How, from flinging paint on a canvas laid on the ground, did he create such beauty and inner structure? Like a solo by Charlie Parker or Jimi Hendrix, his freeform improvisations loop and lurch and yet achieve a profound unity. Pollock only held this together for a short period of brilliance.
This is perhaps the greatest masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture. Michelangelo created it between 1501 and 1504 out of marble, representing the nude body of Biblical hero David. Measuring 5.17 meters , it stood in Florence’s main square but is now in the city’s Accademia Gallery to protect it from damage. Da Vinci’s other masterpiece depicts one of the Bible’s most famous scenes. Unlike most other great works of art, it’s not in a museum, but covering a wall of a convent in Milan, with limited access to visitors. Painted between 1494 and 1498, it’s been speculated that one of the twelve apostles seen at the table with Jesus Christ is actually a woman, Mary Magdalene.
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Arts Society Lecturer Dr Caroline Levisse reveals her theories. The brush is used in service of the subject, beautifully descriptive and probing, capturing what is essential to the subject with an economy of means. Masterpiece was part of the largest ever retrospective of Lichtenstein that visited The Art Institute of Chicago from May 16 to September 3, 2012, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. From October 14, 2012 to January 13, 2013, the Tate Modern in London from February 21 to May 27, 2013 and The Centre Pompidou from July 3 to November 4, 2013. Several publications presented Masterpiece as part of their announcement of the retrospective.
- In London, in the 17th century, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, for instance, required an apprentice to produce a masterpiece under their supervision at a “workhouse” in Goldsmiths’ Hall.
- Anyone can say a piece of art is a masterpiece as long as they are connected to the art elite, and then the piece is stamped as a masterpiece even if it is not.
- Usually, it is the best work that an artist has produced in his entire life.
- For decades, art history has been facing its biases, demonstrating that its central narrative reflects the values of a specific group – an elite.
“Nothing is a masterpiece – a real masterpiece – till it’s about two hundred years old. A picture is like a tree or a church; you’ve got to let it grow into a masterpiece. Nobody knows whether they’re all nonsense or a gift from heaven. And the only people who think anything of ’em are a lot of cranks or crackpots, or poor devils who don’t know enough to know anything.” ― Joyce Cary.
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This sculpture has survived for over 2100 years, with the exception of the original arms. It dates all the way back to between 100 and 130 B.C., and depicts Aphrodite , the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Made of marble, it is slightly larger than life size, and is one of the most famous ancient Greek sculptures. It was discovered in a farmer’s field in the Greek island of Milos in 1820, and soon acquired by France. If you don’t have an account, sign up to explore exhibitors’ artworks and register for exclusive events and benefits. How do we recognise an outstanding work of art – and who are the ‘we’?
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The Arts Society is the operating name of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies . Registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales , and the Scottish Charity Regulator . Find out more about the arts by becoming a Supporter of The Arts Society. This article appeared in the Winter 2003 print issue of LINEA.