Classic artists that everyone should see?

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  1. #1
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    Classic artists that everyone should see?

    Well I'm largely a self taught artist so I kind of feel like I have gaps in my art knowledge and I'd really like to expand my "horizons" so to speak. Do you guys have any suggestions on classic artists that everyone should know at least a bit of their art?

    Or am I being stupid and should just forget about other people's work?

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minto View Post
    Or am I being stupid and should just forget about other people's work?
    No, not unless you really want to reinvent the wheel.

    A basic knowledge of art history is always a good idea.

    Knowledge in general will usually be a good thing.

    Edit: I see that your background is in music, what would you think of an electric guitarist who didn't know who Jimi Hendrix was?
    History is important.

    Last edited by Flake; October 11th, 2010 at 10:20 PM.
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    "Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. " -- Jason Manley

    "If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." -- Bruce Lee
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  5. #4
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  6. #5
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    See if you can find a relatively cheap, used copy of Janson's History of Art, Gardner's Art through the Ages, or a similar introductory art history textbook.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post
    No, not unless you really want to reinvent the wheel.

    A basic knowledge of art history is always a good idea.

    Knowledge in general will usually be a good thing.

    Edit: I see that your background is in music, what would you think of an electric guitarist who didn't know who Jimi Hendrix was?
    History is important.
    Yeah exactly I was thinking that if I hadn't looked up all the great guitarists like Steve Vai, Ritchie Blackmoore, Joe Satriani then I wouldn't have had the techniques that influenced my style so I figured the same should be in the art factor and that's why I figured I should open my eyes beyond cartoon stylized art.

    I'm looking at this William Bouguereau fellow and his oil canvas painting are crazily life like it's pretty amazing

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  9. #7
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    David Pipers Illustrated History of art has loads of pictures, used copies for $2

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Illustrated-...6850473&sr=8-4

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  10. #8
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    Ooh yeah does anyone know any books that feature Michael Angelo and Raphael and those other old arty fartie's drawings and sketches? I kind of remember Villpu talking about looking at their art and especially the sketches to see how they initiated the creation of their art.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Sonea View Post
    ^ and there u have it lol

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    Alright, now we're getting somewhere. Since we have a reference point, we can throw out more artists in that general ballpark..

    You seem to like Bouguereau, check these guys out..

    -Leighton
    -Sargent
    -Alma-Tadema
    -Waterhouse
    -Gerome
    -Zorn
    -Tissot
    -Bastien-Lepage
    -Whistler
    -Godward
    -Ingres
    -Boldini
    -Sorolla
    -Rossetti
    -Dewing
    -Dicksee
    -Thayer
    -Millais
    -Merrit-Chase
    -Henri
    -Burne Jones
    -Cadogan Cowper

    And some not dead guys working in a kinda realist style..

    Jeremy Lipking
    Sean Cheetham
    Eric Hammer
    Scott Burdick
    Richard Schmid
    Casey Baugh

    Note: this is nothing like a list of classic artists, it's a bunch of people who might appeal to someone who likes Boogie..

    If you want to see old school badassery...

    -Rembrandt He pretty much turns up, smears some coloured dirt around then makes everyone else look incompetent for a few hundred years. Rembrandt is Jimi, or Les Paul or Jimmy Page. You need to see them up close to understand why he rules.
    -Velasquez, same
    -Vermeer, see above

    Last edited by Flake; October 24th, 2010 at 08:38 PM.
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  14. #11
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    How could I have forgotten Gombrich's Story of Art. Not a ton of pictures by today's standards, but probably still the most accessible introductory survey.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post
    -Rembrandt He pretty much turns up, smears some coloured dirt around then makes everyone else look incompetent for a few hundred years. Rembrandt is Jimi, or Les Paul or Jimmy Page. You need to see them up close to understand why he rules.
    Haha I actually went to a few art museums in Prague and Vienna but at that time I wasn't too into developing myself as an artist so I was just like oh look that's pretty nifty. Kinda want to go back for a second viewing to see if I see all the art there with new eyes.

    Oh yeah and I checked out Rembrandt and I saw this on Wikipedia
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...osses_1653.jpg
    Have to say I really like that! It's pretty metal! For some reason the etchings that he does really stand out to me and the colours in some of his painted works.

    I really appreciate the time you're taking to help a little art n00bie find out some cool d00ds to aspire to, thanks alot!

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    Rembrandt is one of the best printmakers ever.
    They're usually totally overlooked because his oil painting is just so stupid, bullshit, ridiculously good.

    Like, if Mike Tyson was really good at decorative quiltmaking or something, nobody would ever really notice because we associate him with smacking people in the face...

    Last edited by Flake; October 12th, 2010 at 12:00 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minto View Post
    Oh yeah and I checked out Rembrandt and I saw this on Wikipedia
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...osses_1653.jpg
    Have to say I really like that! It's pretty metal! For some reason the etchings that he does really stand out to me and the colours in some of his painted works!
    I can't believe what I'm seeing! Holy shit! Rembrandt should have stopped doing paintings, because all his sketches and brush-drawings and prep stuff looks a lot better than any of his painting!

