Favorite artists

edited April 2020 in General Discussion
Isaak Levitan was really an amazing artist who is not much known at the West. Each of his 437 paintings presented in this video is a true masterpiece. I almost broke in tears watching it..

Please feel free to post here links to your favorite artists. 


  • Yes.  He is one of my favorite artists.
    i have two books of reproductions if his works.
    he is an absolute genius.
  • wonderful! thanks for posting. I see a lot of @kaustavM in these and little Monet too. lively landscapes with dreary skies and dreary landscapes with lively skies, I love them all
  • On Russian artist Repin is surely a favorite. Thanks for the introduction to levitan.
  • @BOB73 Although Russian...there are some elements of Australian landscape as well. I guess the word Impressionism binds all of them together.
  • Charles M. Russell and Maxfield Parrish are some of my favorites that not many forum members include in their lists. I would attach photos but I don't seem to be able to copy/paste from the usual sources. You will have to google them. 
  • SIr HEnry Raeburn
    The economy of abstraction is genious...zoom in on eyes...theres nothing to them in regards to paint and yet its all there...
  • I discovered Denner while nosing about in a discreet little corner of the Louvre.HIs little painting had no less impact than the Raft of Medusa. I cant say he complimentry to his subjects though but realism is unsurpassed.

  • I wanted to introduce another not so well known in the West amazing Russian artist Arhip Kuindzhi (1842-1910) . He was true genious of nightscapes lit by moonlight... This video includes ALL of his paintings including the most famous one at (10':39"):

    My personal choice is shown at these time points: 0':09", 0':14", 0':21", 0':33", 0':39", 0':45", 1':15", 1':53", 2':27", 2':52", 2':57", 3':03x, 4':35", 5':04", 5':52", 6':03", 8':28", 9':17", 9'23", 9'52", 10':30", 10':58", 11':16", 12':36",  and 16':00"..
  • Two other portrait artists besides Mark C. - I'm hoping to be able to emulate are: 

    Scott Waddell
    Not sure when this was painted


    and David Kassan 
    His mom painted in 2014

    Each have different methods but the end results are all amazing to me.
  • edited April 2020
    Looks great. I always wondered what kind of brushes they have/had to use and how much time it takes to paint all these wrinkles and other finest details....

    For him, obviously, this portrait of his mother had a lot of meaning... For some bystanders (like me) it is an example of technical excellence.

    What is missing in these portraits to concider them true masterpieces? That is the question that is always bugging me.. 
  • @MyArtsClub do you consider them masterpieces?  
  • edited April 2020
    Well, @GTO this is a tough question because it depends... it is always relative. If you ask my Personal opinion, I would say, I feel much more attracted or related to the old woman than to the guy. Because I love my mother very much and this portrait reminds me about her and about what she (and my dad too) sucrifised for us despite all hard times she went through raising us. 

    I acknowledge the quality of these paintings, technical mastery,  but I still would not call them Masterpieces.

    In my opinion, if a piece of art universally resonates with profound feelings of many people, or creates a strong emotional response to the point of tears or joy in  a large number of people, or if it is able to change globally accepted norms of behaviour and moral values, - then it could be called a masterpiece... Technical level of execution is also important, but not essential. Black Square by K.Malevich, for example ...

    A good example of a Masterpiece is The Apotheosis of War by Vasily Vereshchagin. There are many more..

    What do you think, @GTO ?
  • edited April 2020
    Have you ever looked at a painting, realist or abstract, that literally gave you goose bumps, or made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. If yes, then you have beheld a masterpiece. That's my masterpiece test anyway. And no one can show objectively that I am wrong to consider such paintings masterpieces. :p
  • @MyArtsClub Could there be more than one type of masterpiece?  Is the statue of David a masterpiece?  It is certainly a technical achievement.  And at its time that type of sculpture set new standards of what was considered beautiful in the human form.
    It continues to hold its place in history, but if someone did a modern sculpture in that same style it may not be considered a masterpiece.  That would agree with your ideas of what it takes to be a masterpiece.  It changed the way we see and relate to the human form.

    The two portraits above are, in my opinion, master level paintings.  You cannot achieve that level of realism and fidelity without training and experience.   But we seem to expect more than technical virtuosity to consider a painting significant.   We expect it to affect us.  To make us feel and to make us think.  

