Artists are the visual historians of society, transforming ideas and events into paintings, drawings, sculptures and more. Certain artists have wielded their craft so successfully that their work, in turn, has influenced history. Test your knowledge of some of these groundbreaking visionaries by taking the famous artists quiz.
What profession was Michelangelo supposed to pursue?
Michelangelo's decision to become an artist shocked and infuriated his father, who had hoped that his son would become a respected merchant and preserve the family's tenuous position in Florentine society.
What condition did Vincent van Gogh suffer from that caused him to cut off one of his ear lobes?
His bouts with depression and epilepsy -- during which he famously sliced off his own ear lobe-- forced van Gogh into a psychiatric asylum in nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
Which artist's work embodies the spirit of Impressionism?
To his own generation -- and to every generation since -- Claude Monet (1840-1926) embodied the spirit of the artistic revolution known as Impressionism.
What artistic method accounts for why the eyes of the "Mona Lisa" seem to follow you?
With linear perspective, all lines in a painting go to a common point (think about railroad tracks that vanish in the distance), creating the impression of depth and distance.
The theft of which painting actually boosted its popularity?
The 1911 theft of Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" from the Louvre turned the moderately popular painting into the best-known piece of art in the world.
Which artist is famous for his Impressionist dancers?
Edgar Degas was able to impose a sense of immediacy in his work. This became particularly evident in his famous paintings of dancers, who were the subject of more than half of his collected work.
Following his famous Blue Period, which predominant color did Pablo Picasso transition to?
In 1905, Picasso transitioned from his Blue Period to the Rose Period.
What subset of Impressionism is characterized by using dots rather than strokes to comprise a painting or drawing?
Georges Seurat developed a method of applying pure pigment to his canvas in individual dots asserting that, when placed in close proximity, the colors would be perceived as a luminous mixture. Critics called this type of painting pointillism.
Impressionist artist Walter Sickert has been posthumously accused of being what famous serial killer?
The British artist, whose work contains grizzly subject matter like murdered women, has been suspected by some researchers to be Jack the Ripper.
Who painted the iconic "American Gothic"?
"American Gothic," which depicts a stoic farmer coupled with a younger woman, was painted by Grant Wood in 1930.
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