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    because all his sketches and brush-drawings and prep stuff looks a lot better than any of his painting!
    try doing an indepth master study of his paintings(composition, hue, value chroma and such)....the guy was in a league of his own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post
    Rembrandt is one of the best printmakers ever.
    They're usually totally overlooked because his oil painting is just so stupid, bullshit, ridiculously good.
    I've always liked his etchings and drawings way better than his paintings... The paintings have a tendency to get all murky and overworked, the etchings and drawings are more lively and exciting (to me, anyway...)

    To the OP, if you're starting art history from scratch, maybe you could just head for the art section of the nearest library and go through everything they have? That's how I started. Maybe start with general overviews (any kind of "History of Art"/"History of World Art" overview, there's a gazillion of them) and then go through some overviews of major periods or movements (there's countless books on most of those), and then check out individual artists - by the time you've gone through the overviews you'll have an idea which artists you want to start with.

    Major movements you might want to look into for starters, just because they're stuff everyone should know:
    Classical art (ancient Greece and Rome - this influences a lot of what came later, so you should know at least a little about it.)

    The Renaissance (there's loads of books on this...)

    Impressionism (this will inevitably lead into mentions of post-impressionism, fauvism, cubism, and modern art in general - you may or may not like all this stuff but you should know about it, so give it a glance.)

    You should probably read some sort of overview on modern art/twentieth century art - it'll be full of hundreds of "movements" which you may or may not want to research further, but should be aware of.

    Also take a whack at non-European art - it's not always as easy to find books on this, you might have to start with whatever you can find at the library and get more specific from there. (At the very least look up the history of Chinese and Japanese art, it's been pretty influential even in the West.)

    And I recommend looking up Surrealism just because it's my favorite movement... (and probably the most entertaining modern movement.)

    Movements that aren't always considered "important" by everyone, but you might find them interesting:
    Pre-Raphaelites
    Symbolism
    Art Nouveau
    Orientalism

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  22. #17
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    Pre-Raphaelites
    Symbolism
    Art Nouveau
    Orientalism
    seconded

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  23. #18
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    You could have a scan through this browser-crashingly huge thread too..

    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=133083

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  24. #19
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    I recently watched a nice DVD series called "Great Artists" by Tim Marlowe that I enjoyed. It covers 14 artists from Giotto to Van Gogh. Other documentaries I've seen tend to spend more time on the artists themselves and their historical significance, but here he talks more about specific works and their techniques which I appreciated, including nice closeups of the art. I would have wished he included Caravaggio or David instead of El Greco, and tends to concentrate heavily on Renaissance artists which is typical, but otherwise I recommend it.

    By the way, (just curious what others say) at what point does an artist become "classic?" By that I don't mean their art style (classic does not have to be classical) but by their age or whatever other measure is used. Can we finally say Picasso is a classic artist?

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  25. #20
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    Don't study art history to be able to regurgitate info like a computer, or find a technique, or even to improve your art. Study art history to improve yourself, gaining insight and knowledge into yourself, will infuse your art with much more than any technique learned.

    Applied knowledge, is always better that a head full of facts.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    The complete PBS series Art of the Western World is available on-line here.


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  28. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post
    Don't study art history to be able to regurgitate info like a computer, or find a technique, or even to improve your art. Study art history to improve yourself, gaining insight and knowledge into yourself, will infuse your art with much more than any technique learned.

    Applied knowledge, is always better that a head full of facts.
    But even more importantly... (imo) Study art history to find a lot of pretty pictures.

    "I've got ham, but I'm not a hamster"

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  30. #23
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    Visit galleries. Any galleries. Read up on stuff, but nothing can ever replace standing in front of the real deal trying to figure out how the Hell they did that.

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  31. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbclemons View Post
    I recently watched a nice DVD series called "Great Artists" by Tim Marlowe that I enjoyed.
    I liked those, Tim Marlowe is on Sky Arts a lot and he's usually well worth a watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    Rembrandt's paintings have a tendency to get all murky and overworked
    Errrr, if you say so... We must be thinking of two different Rembrandt's.

    OP, take good note of Flake's list. I'll add manet and degas, just because I love them. Hell, here's a few more too;

    Frank Duveneck
    Frank Benson
    William McGregor Paxton
    Edmund Tarbell
    Mary Cassatt
    Cecilia Beaux

    I'll just leave this Rembrandt here too.



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  34. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crush View Post
    Errrr, if you say so... We must be thinking of two different Rembrandt's.
    Nah, just different tastes. I like colorful things. (Actually, Rembrandt's portraits are generally okay in my book... but when there's more stuff in the picture it often seems to turn into a sea of brown murk...)

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  35. #27
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    zichy!

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  36. #28
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    Hey there.

    Here are some outspoken classics. You don't have to like them all, just use them to define your own art.

    Vermeer (silent reality_
    Rembrandt
    El Greco (drama)
    Jan Voerman (skies like heavens, dutch painter, died around 1942)
    Diego Rivera (wall paintings)
    odilon redon (dreamy surrealist stuff)

    bye, Evelien
    www.painting-ideas-and-techniques.com

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