Old Masters Academy

Posts Tagged "GENIUS"

A self-taught genius – French Naive or Primitive painter.

A self-taught genius – French Naive or Primitive painter.

  A French Naive or Primitive painter. Henri Rousseau was also known as Le Douanier (the customs officer), a humorous description of his occupation as a tax collector. Ridiculed during his life, he came to be recognized as a self-taught genius whose works are of high artistic quality.     Henri Rousseau was born in Laval, France into the family of a tinsmith. He attended Laval High School as a day student and then as a boarder. He was mediocre in some subjects at the high school but won prizes for drawing and music. He worked for a lawyer and studied law, but “attempted a small perjury and sought refuge in the army,” serving for four years, starting in 1863. With his father’s death, Rousseau moved…

Read More

Odd Nerdrum. An interview

The Importance of Being Odd: Nerdrum’s Challenge to Modernism By Paul A. Cantor The Norwegian artist Odd Nerdrum is one of the greatest painters of the century. Unfortunately, according to his detractors, the century in question is the seventeenth. Thus Nerdrum has emerged as one of the most controversial artists of our day. His admirers praise him for his superb Old Master technique, while his critics condemn him as hopelessly reactionary. His work calls into question all our customary narratives about art history, and especially the modernist dogma that the artist can be creative only by turning his back on the past. Nerdrum has openly acknowledged his debt to the Old Masters. He uses heavy layers of paint to create chiaroscuro effects reminiscent of Caravaggioand Rembrandt,…

Read More

Genius of Picasso

Genius of Picasso

Picasso was the first rock-star artist, whose wild visions gripped the public imagination and changed 20th-century art for ever. But his flamboyant personality divided opinion. Was he a playful genius, as some suggest, or a capricious and cruel misanthrope who left battered lives in his wake? On the eve of a new show in London, we speak to his closest friends and family in a bid to unravel the enigma. “Picasso,” the surrealist poet Paul Eluard said, “paints like God or the devil.” Picasso favoured the first option. “I am God,” he was once heard telling himself. He muttered the mantra three times, boasting of his power to animate and enliven the visible world. Any line drawn by his hand…

Read More