Gustave Courbet was born to a prosperous farming family in Ornans, France. In 1841 he went to Paris to study law, but he soon decided to study painting and learned by copying the pictures of master artists. In 1844 he exhibited his self-portrait, Courbet with a Black Dog. Courbet's realism and truthful portrayal of ordinary places and people went against the taste of art critics and the public who were accustomed to pretty pictures that made life look better than it was. When his painting, The Artist's Studio, was refused for an important exhibition, he displayed his work himself near the exhibition hall.
Born in Paris on December 2,1859, died in March 1891. He was not married, but had a girlfriend named Madeleine Knoblock who was a model. In February, 1890 she gave birth to their son in the studio. Seurat legally acknowledged the child and gave him his own Christian names in reverse. He liked to paint on big canvases using pointillism. When he was 31 years old, he died of meningitis. Georges never told his family about his son until 2 days before his death.
Henri Matisse has been referred to as “One of the most important French painters of the 20th century.” In the beginning of his career as an artist he was the leader of the Fauvist Movement (Fauvist meaning Wild Beasts). This was a style of painting that “focused on pure colors used in an aggressive and direct manner.” Throughout his career, his style changed, but he maintained his commitment to art well into his eighties when his body had been taken over by cancer. At this late age, he invented ‘Papercuttings,’ for which he is well known. Matisse had a talent for taking advantage of the relationship between color and shape, this helped earn him the name, “Master of Color.”
Edouard Manet was born in France. When he was 12 years old his father sent him to study law. Manet’s father objected to art as a job and considered him lazy for avoiding a ‘real’ career. Later, he developed a liking for art. His father would no longer pay for his law classes. Edouard didn’t want to go to school to study art, so he studied with an artist for 6 years. 1856, he opened his own studio. He is known as “ Father of Impressionism “ He died of a nerve disease in 1883.
In 1885, he enrolled into law school to please his father, but because his passion was painting, he devoted all his free time to creating beautiful paintings and prints. Pierre Bonnard died in 1947. Pierre Bonnard was born in 1867, in Fontenayaux-Roses, France.
aux Courses en Province (At the Races in the Country), 1872
Degas was born into a well-to-do banking family on July 19, 1834, in Paris. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under a disciple of the famous French classicist J. A. D. Ingres, where Degas developed the great drawing ability that was to be a salient characteristic of his art. After 1865, under the influence of the budding Impressionist movement, he gave up academic subjects to turn to contemporary themes. Unlike the Impressionists, he preferred to work in the studio and was uninterested in the study of natural light that fascinated them. He was attracted by theatrical subjects, and most of his works depict racecourses, theaters, cafés, music halls, or boudoirs. He died in Paris on September 27, 1917
. Van Gogh was not ready to accept his truthful and emotionally morbid way of depicting his art subjects. His internal storm is clearly seen in most of his paintings. It is what set the stage and direction for a new style of painting called Expressionism. It’s characterized by the use of symbols and a style that expressed the artist's inner feelings about his subject. In Vincent Van Gogh's own words, "What lives in art and is eternally living, is first of all the painter, and then the painting." After living with his prostitute for 2 years, Van Gogh ended up once again living by himself. Theo, his brother, gave him an allowance of 100 francs a month. When he finally moved into a house of his own he had another painter named Paul live with him. One night when Paul had gone out, Van Gogh followed and threatened him with a knife. When he got home, he felt guilty, so he took a razor and cut his ear off, latter sending it to his ex-prostitute as a gift.
Cezanne was born at Aix-en-Provence in the south of France on Jan. 19, 1839. He went to school in Aix, forming a close friendship with novelist Emile Zola. He studied law from 1859-1861 but at the same time he continued attending drawing classes. Against his father’s wishes he made up his mind that he wanted to paint and joined Zola in 1861. During 1864-1869 he submitted his work to the official SALON and saw it consistently rejected. Cezanne then entered three phases; Romantic period, Constructive, and finally he started to concentrate on still life. On October 15, Cezanne collapsed after being struck by a thunderbolt. He came down with pneumonia, and died on October 22, 1906 in his home on the rue d'Aragon attended by his sister Marie.