Even writing the
words "Top 10 Painters of All Time" makes me cringe a little bit because...really?
Really? I find it a herculean task to
narrow a list down to the best 100 oil painting artists of all time, let alone
just ten. But I
wanted to look back and reflect on the artists--particularly painters of the past, in this
case--and artworks that have inspired me and decide who I would put on the
hallowed walls of my own art hall of fame.
|The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley
by Thomas Hart Benton, 1934, oil and tempera
on canvas mounted on aluminum panel.
It was tough! I definitely realize that I have a few biases,
but it was a good exercise and helped me discover what kind of oil on canvas
works I most admire and what oil painting techniques
and methods I most revere.
Remember, this list is particular to me and my ideas about painting, not a
universal standard. Here, then, are my Top 10 Painters of All Time, in no
particular order, along with a little bit about why they
are my picks.
artist that opened my eyes to art! He
made the human figure powerful, sensual, and an artistic pinnacle.
Redon--For colors that are beyond vibrant and narratives that are like nothing
I've ever seen before.
made me realize how much there is to the action
his sense of atmosphere.
Kahlo--Because of the confessional and personal symbolism in her art.
a sense of time and the human emotion that seemed to suffuse that time like no
other artist has been able to replicate.
||The Two Fridas by Frida Kahlo, 1939,
oil on canvas, 67 x 67.
Freud--As a contemporary artist, he showed that painting can still be taken into
broke with so many practices of the past and developed a new way of seeing that
paved the way for modern art.
his searing lights and rich shadows, and because he painted people with dirty
fingernails and grimy feet.
Benton--His work made me see how art is such a valid part of history. It can go
beyond the dry timeline of dates to capture what isn't in the history books--the
workers, small towns, and tall tales of people and their lives--and encompassing the
zeitgeist of it all with an image.
Well? What do
you think? I showed you my list and now I want see yours. Leave a comment and gimme
ten, twenty, oh, a hundred (if you are so inclined!) of your top artists. And if you are interested in the life and times of an artist who is certain to be on many "great artist" lists then gift yourself with Ever Yours: The Essential Letters of Vincent Van Gogh. It is an incredible look into Van Gogh's mindset, biography, and intimate moments from the artist himself. What an exceptional way to understand an artist we revere so much. Enjoy!