Art History – Inspiration from the Past

VIENNA - SEPTEMBER 8: Tourist admires art in Museum of Art History on September 8, 2011 in Vienna. With 559k visitors in 2010, the museum is among 100 most visited museums worldwide. Art of Rubens. — Photo by tupungato

I did not enjoy art history in college. I took four years of it as an art major and it was tedious. The memorization of styles and analysis of relevant pieces of art dating back to the beginning of time to the present was challenging and the research was boring to me at that time.

You know what it’s like when you have to do something and you don’t want to. You usually don’t like it. However many times when you come back to that one thing from a different perspective you can appreciate it more.

This is how I feel about art history now, these many years later. I’m fascinated with it.

The stories of success and of hardships that famous artists overcame are inspirational and encouraging. My research takes me to new places. Artists I’ve never heard of, styles I didn’t quite understand but can appreciate more fully.

It’s interesting to me how the arts years and years ago were more valued as a career and a way of life. Unfortunately today the fine arts has lost that relevance.

The family business could have been a business of portrait and landscape painters and most often it was a father/son business. It was challenging for women painters such as Rosa Bonheur who had began her career as a professional artist and had already been trained by her father who had allowed her to study in all male classes. Rosa earned a living as an artist, won awards, smoked in public, wore overalls (she needed a special license to do so) and visited slaughterhouses to study animal anatomy (not socially correct back then).

Other inspiring stories are those of artists who struggled and unfortunately never knew their success. For instance Henry Darger who was an orphan and raised in an asylum. He escaped from the harsh punishments and lived his life as a hermit for 40 years and produced hundreds of watercolor illustrations. Today these are highly sought after collectables.

As I continue my art travels and research via the Internet and the occasional locations I visit, my hope is that the famous (and not yet famous) artists that I discover and bring to this website will inspire you.

Take a look around at some of the recent posts of famous artists. If you would like the occasional notification on email be sure and sign up for the mailing list.

From time to time we have art contests based on famous artists and their styles such as Frida. When we have contests we make announcements on the Facebook page, email and the website. It’s a lot of fun and a great way for some self-promotion for you, the artist.

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