Exploring Old Masters Art

Exploring Old Masters Art
Raffaello Sanzio, called Raphael (Urbino 1483-1520 Rome) Head of a muse Source - Christie's

The world of art is filled with countless masterpieces that have captivated audiences for centuries. Among these revered artworks are those created by the Old Masters, a term used to describe renowned artists from different periods who have left an indelible mark on the history of art. In this article, we will delve into the world of Old Masters, discussing their significance, artistic process, notable artists, and the enduring impact they have had on the art world.

What Artists are Considered Old Masters?

Old Masters are artists born before 1820 who achieved mastery in their craft, leaving a lasting legacy of exceptional artistic skill and creativity. Notable Old Master artists span various periods and art movements, including the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael, and many more. These artists are celebrated for their technical prowess, profound artistic vision, and contributions to the development of art as we know it.

CIRCLE OF MICHELANGELO MERISI DA CARAVAGGIO (MILAN 1571-1610 PORTO ERCOLE), Price realisedGBP 262,500 Source - Christie's

Why are Old Masters Important?

Old Masters hold immense importance in the art world for several reasons. Firstly, their artworks serve as a bridge connecting us to the past, offering a glimpse into the cultural, historical, and social contexts of their time. They provide invaluable insights into the artistic techniques, subject matter, and aesthetics that shaped Western art history. Additionally, Old Masters have greatly influenced subsequent generations of artists, serving as a source of inspiration and setting high artistic standards that continue to resonate today.

The Old Masters Process

The creative process of Old Masters involved meticulous planning, technical proficiency, and unwavering dedication. Before commencing a masterpiece, Old Masters often produced preliminary sketches, studies, and compositional plans to refine their ideas. They employed a range of techniques such as underpainting, glazing, and detailed rendering to achieve depth, luminosity, and precise detailing in their artworks. The Old Masters' process exemplifies a meticulous approach to artistic creation, showcasing their mastery of various media.

Is Leonardo Da Vinci an Old Master?

Undoubtedly, Leonardo da Vinci is considered one of the greatest Old Master artists in history. His artistic genius extended beyond painting, encompassing disciplines such as anatomy, engineering, and scientific exploration. Leonardo's masterpieces, including the iconic "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper," exemplify his technical virtuosity, attention to detail, and ability to convey profound human emotions. His work continues to inspire artists and captivate audiences worldwide.

ÉCOLE ITALIENNE DU DÉBUT DU XVIIe SIÈCLE, SUIVEUR DE LÉONARD DE VINCI, The Hekking Mona Lisa, Price RealisedEUR 2,900,000 Source - Christie's

Who Was the Last of the Old Masters?

Determining the "last" of the Old Masters is a complex task as the transition from the era of Old Masters to subsequent artistic movements was gradual. However, some artists, such as Francisco Goya, are often regarded as the bridge between the Old Masters and the modern era. Goya's works, with their distinctive style and thematic exploration, represent a shift in artistic sensibilities and reflect the changing social and political landscape of his time.

FRANCISCO JOSÉ DE GOYA Y LUCIENTES (FUENDETODOS 1746-1828 BORDEAUX) Portrait of Doña María Vicenta Barruso Valdés, seated on a sofa with a lap-dog; and Portrait of her mother Doña Leonora Antonia Valdés de Barruso, seated on a chair holding a fan, Price realisedUSD 16,420,000 Source - Christie's

The Most Expensive Old Master Drawing

Among the treasured artworks of Old Masters, the drawing "Salvator Mundi" by Leonardo da Vinci holds the record for being the most expensive old master drawing ever sold. It fetched a staggering $450.3 million in 2017, highlighting the enduring appeal and rarity of Old Master artworks in the art market.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) Salvator Mundi, Price realised USD 450,312,500 Source - Christie's

How Did the Old Masters Learn to Draw?

The Old Masters' journey to artistic mastery involved rigorous training and education. Apprenticeship played a crucial role, with young artists learning from established masters, working in their studios, and gradually honing their skills. Workshops and the study of classical art were also fundamental in shaping their artistic development. However, what truly set the Old Masters apart was their unwavering dedication, discipline, and lifelong pursuit of learning and improvement.

Conclusion

The legacy of Old Masters is etched into the annals of art history, forever inspiring and influencing generations of artists. Their unparalleled technical skill, profound artistic vision, and enduring creativity continue to captivate audiences worldwide. Through their artworks, Old Masters provide us with a glimpse into the richness of the past while reminding us of the timeless beauty and power of art. As we appreciate their masterpieces, we honor the remarkable contributions of these artistic luminaries who have shaped the world of art as we know it today.

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