May 28, 2020

Random Thursday

Today's theme in Leslie Gilbert Elman's Weird But True is art! This ought to be interesting! Though I've a terrible memory for such things, I've always enjoyed Art History courses! My favorite era of course was the Italian Renaissance as well as the early Greeks with the Parthenon. Trying to remember now if the sculptures I remember if they were Greek or Italian-Greek aka Italians mimicking Greek art/sculpture. I think one of my teachers used to say everything Romans did...Greeks did first.

Moving on...

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
In 1990, Vincent Van Gogh's Portrait of Doctor Gachet sould for $82.5 million dollars making it the highest price paid at auction for a painting. It held the record until 2004 when Pablo Picasso's Boy with a Pipe sold for $104.1 million.

FUN FACT: Van Gogh appeared to have only sold one painting during his lifetime and that was Red Vineyard which sold in 1890 during an exhibition in Brussels. Though scholars continue to hunt for documentation that proves otherwise.

Daaaang! You have to really, really, really love art and want an original to throw that kind of cash around! And I'm in debates about paying $250 for an art piece I'm eyeing...and it's supposedly an original too! lol.

(image borrowed from Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Ryoei Saito, head of a Japanese paper manufacturing company bought van Gogh's Portrait of Doctor Gachet at auction and two days later he also bought a painting by Renoir for $78 million dollars. Then he apparently hid them in a warehouse saying he loved these paintings so much that he wanted them cremated with him at his death. Though, later, he says that was meant to be a joke, but no one is really sure about that! He later ran into some money troubles and was convicted for trying to bribe a government official. He died in 1996.

What happened to the painting? The Renoir was sold to pay off debts, but the van Gogh was never found. Museum curators hope that he didn't seriously have it cremated with him, but only time will tell...maybe.

Note, I just googled Renoir hoping to find a bio picture, but instead found this painting of him. Not sure who painted it as I only looked at the picture through Google! Lol. But dude, seriously, $160.5 million dollars spent in 3 days?! Makes you wonder how much Dunder-Mifflin made! Lol.

(image borrowed from Britannica)
French painter Georges Seurat did painting a little differently than others. Instead of long strokes, he did tiny little dots of color all over the canvas, creating a larger picture. His most famous painting, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (above), measures 7 feet high and more than 10 feet across. From far away you can see this lovely moment captured on a Sunday afternoon, but up close it's nothing but random dots...about 3.5 million dots according to some estimates.

FUN FACT: It took nearly 2 years for Seurat to complete this painting!

I've seen this painting in books before, but never really realized it was composed of dots! I don't really recall this artist popping up in my one Art History class either, so maybe that's why!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
The modern camouflage we see on military uniforms was developed during World War I in France. It was initially used to help disguise vehicles and battleships. The people who designed and executed the painting were fine artists. The seemingly random patterns of color that made up the pattern were strongly influenced by the cubist paintings of artists, like Picasso.

FUN FACT: Grant Wood, an American artist worked as a "camoufleur" aka, a camouflage artist during WWI. His most famous painting American Gothic (above) is decidedly un-cubist and starkly realistic.

Another painting that never really came up in my class! Trying to remember what era we stopped at...I think it might have been a two part course! Lol.

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
Costa Rica has not had an army or navy since 1948. Oscar Arias Sanchez was the president there from 1986-1990, and again from 2006-2010 and he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his work to draft the Esquipulas peace accords that helped to prevent or end the wars in other Central American nations.

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