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Painters who stay with us. (Public domain)

Homage to my favorite classic painters

in Arts/Glocal by

There’s a reason these painters became legendary. I give you an abridged journey from Europe to the Americas, and through different time periods.

Here’s my top ten of classic painters and why I chose them.

(1) From Spain, F. Goya:

For his happy phase and his unhappy phase. For his depiction of beautiful women and ugly nightmares. Personal favorite: Saturn Devouring His Son.

Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son, c. 1819–1823. Oil mural transferred to canvas, 143 × 81 cm. Museo del Prado, Madrid. (Public domain)
Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son, c. 1819–1823. Oil mural transferred to canvas, 143 × 81 cm. Museo del Prado, Madrid. (Public domain)
(2) From Greece, N. Gyzis:

For his ragged-faced old people, for his atmospheric scenes of everyday life, for his historical paintings. Personal favorite: Wishbone.

(3) From Greece and Spain, El Greco:

For his emaciated saints, for his view of Toledo, for his unsurpassable and unique style. Personal favorite: The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.

The Burial of the Count of Orgaz is an oil on canvas painted in Mannerist style by El Greco between 1586 and 1588. It was made for the Church of Santo Tomé de Toledo, where it still remains, and is considered one of the best works of its author. (Public domain)
The Burial of the Count of Orgaz is an oil on canvas painted in Mannerist style by El Greco between 1586 and 1588. It was made for the Church of Santo Tomé de Toledo, where it still remains. (Public domain)
(4) From Mexico, Frida Kahlo:

For offering her seemingly unfair and unmerciful life to the world through her paintings, in every gruesome detail. Psychoanalysis via art. Personal favorite: Diego and I. (Video discusses another painting of the two but gives insights into their relationship.)

(5) From the US, Edward Hopper:

For highlighting the grandeur of everyday life. For his colors, for his landscapes, for his one and only woman. Personal favorite: House by the Railroad.

(6) From the Netherlands, H.Bosch:

For discovering surrealism long before Dali. For remaining such a riddle. Was he making fun of the idea of sin or was he actually terribly afraid of it? Personal favorite: The Garden of Earthly Delights.

(7) From the Netherlands, Rembrandt:

For being the one and only. For bequeathing to us his Night Watch and his Anatomy Lesson. For his portraits, for all his works. Personal favorite: The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.

(8) From Italy, Caravaggio:

For his black color. Black as his Mafia-like life, black as lead, the chemical in the paint he used, which most probably caused his death. For being a giant of art. Personal favorite: Judith Beheading Holofernes.

(9) From France, Elizabeth Vigee-Le Brun:

For her absolute dedication to portrait-painting. For her adventurous life. For her memoirs. For her wonderful paintings. Personal favorite: Self-portrait with Her Daughter.

(10) From France, Paul Gauguin:

For his exotic Tahitian women, for his love-hate friendship with Van Gogh, for his artificial naivete. For his talent. Personal favorite: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

Ten is never enough.

Among the world’s legendary painters, I also adore Chagall for his dreamy motives, for his floating humans and animals, for his excellent stained-glass windows and his Jewish peasants. De Chirico for his motionless architectural landscapes and his egg-shaped statues. Botticelli for giving us the definition of a beauty that is not exactly perfect. Dürer for his own handsome self and his excellent animals.

How about you, dear reader? Do you agree with the selection?

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