    The painting of his mother does evoke tenderness.  Her aging face is integral to that and we can relate to her and her life and get a sense of her in a reverent sort of way.  I felt that without even knowing it was his mother.
    For me it is a masterpiece.  
  • edited April 2020
    @MyArtsClub, both of those portraits are very fine and obviously, even when just seen online, they are both technically masterful. They are just superb. Kassan's mother affects me in a different way to the Waddell. The Waddell is just ravishingly beautiful while the Kassan is just so, so poignant. But I would need to see them in the flesh before I'd call them masterpieces. I'd need to feel that frisson I mentioned above. And I never feel that unless I'm standing before the painting itself. And that's deeply personal. 
    Some paintings that are widely considered to be masterpieces just don't do it for me. For example, I vividly remember standing before the Mona Lisa and feeling a twinge of dissappointment. For it's time it is obviously technically amazing. Here is this art icon before me in one of the world's greatest museums, yet it does not affect me viscerally. Sacrilege! I wondered whether there was something lacking in me that I did not feel anything much for this most famous of Leonado's paintings whereas I was deeply moved by his  Virgin on the Rocks. That was many years ago and if I saw them both again today I might feel differently.  But I doubt it. A painting has to grab me at first sight and I totally distrust 'experts' in such matters. In art I think it comes down to the feeling evoked in the individual viewer and no one can objectively say that your feeling is wrong. It must be this way. If it were not we would all be bowled over by the same things and we clearly aren't. 

    So, how can we pick a modern masterpiece? The art market is driven by professional/academic or self-styled critcs and by speculative investors.. But how often in the past have the critcs been wrong? In 19th Century France, for example, the crtics lauded polished pieces by academic realist hacks and spewed bile on the Impressionists who then couldn"t sell their work. But as we all know, the critics were spectacularly wrong.  In the 20th Century, afraid of making the same mistake, and wanting to dislay how avant garde they now were, the critics spewed bile on anything that had the slightest hint of realism and lauded any crap splattered on canvas as long as it didn't depict anything reognisable in the visual world.  Wrong again.  I have discussed the problem of critics with directors of major state galleries and with commercial dealers and with serious private art lovers/collectors and they all say the same thing:  Unless you are a speculative investor who can afford to lose money, the only solid reason for buying a painting is that you like it. You are as likely to pick a winner as the critics or speculators. So, when buying paintings (I've bought lots) I let my own aesthetic sentiment be the guide. In the short to medium term (which is all I can reasonably look forward to these days:) some of them will increase in value and in the more distant future some might even be widely considered as masterpieces. But that's not the point. That's not why I bought them.  I didn't buy them because some 'expert' critic said they were masterpieces or because they might be a good investment.  I bought them because they grabbed me. They passed my masterpiece test.  Professional critics are more often wrong than riight and so our own aesthetic senbiilites are really all we have. Unless we're content to believe whatever these 'experts' tell us  But it's hard to imagine such believing sheep having any aesthetic sentiment. Nothing would grab them so they'd buy what they"re told should grab them. :)
  • Interesting. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions. As I see, we are all in the same boat with regard to this matter.

    There  is a personal/individual rating of a painting (be it a bystatder or an expert) and there is also a collective rating, sort of statistical measure reflecting how a piece of art is rated in a society as a whole. Before arguing we should clearly state what rating we are talking about.

    In my personal list of masterpieces, many conventional masterpieces are not present even if collective rating did put them in there. Simply because they do not 'click' in my mind. Van Gogh - does not 'click' in my mind as well as most of impressionists. 

    Also, English is my third language, please take this into account. Just for fun of it or  for experiment, try to express all you said above in Russian not using Google Translate.. ;) That is why I use a 'limited palette' so to say ;)

    I like and enjoy talking to you guys. Stay safe, positive and have fun. Life is good and  very short. ;)
  • Maybe not as technically perfect but one of my favorites is poudre de riz by lautrec. One could argue whether this is a masterpiece but it captures me much more than e.g. Renoir where there is too much hapiness depicted instead of the real life in the works of lautrec. As @tassieguy said this work sends me shivers down the spine.. 
  • edited April 2020
    Well said! I wish I could speak Russian as well as you speak English.  :)
  • Wow - I didn't know this would spur such a debate.

