I've been wondering about this latley, will the art world ever see people again as skillfull as William Bouguereau, amongst others.
The way he mastered anatomy and painting is breathtaking, and I don't know anyone today that is able to do what he did a hundred years ago.
My point is that shouldn't we have at least one artist being able to do what Bouguereau did in the 19:th century?
If there are people like that living today, please share them folks!
I'd like to at least try to attain that kind of technica mastery, I'm at the stage where seeing great works like his just not only blow me away, but showing me that there is no upper ceiling but for what you want to make of yourself.
There was a time when such work would make me hang my head in disgust and not want to pursue art anymore.
Btw I'm sure there are some who are technical virtuosos who can also command the heart as much as the eyes in the classical manner, just that none come to me right now.
hard to do when the modern era ignored master to apprentice teachings for three generations...much of that knowledge is lost to us.
there are a few doing great work...steven assael is still young and will be doing masterful works for years...nelson shanks is a helluva painter but doesnt have much online...daniel green...there are a number who will push fairly close...assaels best work i have seen in person is as inspiring as a number of the bouguereaus i have seen. not all the masters works were great...it is their greatest works which will be hard to achieve or surpass.
we shall see....
one of the artists on the site ...douglas flynt...a young guy...his still life work in person is as strong as any i have seen from art history. i can only imagine what that stuff will look like when he peaks in his sixties or seventies.
there is hope for that kind of work....but for every great one there are a thousand mediocre floral and figure painters who make me sick.
pretty much after klimt there is a loss of info in euro painting...it meandered over to the soviets who did fantastic stuff...and now that school of thought resides in china. I will bet that most of the traditional masters of the early 21st century will come from china as those teachings are still considered important there.
There are some great artists out there now but it is harder to find them. It may just be me but I think the amount of time artists have to work now hampers there technical abilities abit. The "Masters" worked for along time on their commisions from what I can tell, so had more time to perfect each piece. I also agree with Mr. Manley on the lack of apprenticeship style training. I know I learn so much more from someone who is teaching just me rather than 20 students at a time.
Some people I consider modern "Masters" would include:
Justin Sweet - I have never seen a piece by him that hasn't awed me in some way.
Iain McCaig - Not only the nicest (and most positive) person I have ever met, but his sketches are just beautiful.
Paul Bonner - This guy never ceases to amaze me. Especially when I found out his paintings are watercolors.
John Jude Palencar - A worthy succesor to Adrew Wyeth.
Gary Gianni - His style reminds me of NC Wyeth's work.
Donato Giancola - I really love his paintings in Spectrum 12. Reminds me of Waterhouse's work.
Alan Lee - What else can I say other than it's Alan Lee?
John Howe - I've always liked his Tolkien work the best, he has an amazing sense for greating paintings that feel epic.
I could go on & on, but you get the idea. The "Masters" are only Masters because you connect to there work. I personally can't stand Picasso's work, does that mean he was not talented? No it just means his artwork does not invoke the same feelings I get from a Bouguereau.
I believe we are already seeing artists of "Masters" quality, but because the world is so global now, they don't cause as much sensation as the Big Guys did back in their day. They won't be recognized as the masters they are until years from now.
Does that make sense? Not sure I made my point accurately...