– Artist: Gustav Klimt
– Year: 1907
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer
– Artist: Gustav Klimt
– Year: 1907
One of a handful of paintings seized by the Nazis from the family home of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, this glittering portrait by fin-de-siecle artist Gustav Klimt depicts the Viennese sugar magnate’s wife—art enthusiast and society hostess Adele Bloch-Bauer. After the war, the portrait turned up in the state-run Galerie Belvedere. Maria Altmann, Adele’s niece, spent years fighting for the painting’s return, finally triumphing in 2006. The incredible story was made into a film, “Woman in Gold,” starring Helen Mirren as Altmann. Both patron and muse, Bloch-Bauer is
Gustav Klimt, The Kiss (1907 – 1908) / Gustav Klimt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
During his “Golden Period”, Gustav Klimt painted one of the most famous love scenes in the history of art. On a sensual background, the kiss brings together a man and woman who seem to abandon themselves to each other. In clear asymmetry, this gold-bathed, body-to-body embrace is almost like a sacred emblem. No-one would dare disturb the two…
– Artist: Andrew Wyeth
– Year: 1948
“Christina’s World” continues to fascinate more than 70 years after it was first painted. The faceless woman lying on the ground was Anna Christina Olson, the neighbor and muse of Pennsylvania artist Andrew Wyeth. While the painting has all the hallmarks of a pastoral, Olson’s pose is not one of romantic languor; she suffered from a muscle-wasting disorder—possibly Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease—and was known to drag herself across the
– Artist: Grant Wood
– Year: 1930
Grant Wood spent years searching for inspiration in Europe. The work that would make him famous, however, was painted after his return to the heartland. A national icon and leading exponent of regionalism, “American Gothic” depicts what appears to be a Depression-era farmer and his weathered wife. Grant intended the couple to represent father and daughter; in reality, they were neither. The man holding the pitchfork was Wood’s dentist, Byron McKeeby, flanked by the artist’s sister, Nan Wood Graham.
The Two Fridas
– Artist: Frida Kahlo
– Year: 1939
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo has developed an almost cult-like following in recent years, but took a back seat to husband and fellow-artist Diego Rivera during her lifetime. Kahlo’s work is infused with a deeply personal iconography and references a life of physical and emotional anguish. “The Two Fridas,” portrays the artist before and after her painful separation from Rivera; on the left as a bride with an eviscerated heart, and on the right dressed in the traditional Mexican costume she favored during happier times with Rivera.
14/50 El Autobus – Frida Kahlo
In 1925, artist Frida Kahlo was involved in a bus accident that left her permanently damaged. Four years later, she painted El Autobus (The Bus) which appears to be a simple painting of Mexican society, with men and women of all social classes sitting along the bench on a wooden bus.
However, when you look deeper, the painting seems to refer to the very accident that happened in 1925. The woman sitting on the right corner is believed to be Kahlo herself, and the working man in blue is a representation of the man who pulled an iron handrail from Kahlo’s abdomen after the accident.
The Persistence of Memory
– Artist: Salvador Dali
– Year: 1931
Surrealist Salvador Dali subverts reality with this mesmerizing image of deflated timepieces scattered over a desert landscape. The composition defies logic, evoking a dream-like state. Dali employed the “paranoiac-critical method” in his artistic process, self-inducing a delusional state.
The style of the creator of this painting has created many wonders on the canvas. Guernica was called the best work of art by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. In 1937, the German and Italian warplanes bombed the area of Guernica. The bombing took many innocent lives and gave the Government an idea and asked Picasso to create a painting about the events in Guernica.
The Son of Man
– Artist: René Magritte
– Year: 1946
The works of the Belgian painter René Magritte are frequently head-scratchers, and “The Son of Man”—a self-portrait of the artist with his face obscured by a giant apple—is no exception. The apple was one of the artist’s favorite motifs, but its meaning is uncertain. The title chosen by Magritte is perhaps more illuminating, referencing Jesus Christ. Some critics have called the piece a surrealist interpretation of the transfiguration of Jesus.
– Artist: Pablo Picasso
– Year: 1937
An enormous, shifting mass of distorted, agonized figures, Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” was the artist’s personal response to the horrific bombing inflicted by the Germans on the tiny Basque town in 1937. Exhibited at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne the same year, the painting was a plea for peace in an age of brutal conflict—both the Spanish Civil War and the dawn of World War II. Picasso expressly forbid the exhibition of his masterwork in Spain until the country became a republic. While his homeland never met that demand, the painting was seen—behind bullet-proof glass—at the Prada in Madrid in 1981, six years after the death of dictator Francisco Franco.
Autumn Rhythm (Number 30) by Jackson Pollock
Autumn Rhythm would come to be known as one of Pollock’s popular paintings because of its unique hue color combination of dark black, white, and tan.
Since there was no major theme in this composition, the artwork has a timeless feel to it, in a sense, it allows the observer to interact and connect with the painting on their own.
Autumn Rhythm, is a perfect example of Abstract Expressionism which began to take hold in the American art scene, with Jackson Pollock as one of its primary advocates.