One of the most famous abstract artists is Piet Mondriaan. When people hear his name, they will undoubtedly immediately think of the colours red, blue, yellow and white. He belonged to a group of artists who called themselves the "deliberately abstract". Together they founded the magazine De Stijl, which mainly published articles about the style of painting for which Mondriaan became famous: straight lines and primary colours. The geometric and abstract way of depicting can still be seen everywhere today. Did you know, for example, that the interior of the NS' latest sprinter train, also known as the FLIRT, is based on De Stijl?
Baroque & Golden Age
Well-known painters from the Golden Age include Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn and Jan Davidsz. de Heem. These masters painted mainly in the Baroque style. This style is known for its highly detailed figures and expressive emotional expressions.
Johannes Vermeer is mainly known for his timeless, subdued snapshots he painted. Well-known examples are The girl with the pearl earring and The milkmaid. He captured everyday scenes is beautifully detailed work with realistic light and shadow.
Someone who is also known for this is Rembrandt van Rijn. He is regarded as one of the most successful painters who ever lived. What Rembrandt was especially praised for was the way in which he captured shadows and light to make events and figures in his paintings appear as vivid as possible. He did not shrink from experimenting, and in his later life also began to paint works that were coarser painted. Unfortunately, these were less popular at the time than his detailed paintings.
Besides the fact that many portraits were painted in this period, still lifes were also painted. A well-known still life painter from this period is Jan Davidsz. de Heem. He played an important role in the development of the show still life, which emerged in the second half of the seventeenth century. Well-known works by him include Vase with flowers and still life with flowers.
Impressionism & Expressionism
A great Impressionist painter is Vincent van Gogh. Vincent wanted more than just to depict reality. He distorted reality by using striking colours and by applying the paint in a different way. Unfortunately, no one paid attention to his work during his lifetime. It was only after his suicide that he became successful and to this day his work is loved by many.
A well-known painter who was inspired by Impressionism, but eventually started to paint in the Expressionist style, is Edvard Munch. Munch mainly recorded human emotions, fears and uncertainties in his paintings. His use of different colours and the expressive use of lines had a great influence on the development of expressionism. A good example of this is one of his best-known works, De Schreew.
Op-art is an abbreviation of the English term optical art. This style of painting originated in the 20th century and is known for playing with various optical illusions. An artist known for this is Maurits Cornelis Escher. His engravings show a reality that often cannot really exist. Due to his use of mathematical forms, the works of art seem to go on indefinitely. His works often consist of a black and white pallet, but there are also exceptions such as his work Smaller and Smaller.
Discover many other great masters from all over the world in our category Artists.