My favorite painters – part 1

Posted: January 3, 2010 in Arts
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Perhaps some of you who knew me well understand that i have passion towards paintings 🙂 I love enjoying the finest art paintings by the most famous maestro and in fact, i did lil sketches and painted in canvas using acrylic during my leisure time in hoping that someday i can be like Monet, Degas, or my most favorite – Da Vinci.

Paintings for me is a sophisticated arts that always have the unique signature from the painter, that no one can truly 100% replicate perfectly. Signature here does not mean their handwriting signature, but instead, its the way the painter creates image into the canvas. The way they move their brushes, put a details into an eye of a man’s portrait through dotted white graphic that creates perception like the eyes are moving toward the viewer, their perception / impression toward an event (sometimes daily activities such as ballet routine, going to the park, etc), the way they catch the lightning into the canvas (Vermeer – the painter of Girl with pear earrings – is super good in this thing), and their genious ground breaking ideas.

So, who are the painters i love most? And why they are super great? 🙂 l’ll explain a bit 🙂

1. Claude Monet

Claude Monet is a French painter (1840s-1920s) who found impressionism, derived from his painting “Impression, soleil levant” (impression, sunrise).  His paintings is not only captivate the emotions in simple daily activities of people, but also enlightened every audience as we can also feel the love he has for his family (his beloved wife Camille and his daughter Jean).  Monet also famous for series of paintings using same object but with different colorings that each offer various feeling interpretations – like his House of Parliament series.

Impressionist, soleil levant

Rue Montorgueil

Le dejeuner  sur l’herbe

Madame Monet in Japanese costume

2. Renoir

Another impressionism painters that famous for exploring feminine sensuality.  Born in a working class family, Renoir do paintings on porcelain before he is enrolled in art school. His painting is notable for its vibrant light and saturated color. He suggested the details of a scene through freely brushed touches of color, and therefore we can see the central figure of his paintings softly fuse with one another and their surroundings.

Bal Du Moulin de Galette – sold at US$ 78.1 Mn in 1990

Renoir also often change direction of his paintings. From previously thin brushed in his early maturity, he then goes for a more discipline approach of portrait and figure paintings, especially women. Later on though, on his trip to Italy, he understood that he went on wrong direction and he moved back to more classicism.

3. Edgar Degas

Degas, often identified as an impressionist (due to the fact of his scene of Parisien, off-center composition, playing with color and form), although his technique differs from impressionists in that he never adopted the style’s color fleck. He also continually belittled technique en plein air (technique of paintings outdoor) which often used in impressionism.  The impressionists painted real world around them with bright, dazzling colors and focus on the effects of lights, hoping to infuse scene with immediacy. Degas though, is very well prepared, calculated, precise and developed in stages. His linear arrangement, was the occassion of infinite reflection and experiment. as Degas explained “in art, nothing should look like chance, not even movement”.Degas also famous for depicting horse races and ballet classes.

What i like most from Degas is that, his painting seems alive. They also have a very soft transition from the figure and its surroundings.  And he studied the changing of color composition and shadow carefully.

New Orleans cotton exchange

Horse racing in Long Champs

Stage Rehearsal

4. PP Rubens (Peter Paul Rubens)

Rubens was an outstanding 17th century flemish Baroque painter. He is a proponent of extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, color and sensuality.  He is famous for its altar pieces, portraits, landscapes and historical depiction of mythological creatures.

Though his masterpieces are sophisticated, its always create a goosebump to me because he pictures the frenetic energy boldly.. in a creepy way that feel so real.. Its like, when you see his paintings, you were there.. Inside the painting! Feel the people’s emotions (sometimes, its creepy as he pictures violence – like his painting “Massacre of innocents” – ).

There is no doubt  that all of his painting are a beautiful arts, but since its baroque, not all of his painting you want to hang at your bedroom though (as it may creates nightmare on your subconsciousness)

Hunt of Hippopotamus


5.  Michaelangelo

One of the trinity of great Renaissance master, Michaelangelo is an exceptional Italian painters who paint Scene of Genesis (depicting also the creation of Adam) on the ceiling, and The Last Judgement at the altar wall of Sistine Chapel, Rome.

