The artful quest

Art history is my passion, but what really makes my day is finding out why people created a piece of art. Join me on the quest for what lies hidden behind!

„Creativity takes courage
He started painting at the age of 20 during a period of convalescence after an appendicitis. To keep him busy, his mother brought him painting supplies and he discovered what he called „a kind of paradise„, after having studied and practiced law. In 1891, Matisse moved to Paris to become an artist, but failed the entry exam of the École des Beaux-Arts. This was the beginning of an exceptional career. Matisse later said, „The teachers at the Beaux-Arts used to say, ‚Stick stubbornly to nature!‘ Throughout my career I rebelled against this attitude, to which I could not submit. This confrontation resulted in various twists and turns in my path, which was a constant search for expression beyond the naturalistic copy.“ (1951) With Pablo Picasso, he is one of the most important artists of Classical Modernism.
When we talk about the Italian Renaissance, the names of great male artists immediately come to mind. Hardly anybody knows about this young lady, with the admittedly challenging name Sofonisba Anguissola. Born in Cremona around 1535, she was educated in painting, literature and music from early on and went on to be one of the most famous female painter of the Italian Renaissance!
As long as I live I will have control over my being.
Growing up in her father’s art studio among men after the death of her mother, Artemisia was raped by one of his colleagues. With the expectation that they were going to be married, Artemisia started to have sexual relations with the man, but her father found out and the rapist reneged on his promise, the Gentileschis pressed charges. During the trial, Artemisia had to endure a public examination of her lost virginity and torture with thumbscrews to verify her testimony. Although Artemisia’s life took a turn for the better soon after, these experiences stayed with Artemisia and probably influenced many of her paintings – but maybe she was just shrewdly taking advantage of her reputation? Gentileschi is now considered among the most accomplished seventeenth-century artists.
Did you know Leonardo da Vinci was a vegetarian and animal rights activist? He went to the market and bought caged birds only to set them free on the spot. He did this to study the animals in flight, but from his writings we know, that he didn’t like to eat meat…
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