    Below is the full view of painting. You can see more of David's work at www.davidkassan.com

  • I used to watch Masterpiece Theatre when I was a kid. None of the paintings there were as good as what we've seen from our own artists here in the forum. I have to agree with @tassieguy ; While I can appreciate the work of "Masters" of bygone centuries, a masterpiece should give you a gut feeling or some emotional spark  or something satisfying but maybe not quite as sudden and thrilling as a frisson.
  • This is another artist I follow on instagram - his hyperrealism paintings are amazing. 

    You can view his work at www.anthonywaichulis.com


    Ancora Imparo, 12×9″, Oil
  • The Old Mill, Mountain Retreat and Bubbling Stream of Bob Ross really inspired me. 
  • @douglail the Waichulis art is amazing.  Definitely some Joseph Cornell influence.
  • @GTO Yes, the assemblage for sure. I stumbled across his work in doing some research for a series I'm pondering. The Golden Book produced an encyclopedia set I loved as a kid. The cover art for each volume was a collections of the items discussed within. 

    Below is an example -
    Volume #4 covered the letter C

  • In terms of that goosebump feelings when standing in front of a painting.. the one I've had the most reaction to was a painting by Rembrandt in the National Gallery. I literally gasped when I saw it..

  • No photo does it justice.. It's jaw dropping with the amount of feeling and emotion put into the paint.
  • edited May 2020
    You are right, @Richard_P. This is a masterpiece. Proof of that is that centuries after Rembrandt painted it we still marvel at it.  The colours are subdued, the clothes look weird and she is not young and pretty.  But she is so damned real!  :)
  • One thing all the masters had in common was a mastery of light and shadow. Something that MC teaches although he doesn't focus on it. He just incorporates it so well into his lessons and demonstrations you don't know you're learning it, it just materializes.
  • BOB73 said:
    One thing all the masters had in common was a mastery of light and shadow. Something that MC teaches although he doesn't focus on it. He just incorporates it so well into his lessons and demonstrations you don't know you're learning it, it just materializes.

  • Richard_P said:
    BOB73 said:
    One thing all the masters had in common was a mastery of light and shadow. Something that MC teaches although he doesn't focus on it. He just incorporates it so well into his lessons and demonstrations you don't know you're learning it, it just materializes.

    LOL! Ragging on Bob! Good fun.
  • How about Rosa Bonheur a French artist in the mid and late 1800’s
    A great realist painter.  She came out of the closet before that was even a thing and even got a certificate from the French government allowing her to wear pants!
    During a time when female artists were not given much recognition she ended up getting the Legion of Honor medal.
    Her level of realism is amazing.
    Here’s a link to a 5 meter long painting Ploughing In the Nivernais

  • @GTO
    Thanks for that link, her work is amazing.

    This made me chuckle

     "even got a certificate from the French government allowing her to wear pants! "

    I wonder if she was required to keep said certificate on her persons when sporting such attire, perhaps in pocket of said pants.


  • Wow, she was a fabulous realist painter. That plowed soil looks so real. I can't imagine how she did that. 
  • She used camera abscura.
  • edited May 2020
    Really? How did she get all the oxen and men to stand still while plowing a field as she wielded  her camera obscura?
  • Thomas Levy-Lasne an artist who was on the forum here a few years ago. It's not difficult to see why he has moved on.                                      

  • tassieguy said:
    Really? How did she get all the oxen and men to stand still while plowing a field as she wielded  her camera obscura?
    The same way as if the scene was set up for painting from life. There was a lot of this style of realism in late 1800s due to introduction of camera. The scene is not of eye perspective but of lens perspective. Tracing paper provides perimeters and proportion but camera obscura provides both plus color tracing and gradations tracing. In my book....thats as cheating as it gets.
  • No such thing as cheating. Doing all those things is hard work. And for all those critics and art teachers out there who shun realism that say if you want realism, take a photograph, the photographs are lifeless illustrations. Painting from a photograph or life bring soul an emotion to a picture.
  • edited May 2020
    The use of technology as an aid to painting raises interesting questions.

    If Vermeer (one of my favorites) used a camera obscura did he cheat? If David Hockney used grids (he did) to transfer photos to larger canvases was he cheating twice over? If I use a ruler and spirit level (technology) to get my horizon straight, as I sometimes do,  am I cheating?

