The Lives of Artists

The Life Stories of the World's Greatest Artists

Masters of the Art of Painting

The lives of artists can be as complex as their paintings. These art history videos look at the whole life of the artist, warts and all. The influences on the lives of the artists, their motivations, their trials and tribulations are all discussed sympathetically. Paintings and drawings are discussed chronologically so the context in which they led their lives becomes more apparent.

I hope you enjoy my interpretations of the lives of these great artists.




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Paul Cézanne

Paul Cézanne was born in Aix-en-Provence in France in 1839. His early work was crude but after meeting his mentor Camille Pissaro in the early 1870’s, black disappeared from his palette. Cézanne rejected the Impressionist theories of light, his goal was to make things look permanent and solid, he achieved this by creating a balanced composition, the result of careful calculation, reflection and logic. He died in 1906.

L. S. Lowry

L.S. Lowry was born in Salford, England in 1887. he suffered from Asperger Syndrome and lived with his parents until he was 52. He never married. He painted the industrial scenery in and around Manchester and was known as the painter of matchstick men, although his art is more sophisticated than that. He turned down a Knighthood and died a few months before his greatest triumph, his one man show at the Royal Academy of Art in London in 1976.

Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt life began in Baumgarten in Austria. This short artist tutorial covers the prodigious talent that led to him becoming the first president of the Viennese Secession. Best known for his portraits his life was not without controversy. He painted women in a very decorative style combining geometric decoration with realistic depictions of hands and faces. Klimt died in Vienna in 1918 just 55 years old.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo was an amazing artist. Her work explores issues that affected her personally with honesty and integrity, which is why her paintings are held in such high regard. She was born in Coyoacan, Mexico City in 1907 and died in 1954 aged just 47. She contracted polio when a toddler and was involved in a major traffic accident when in her teens. Both events had a profound effect on her life and work.

Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch art was full of love, angst and death and was much influenced by his upbringing. His mother died when he was five and one of his sisters when he was 14 years old. Another sister had mental problems and all proved to be a rich source for his painting. His most famous work was, ‘The Scream,’ but his greatest achievement was ‘The Frieze of Life’, watch our short artist videos to find out more.

Ferdinand Hodler

Ferdinand Hodler was born into a poor family and by 18 was earning a living painting scenes of the Alps for tourists. Initially, he painted in a very vigorous realistic style, but his work was also influenced by his own spiritual crises, Symbolism and Art Nouveau. His work embodies the Swiss federal identity, because his best-known paintings feature characters doing everyday jobs, rather images of dignitaries.

M. F . Hussain

Indian artist Maqbool Fida Husain, known as M. F. Husain was a very creative, controversial and flamboyant artist who combined Indian themes with European styles of painting. Born in Pandharpur, he worked in India most of his life, but spent his last days in Doha and London. He his best known for his series of paintings on Mother Theresa, Gandhi and the Ramayana, one of the two epic poems of India.

Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall, an orthodox Jew, was born in Vitebsk, Russia on the 7th of July 1887 as Moshe Segal. Known as the painter of love, he married the love of his life, Bella in 1915. She appears in many of his paintings. He also produced amazing designs for stain glass windows for churches and even the Isreali Knesset. He died in 1985 in Vence in France.

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