5 Top Visual Artists Of The 20th Century

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When in June 2009 a Time Magazine survey asked readers to list the best visual artists of the 20th century, the result included the names of famous artists with many differences in style and subject. The top 5 especially on the famous artists list are all highly recognizable and beloved by millions.

First on the list was Pablo Picasso, known for his "blue" and "rose" periods early in his career where he would express a huge range of beauty and emotion using only a few shades of blues or pinks. Even more importantly, he helped develop the style of Cubism that he is most famous for. Picasso was a famous Hispanic artist from the Andalusia region of Spain, and one very well-appreciated painting of his is "Guernica", a jagged and distorted painting expressing the horrors of the Spanish Civil War.

Next on the list is Paul Cezanne, often considered a link between the styles of the 19th and 20th centuries. He was mostly a realist painter as in earlier centuries, but inspired later artists (especially the developers of Cubism) with his desire to simplify objects to their geometrical components and his strong ability to create perspective in his work. These characteristics mean his most popular and important paintings are usually in the still life category, such as "Still Life with Apples and Oranges".

Gustav Klimt's eclectic influences make him the least connected of any of the famous artists on the list. Klimt was a Symbolist painter, and most of the symbols in his work were deeply personal and ambiguous. Though he only occasionally attempted completely nude art, he tried to express the sexual beauty of the female form in many of his paintings, and is known for the erotic aspect of his paintings. He is most famous for works with elaborate use of gold paints and gold leaf, as in his painting "The Kiss".

Claude Monet is most likely the least "modern" on this list of paintings. He painted in the Impressionist style, focusing on the quality of light, visible brush strokes, and intense colors. He is known for his natural paintings, both landscapes and studies of his garden such as the paintings in his famous "Water Lilies" series. Monet is famous for having dozens of paintings of the same subject, often going back to the same location during different weather conditions and times of day in order to see the changes in light.

Perhaps a surprising choice for the final name on this list is Marcel Duchamp, the avant-garde painter associated with the nonsense artistic and literary movement of "Dada." Duchamp would often claim ‘found objects' such as a urinal or a bicycle wheel mounted on a stool to be art, and indeed managed to get both of these items as well as many others into exhibits. His most famous painting, though, is "Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2" in which a blocky Cubist nude figure moves mechanically down a flight of stairs. The figure is presented in several positions during its descent, reminiscent of stop-motion photography.

You can find more about this article at http://www.the-modern-art-prints.com/artists/index.html

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