    Surely,  it's the overall concept of a painting - the composition, colour, etc, and its power to evoke feelings in viewers, rather than any aids used in realizing the vision, that is most relevant in judging a work of art. A camera, a ruler, a brush or any other tool is useless without artistic vision, aesthetic judgement and the skill involved in execution (mixing and applying paint, for example).  I can't see anything wrong with using the most up to date tools available to us in realizing our artistic vision. If Vermeer did indeed use a camera obscura would anyone care? I think his works would remain as admired and as valuable as ever. No one else could have created them even with a camera obscura because they did not have his unique artistic vision on which his work depended.

    Artists are not magicians. They are aesthetic craftsmen/women and no less entitled to make use of technology than those in any other art/craft. An architect,  carpenter or builder can use a straight edge and plumb bob so why can't an artist?  Why should an artist be expected to magically draw a perfectly straight line or a perfect circle freehand.  Why even bother trying when we can use a ruler or compass. A mathematician can use an electronic calculator.  A writer can use a word processor rather than quill and ink, musicians can use synthesizers... Using tools is central to what it means to be human. We are Homo sapiens and not Homo stultus. Our tools get better as our science advances but the tools will never replace artistic vision. They only facilitate its realization. They always have and always will. And if Rosa Bonheur was able to get that lot to stand still in a field  and look as if they were plowing while she juggled a camera obscura, or an old fashioned B &W  camera and glass photographic plates, then she was even more talented than I thought.

     She was a great painter.  And I love her rather butch subject matter. Who'd have guessed that this great painting (great in size, conception and execution) was created by a little lady in the 19thC?  I'm not surprised she preferred pants. Imagine painting this huge realist work all trussed up in skirts, bustle and whale bone corsets either in the field or in the studio. Whatever tools she used, and pants or not, she well deserved her Legion of Honor medal.
  • Tracing is a steroid. Camera obscura projects the same image on canvas as it does a piece of film. No way is tracing on the same level as Sarge or Rembrandt. In the late 1800 it seems reasonable that the image projected on canvas was more accurate than the photo itself because film tech was marginal then. The photo has dumbed down painting. The camera is not really an art medium...it is a recording device. If i recorded nature sounds to dubb into music then take credit for making nature sounds.
    Photos have no soul. Paint does.
  • edited May 2020
    I imagine fine art photographers would want to argue that, in the creation of their art, cameras are tools that are as valid and as acceptable as brushes and paint are for painters and not mere recording devices. The fine photographer can produce wonderful art with a camera. But, yes, In the hands of the non-artist a camera may be just a recording device. Hence the billions of boring snapshots that get deleted.

    In the right hands any tool can be used to create art. The arts have always cross fertilized and there's no reason painters cannot make use of cameras, computers and printers just as fine art photographers make use of painterly techniques in the post-exposure production of their fine art photos.  Art has always developed and changed over time. If it didn't we'd still be daubing cave walls using our fingers and ochre. Nothing wrong with that but I imagine the first cave painter to come up with the bright idea of using the chewed end of a twig as a brush with which to make more interesting marks than his fellow painters was accused of cheating. Quite often, people just get bogged down in traditional styles and techniques and don't handle innovation and change very well.  :)
  • That was an excellent summation @tassieguy , you should have been a lawyer. 
  • CJDCJD -
    edited May 2020
    There isn't really much of a difference in difficulty between tracing or copying over a projection and just drawing and painting the image normally. The idea that any artist as skilled as Vermeer or even competent contemporary artist need to trace is absurd. If they did or do it's not because they lack the skill to do it without aids.

    Most artist use some method to get the drawing right anyway whether it's sight size or photography or grids or whatever. And without those tools they could still do it anyway it would just take a bit more effort.

    People who think it's cheating just don't understand and they probably can't draw or paint worth a damn themselves which is why they don't get it. Or they lie to themselves to feel superior maybe. That's my take.

    Lately I've been drawing the way that Mark teaches it, although only drawing a few lines to mark key areas like the eyes and then just drawing the rest with paint as I go.
  • edited May 2020
    Thanks, @BOB73. I was a lawyer, lol. Or, were you joking?  lol in either case.  :)
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