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The 10 Most Popular Artists in History and the Art Supplies They Used

Jun 13, 2008
If one were to study the history of art, he would be introduced to the top ten artists as well as the chosen style and genre of each one. Also, he would have a good idea of the supplies that were used by each artist in creating his works.

Below is a list of the ten most popular artists in history and a general overview of the supplies they used.

Considered as a monumental figure of the Golden Age of Holland, Rembrandt Van Rijn is known as an artist that can expertly capture human mood and gesture in his portraits. His most famous works involve scenes of biblical and mythological events and characters. Through his masterpiece "The Nightwatch", Rembrandt has presented the pinnacle of his own artistic language. Being a painter and an etcher, he made use of different types of brushes, paint, and pieces of canvas.

Georgia O'Keefe, a product of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Student's League of New York, stands as one of the founders of emotional representation through stylized representation. She is most well known for her trademark series of cattle bones and southwestern landscapes. Various types of brushes, paint, and canvas were used by O'Keefe in her paintings.

Wassily Kandinsky, a lawyer by profession, started to take up painting in his 30's. Beginning with pointillist techniques, he then shifted to abstract representations of music as well as internal feelings. His style would later be known as abstract expressionism. In creating his paintings, he used pencils and paintbrushes and a wide array of paint.

Henri Matisse, a painter and a sculptor, is another famous artist who is best known as the father of fauvism. This term comes from the French word "fauve", which means "wild beast". Although considered by critics as bestial, Matisse's work, including the popular "The Dance" showed his ingenious use of color and shape. Sculpting tools as well as paintbrushes and pieces of canvas were the common art supplies utilized by Matisse in his time.

"I am surrealism" were the famous words of artist Salvador Dali. His famous works depicted intricate and oftentimes frightening dreamscapes which had distorted figures, double images, and insects. With regard to his art supplies, aside from the brush and canvas, he made use of sculpting tools as he is also a known sculptor.

Known as the premier pop artist, Andy Warhol gained much recognition for his works which involved painting, film, and silk screening. In contrast to other artists who created images of nature and historical events, Warhol focused on making pictures of soup cans, bottles of beverages, and celebrities. His art supplies consisted of stencils, brushes, and different types of paint.

Claude Monet is considered as one of the founders of impressionism, a style which, at his time, was revolutionary. This style gave emphasis to visible brush strokes and the dominance of color and light over line. His masterpiece "Impression: Sunrise", from which the term impressionism was derived, shocked his French fellowmen. Canvas, brush, and various shades of paint were his supplies in creating his works.

Regarded by many as one of the most universally gifted persons in history, Leonardo da Vinci created numerous Renaissance paintings. But apart from being an exceptional painter, he also showed his genius as a sculptor, philosopher, musician, scientist, inventor, and engineer. As a painter, he made use of several types of brushes and canvas. Also, he used a set of sculpting tools for his sculptures.

Creating around 840 paintings and one thousand drawings, Vincent Van Gogh is considered by many to be one of the most accomplished artists in history. He invented his own style of expressive brush strokes and vivid colors through carefully examining genres such as Dutch realism. Van Gogh utilized various paintbrushes, paint, and canvas for his paintings and several pencils and paper for his drawings.

As the founder of cubism and one of the most versatile artists in history, Pablo Picasso has created paintings, prints, and sculptures within his 70-year career. His most renowned works include Les Demoiselles d'avignon, which perfectly demonstrated his style of cubism. As a painter and sculptor, Picasso made use of tools as well as brushes and canvas.
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