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Read about the works and biographies of famous painters such as Marc Chagall, Leonardo Da Vinci, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Joseph Mallord William Turner and Vincent Van Gogh.

Artist: Marc Chagall
Background: This Russian-born French painter was born to a humble Jewish family in the ghetto of a large town in White Russia in July 7, 1887. He passed a childhood steeped in Hasidic culture and brought back the forgotten dimension of metaphor into French formalism. Chagall's painting styles are Expressionism and Cubism. This painter-poet is famous for his paintings of Russian-Jewish villages and violinists.
Famous Works: Over Vitebsk, The Violinist, The Praying Jew, I and the Village

Artist: Leonardo Da Vinci
Background: He was one of the greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance, yet he left only a handful of completed paintings. It was the period of the renaissance when Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 in an Italian town called Vinci. Da Vinci was a sculptor, a scientist, an inventor, an architect, a musician, and a mathematician. When he was twenty, he and Verrocchio created a painting called The Baptism of Christ in 1476. This painting was an order for Andrea del Verrocchio from the cloister S. Salvi. DaVinci's paintings were done in the Realist style.
Famous Works: Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Madonna and Child, The Virgin of the Rocks

Artist: Henri Matisse
Background: Henri Matisse was born on December 31, 1869 to a grain merchant in the Picardy region of Le Cateau Cambresis, France. He first got a degree in law and then decided to become an artist. When Henri Matisse was 21 years old he became seriously ill. Two years later, in 1892, he gave up his career as a lawyer. He attended art classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and dabbled in different styles. He then was influenced by the impressionist and post-impressionist painters Pisarro, Cezanne, van Gogh, Gauguin and Paul Signac and by the paintings of W. Turner. Because Matisse had cancer, he became confined to a wheelchair. It was then when he completed one of his most famous works, painting the inside of the Chapelle du Rosaire. Henri Matisse died on November 3, 1954 in Nice as an internationally well known and highly reputable artist.
Famous Works: Chapel of the Rosary in Vence, The Snail, Beasts of the Sea, Creole Dancer, La Fougere Noire

Artist: Claude Monet
Background: Claude Monet was one of the founding fathers of French Impressionism. Monet's concern was to reflect the influence of light on a subject. He was born on November 14, 1840 in Paris but grew up in Le Havre. He took his early art lessons from the painter, Eugene Boudin. Boudin. Claude's family was not very happy about his vocation for painting. In 1860 he was drafted and had to go to Northern Africa for two years. After his return from Africa he went to Paris and took painting lessons at Gleyre's studio in Paris. In 1874 Monet and a group of painters including Pissarro and Renoir banded together to form a society of artists. The nucleus of the future Impressionist movement was born. In 1883, he settled in Giverny, France and continued to paint, and explore his fascination with light until his death on December 5, 1926.
Famous Works: Morning Haze, Marine Near Etretat, Lily Pond

Artist: Pablo Picasso
Background: Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881 in Malaga, Spain, as the son of an art and drawing teacher. His father was a teacher and an artist in Spain where Pablo Picasso was born. In 1893 Pablo became an artist under his fathers instruction. His Blue Period was triggered at this time by a close friend's suicide in a Parisian Café. Picasso's Blue Period paintings depict blue isolation and urban squalor. Picasso created the famous works Blue Nude (1902) and The Old Guitarist (1903/4) during this period. Between 1907-1911 Picasso started his early cubism stage. Some examples are Fruit Dish and Ma Jolie. Picasso continued his prolific work in painting, drawing, prints, ceramics, and sculpture until his death on April 8, 1973.
Famous Works: Guernica, Three Musicians, The Three Dancers, Self Portrait: Yo Picasso

Artist: Joseph Mallord William Turner
Background: Joseph Mallord William Turner, often called "the painter of light", as well as "the great pyrotechnist", was born in London, England on April 23, 1775, at his parents home on 21 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden. This english was one of the greatest romantic interpreters of nature in the history of Western art and is still unrivaled in the virtuosity of his painting of light. Turner studied at the Royal Academy School in 1789 and had his first exhibition one year later. He started his career by painting watercolours and producing mezzotints under the strong influence of John Robert Cozen's work. Then, in 1796, he launched into oil painting, working in the neoclassical manner of Richard Wilson and Nicolas Poussin, with results that found wide acclaim. He exhibited his first picture Fishermen at Sea (1796) in the Royal Academy exhibition in 1796. He was elected an Associate in 1799 and in 1802 a full member of the Royal Academy. Over the span of his life, Turner created over 20,000 watercolors, oil, and drawings. Turner is also renowned as one of the best British landscape painters and a predecessor of Modern British Art.
Famous Works: Fishermen at Sea, Warkworth Castle, Northumberland - Thunder Storm Approaching at Sun-Set, Morning Amongst the Coniston Fells, Cumberland, The Shipwreck

Artist: Vincent Van Gogh
Background: Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, in Zundert, in the south of the Netherlands, as the oldest son of Theodorus van Gogh, a preacher and Anna Cornelia Carbentus. Van Gogh's birth came one year to the day after his mother gave birth to a first, stillborn child also named Vincent. Over the course of his 47 years, Vincent painted some of the most renowned paintings of our time. Although Vincent van Gogh is a world-famous artist today, he did not get much recognition during his lifetime. Vincent also suffered from severe depression and was admitted to an asylum in December 1888, after mutilating the lower portion of his left ear. While in the asylum, Vincent converted an adjacent cell into a studio, where he produced one of his best-known paintings, Starry Night, among the 150 paintings he painted there. On July 27, 1890, Vincent walked to a wheatfield and shot himself in the chest and died two days later, on July 29.
Famous Works: The Starry Night, Wheatfield with Crows, Portrait of Dr. Gachet