For the Scene of Genesis, he depicted events described in Book of Genesis. Painting the ceiling in a standing position, with a huge physical discomfort, Michaelangelo used the fresco technique, in which the painting is applied to the damp plaster. Michelangelo painted  using a wash technique to apply broad areas of colour, then as the surface became drier, he revisited these areas with a more linear approach, adding shade and detail with a variety of brushes. For some textured surfaces, such as facial hair and woodgrain, he used a broad brush with bristles as sparse as a comb.  The composition of Scene of Genesis, in final, used 300 figures. Amongst them, the famous paintings are : Creation of Adam, Adam and Eve, the great flood, Isaiah, and Cumaean sybil. Each of the figure is painted in a very great detail. As follow:

Iconic image of God giving hand to Adam

Persian Sybil

6.  Leonardo Da Vinci

Ok.. what can i say about Da Vinci..  He is considered not only as one of the greatest painters of all time, but he also perhaps the most diversely talented person ever lived (ranging from engineer, architect, botanist, musician, writer, scientist, anatomist, sculptor), etc.  His 2 most famous paintings are Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. What makes all of his work unique though, is that Da Vinci combine his vast knowledge of anatomy, botany, light, geology and how human  register emotions in expression and gesture into his paintings.


Monalisa depicts a woman with enigmatic facial expression. The ambiguity of its facial expression, its monumentality of half-figure composition, its form and atmospheric composition all contribute to the continuing fame of this painting. Da Vinci use an aerial perspective with the woman seated on a background of landscapes. Da vinci also use sfumato technique in Monalisa’s face, a mode of painting of which there are no extreme darks or lights as the brightness values grouped together in a less or tightly middle gray. Its basically a low-contrast technique in photography.  Monalisa also resemble Da Vinci idea of connecting human with nature.

The Last Supper

Virgin of the rocks

7. Jackson Pollock

He is the major figure of abstract expressionism and also the painter of No. 5 – the most expensive commercial painting ever (sold at US$ 140 Million in 2006). Though he is volatile and involve with alcoholism during his life (which also short.. btw) he is a true maestro in modern painting.

Pollock’s technique of pouring and dripping paint is thought to be one of the origins of the term action painting. With this technique in which he used his whole body to paint,  Pollock was able to achieve a more immediate means of creating art, the paint now literally flowing from his chosen tool onto the canvas.

His painting is a combination of Indian sand painting technique, with muralist and surrealism.  Some of his works also exhibit fractal properties!! He will move as if he is dancing when he paint, and will not going to stop until he see what he want to see. Its a mixture of controllable and uncontrollable factors. Some scientist even thought that Pollock naturally understood the chaos theory, almost instinctively that give the depth into his works. Though i am not a fans of abstract, Pollock simply stole my heart!

No. 5

8. Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt is a symbolist painters. His work is distinguished by elegant gold or coloured decoration. He also has an eclectic range of inspiration contributed to his work, including Egyptian, Classical Greek, late medieval european and japanese works. He uses symbolic elements to convey psychological ideas and emphasize the freedom of art from traditional culture.

Adele Bloch-bauer I (worth US$ 135 Mn)

Ok.. thats the first part though 🙂 Too many painters i adore, unfortunately too little time left before i need to hit my pillow and landed in the painted canvas dream – just like one depicted in movie “what dreams may come” 🙂

The second part will feature : Van Gogh, Vermeer, Paul Cezanne, Rafael, Caravaggio, and many more 🙂

  1. KaEl says:

    always nice to know all of those stuff..perhaps to impress girl..wondering what kind of guy who can impress you if you certainly know better in all of those stuff..haha…
    karir melukis gw terbengkalai stelah di ceng2in orang sekantor “mirip lukisan anak sd..mirip lukisan anak gw..hahaha”…

    • sofia07 says:

      haha.. thanks. I actually only know a little on that stuff lin 🙂
      Tentang ngelukis, lanjut aja teruss :)) keep doing it, and u’ll get better. Mereka2 yang jago itu jg butuh bertahun2 sebelum bener2 nyelesaiin karyanya (kalau nggak salah monalisa tuh 3-4 thn baru jadi)

  2. Endah Lestari says:

    This is Kurnia Sofia that I know. Smart and wide-knowledged. ^_^

    Thanks for all the astonishing information. This is very nice, but don’t forget the Affandi, our local maestro expressionist. I love his work. Too bad I’ve never visited his museum in Yogyakarta. We should go there kur. :p

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