essentially a commission ...

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Le Bassin aux Nympheas by Claude Monet

"For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at any moment." Le ...

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Edouard Manet - Portrait of Irma Brunner

Irma Brunner by Edouard Manet

Pierre-Auguste Renoir observed that Manet was as important to them “as Cimabue or Giotto were to the ...

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Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Peter Paul

A master painter of the Northern Baroque Peter Paul Rubens, born in 1577, is famous for imbuing his portraits ...

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The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck

“I do as I can." There are some works of art that have always been surrounded by mystery. This is ...

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Studland Beach by Vanessa Bell

"Defining modernism in American art is a slippery task. As an art historical term, ‘modern’ refers to ...

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Basket of Apples, Paul Cezanne

Still Life with Bottle and Apple Basket by Paul Cezanne

Probably the most famous still life painter of the last 200 years - Paul Cezanne, is credited with laying ...

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Canyon by Helen Frankenthaler

“The landscapes were in my arms as I did it,” Ms. Frankenthaler told an interviewer. “I didn’t realize ...

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Georges Seurat - A Sunday on La Grande Jatte - galleryIntell

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat

"Some say they see poetry in my paintings; I see only science." George Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande ...

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Vincent Van Gogh Portrait of Pere Tanguy

Portrait of Pere Tanguy by Vincent van Gogh

"An admirable demolisher of academic formulae, [who] also had a genius for light..." - August Rodin  Everyone ...

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Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimis. Photograph © Kristina Nazarevskaia

Vir Heroicus Sublimis by Barnett Newman

It's no different, really, from meeting another person. One has a reaction to the person physically. ...

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Self-Portrait by Louis Daguerre

"I have seized the light. I have arrested its flight." Before the Polaroids, the Hasselblads, the ...

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Frida Kahlo - Self-Portrait with thorns and hummingbird

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird by Frida Kahlo

“My painting carries with it the message of pain.”  Perhaps, no other quote describes Frida Kahlo’s ...

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Gerhard Richter "Bach" 1992

Bach by Gerhard Richter

Much of an abstract painter's work is done days, months or even years before he or she ever picks us ...

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Avenue de Clichy by Louis Anquetin

Avenue de Clichy by Louis Anquetin sweeps us into a rainy twilight in Montmartre, where lights from the ...

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Demeter by Jean Arp

"Suddenly my need for interpretation vanished, and the body, the form, the supremely perfected work became ...

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The Luncheon on the Grass by Edouard Manet

"You would hardly believe how difficult it is to place a figure alone on a canvas, and to concentrate ...

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Houses with Laundry by Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele is probably best known for his provocative nudes and deeply revealing self-portraits, but ...

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The Milliners by Paul Signac

"Art is a creation of a higher order than a copy of nature which is governed by chance." Paul Signac's ...

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Pablo Picasso - Le Rêve - galleryIntell

Le Rêve by Pablo Picasso

“I had gone shopping to the Galeries Lafayette and Picasso saw me coming out of the Métro. He simply ...

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Edouard Manet, Portrait of Zola

Portrait of Emile Zola by Edouard Manet

You would hardly believe how difficult it is to place a figure alone on a canvas, and to concentrate ...

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Le Talisman by Paul Serusier

Nature merely supplies us with inert materials. A human mind alone can arrange them in such a way that, ...

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Nicolai Fechin, Portrait of Duane_cropped

Portrait of Duane by Nicolai Fechin

"The artist's problem of retaining the true pure strength of color depends on keeping the pigments separate ...

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The Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens

Massacre of the Innocents c. 1611 – 12, has always been a popular theme in the visual arts, particularly ...

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Cut Ground Yellow & Blue by Sean Scully

"The stripe is a signifier of modernism." The very first time you see a Sean Scully's painting you ...

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Echo & Narcissus

Echo and Narcissus by John William Waterhouse

Here the artist captured a moment from Ovid's Echo and Narcissus a well known fable of a beautiful ...

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Houses of Parliament, stormy sky, 1904

The House of Parliament, Stormy Sky by Claude Monet

Claude Monet, probably the most famous French Impressionist painter, always found the subjects for his ...

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Islamic Calligraphy

Islamic Calligraphy by Ahmed Karahisari

Imagine training for 20-25 years before you were ever allowed to take up a real brush and paint? Filling ...

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El Lissitzky

Proun G7 by El Lissitzky

It's the utopian urban landscapes first imagined at the start of the 20th century. The then-Imperial ...

