Throughout history there have been many famous painters who have had a
great impact on the art world. Each painter has had his own style and
many created different movements.
Leonardo da Vinci: Leonardo da Vinci is probably the most famous
painter of all. He was born in Milan, Italy in 1542 and received
instruction in painting from his father. He apprenticed in the studio
of Andrea del Verrocchio. Through this experience, he met with
Botticelli and other painters and learned from them as well. He helped
his master in painting the Baptism of Christ and then went on to work
in the service of Duke Sforza, for whom he painted The Last Supper. He
painted the Mona Lisa and then went to work at the Vatican, during
which time he concentrated on his drawings.
Michelangelo: Although it was not his surrogate parents' wishes for
Michelangelo to become an artist, he was permitted to study the art
under the patronage of Lorenzo de Medici. He traveled extensively
studying the work of great sculptors. His first sculpture was that the
La Pieta, a statue of Mary holding the lifeless body of her Son. One
of his most important works was the statue of David. He was
commissioned by Pope Julius 11 to paint the ceiling of the Sistine
Chapel. In this painting he accomplished more than his original
contract in 300 paintings covering the story of the Bible from Adam to
Noah. This was the last of his paintings and he returned to sculpting.
Vincent van Gogh: Vincent van Gogh was born in the Netherlands in 1853
and worked at an art gallery. After a stint as a missionary teacher in
Belgium, he turned to painting and took lessons. His first painting
was that of the Hague in which he established his style of using
bright colors and bold strokes. He was fascinated with the life of the
working poor, being penniless himself, and most of his paintings
depict ordinary people. His first masterpiece was The Potato Eaters.
After he moved to France, he began painting still life, flowers and
numerous works such as A Starry Night.
Pablo Picasso: Picasso learned the art of painting from his father and
studied at the La Lonja Acedemy in Barcelona. He traveled through
France and discovered the art of Toulouse Lautrec. He was fascinated
with the female form, which led to his painting of Les Demoiselles
d"Avignon. He went through a blue and rose period and spent some time
painting the poor people. It was Picasso who started the Cubist
movement in painting, which is an exact reproduction of an image seen
from different angles at the same time.
Rembrandt van Rijn: Rembrandt studied at the Univeristy of Leiden
where he gained his enormous knowledge about human anatomy. When he
discovered his love of painting he left the university to study under
Jacob van Swannenburch, from whom he learned about Michelangelo and da
Vinci. Pieter Lastman gave him instruction in color and lighting. One
of the most important paintings of his career was The Anatomy Lesson
of Dr. Nicholas Tulp. The Night Watch was one painting that was not
well received because it was too unconventional. He also created many
self-portraits during his dark period.