Artists, works, and themes

Artists, works, and themes

Artists and Works

  • Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio became renowned in the 17th Century for his dramatic use of light and shadow in his paintings, a technique known as chiaroscuro. An example of this technique in his work is ‘The Calling of St. Matthew’.

  • Vincent Van Gogh, a Dutch artist of the 19th Century, is noteworthy for his brilliant use of colour and distinctive brushwork. ‘The Starry Night’ is a distinct sample of his unique artistic approach.

  • Frida Kahlo, a Mexican artist in the 20th Century known for her unabashed autobiographical works melding reality with surrealism, symbolising her physical and emotional pain. ‘The Broken Column’ is an example of her introspective and symbolic art.

  • Banksy, an anonymous England-based street artist, continues to create political and socio-commentary works using a distinctive stencilling technique. One of his many notable works is ‘Balloon Girl’.

  • Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese contemporary artist revered for her avant-garde, conceptual works often featuring polka dots, infinity mirrors, or pumpkins. ‘Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away’ is one of the examples showcasing her distinctive style.

Artistic Themes

  • The natural world holds a deep fascination for artists across ages, ranging from natural landscapes to detailed still lifes. This theme often reflects the beauty, stillness, or power of nature.

  • Human suffering and struggle are depicted to bring social issues to light, allowing artists to evoke emotional responses or call for social reform. Examples include war, poverty, and injustice.

  • Identity and the human figure allow for exploration of personal experience, cultural background, relationships, gender, and sexuality.

  • Many artists explore spirituality and religion, reflecting personal beliefs, or challenging religious norms and dogma.

  • Death and the passage of time in art often capture the fleeting nature of human existence and evoke contemplation of mortality.