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Richard Serra - Band

Band by Richard Serra

Richard Serra is one of those contemporary artists who are either loved without question or wholly misunderstood ...

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1881. The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.

Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

So lively, so fluid, so rich - these are some of the words that best describe Auguste Renoir's Luncheon ...

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Arshile Gorky, Impatience. Oil on Canvas. Museum of Modern Art, NY

Impatience by Arshile Gorky

The intention of abstraction is to connect with the viewer on a deeply emotional level, so it's always ...

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Girl with a Pearl Earring

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer

Girl with a Pearl Earring is perhaps one of Jan Vermeer's best known works the world over. The magnificent ...

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Sam Francis, Blue Symphony.

Blue Symphony by Sam Francis

“Color is light on fire. Each color is the result of burning, for each substance burns with a particular ...

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ArtEx - Matisse

Woman with a Hat by Henri Matisse

— What was the color of the dress Madame was wearing while posing for the portrait? — Black, of course! The ...

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galleryIntell_Qi Baishi_Shrimp

Shrimps by Qi Baishi

"The excellence of a painting lies in its being alike, yet unlike. Too much likeness flatters the vulgar ...

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Jackson Pollock, Number 31 Enamel on unprimed canvas

One: Number 31 by Jackson Pollock

"I prefer to tack the un-stretched canvas to the floor. I need the resistance of a hard surface. On the ...

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Deepened Impulse (Vertiefte Regung) by Wassily Kandinsky

"Technically, every work of art comes into being in the same way as the cosmos — by means of catastrophes, ...

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Place de la Concorde by Edgar Degas

It is very well to copy what one sees; it's much better to draw what one has retained in one's memory. ...

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Sonia Delaunay - simultaneous contrasts

Simultaneous Contrasts by Sonia Delaunay

“I have lived my art!” – Sonia Delaunay Simultaneous Contrasts, by Sonia Delaunay may be described ...

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Madame Pierre Gautreau (Madame X), 1884, John Singer Sargent

Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau) by John Singer Sargent

"I never judge, only chronicle." Today it’s probably hard to believe that this portrait of a young ...

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Michelangelo da Caravaggio - Narcissus - galleryIntell

Narcissus at the Source by Caravaggio

And the blind seer said to his mother, "If he but fail to recognize himself, a long life he may have, ...

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Gustav Klimt - Adele Bloch Bauer I - galleryIntell

Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt

"This is our Mona Lisa…" These were the words of Ronald Lauder, heir to the Estee Lauder cosmetics ...

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The Smiling Spider by Odilon Redon

"One must respect black, nothing prostitutes it. It does not please the eye and it awakens no sensuality. ...

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Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth

"The challenge to me was to do justice to her extraordinary conquest of a life which most people would ...

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The Kiss by Auguste Rodin

“Man's naked form belongs to no particular moment in history; it is eternal, and can be looked upon with ...

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Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.” When it comes to celebrity status ...

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Claude Monet, 'The Gare Saint-Lazare- Arrival of a Train', 1877. In the collection of the Harvard Art Museum

The Gare Saint-Lazare: Arrival of a Train by Claude Monet

“Monet is only an eye, but my God what an eye!” - Paul Cezanne 'The Gare Saint-Lazare: Arrival of ...

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Dynamism of a Soccer Player by Umberto Boccioni

"To paint a human figure you must not paint it; you must render the whole of its surrounding atmosphere ...

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Degas - dancers in pink

Dancers in Pink by Edgar Degas

Considered to be the best draughtsman of his generation, Edgar Degas called his work the result of “premeditated ...

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Robert Motherwell - Lyric Suite, 1965

Lyric Suite by Robert Motherwell

Every since his arrival from California via Harvard to New York City in 1940 Robert Motherwell became ...

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Paul Cézanne (French, 1839 - 1906 ), The Artist's Father, Reading "L'Événement", 1866, oil on canvas, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon

The Artist’s Father, Reading “L’Événement” by Paul Cezanne

"Art has a harmony which parallels that of nature…" This is a seemingly simple composition by Paul ...

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Seated Femaile Nude with Yellow Blanket - Egon Schiele

Sitting Female Nude with Yellow Blanket by Egon Schiele

"I do not deny that I have made drawings and watercolors of an erotic nature. But they are always works ...

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Le Violin d'Ingres - Man Ray

Le Violon d’Ingres by Man Ray, 1924

"There is no progress in art, any more than there is progress in making love. There are simply different ...

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