Art for Dummies

Originally posted on

The following is a funny guide that’ll help you link famous painters and their style and paintings together in the future. Even though it was conceived as a joke you will realize how this list captures the essence of each artist, resulting in the end actually useful.

If everyone looks like doey-eyed girls, then it’s Caravaggio.
If everyone has giant asses, then it’s Reubens.
If it’s something you saw on your acid trip last night, it’s Dali.
If everybody has some sort of body malfunction, then it’s Picasso.
If the paintings have tons of little people in them but otherwise seem normal, it’s Bruegel.
If the paintings have lots of little people in them but also have a ton of crazy bullshit, it’s Bosch.
If the images have a dark background and everyone has tortured expressions on their faces, it’s Titian.
van Eyck
If everyone – including the women – looks like Putin, then it’s van Eyck.
If everyone looks like hobos illuminated only by a dim streetlamp, it’s Rembrandt.
If everyone is beautiful, naked, and stacked, it’s Michelangelo.
If the painting could easily have a few chubby Cupids or sheep added (or already has them), it’s Boucher.
If you see a ballerina, it’s Degas.
El Greco
If everything is highly contrasted and sharp, sort of bluish, and everyone has gaunt bearded faces, it’s El Greco.
Dappled light but no figures, it’s Monet.
If every painting is the face of a uni-browed woman, it’s Frida.
Dappled light and happy party-time people, it’s Renoir.
Dappled light and unhappy party-time people, then it’s Manet.
It it looks like an Excel sheet with colored squares, it’s Mondrian.

Photographic Portraits of Famous Artist’s Paint Palettes

via Colossal | An art, design, and visual culture blog... by Matthias Schaller

Since 2007 photographer Matthias Schaller has photographed raw, abstract paintings. The paintings however are not found on canvas, but rather smeared onto the tools used to craft each work of art—the palettes. His series, Das Meisterstück (The Masterpiece), claims these behind-the-scene objects as portraits of the artist, while also giving a direct insight into the detailed techniques performed by each painter.

Schaller was first inspired to begin his photographic collection during a visit to Cy Twombly’s late studio. During the visit he stumbled upon the artist’s palette, which he discovered to be an accurate reflection of the artist’s paintings. Encouraged to further discover the similarities between palette and painting, Schaller has gone on to photograph over two hundred of these historic portraits. His search has led him to collect palettes from all across Europe and the United States, finding the objects in major museums and private foundations and in the custody of artists’ relatives and collectors. The palettes he’s photographed so far in the series belong to seventy painters from both the 19th and 20th century, and include such artists as Monet, van Gogh, Matisse, and Picasso. To accurately analyze the details from paint hue to brushstroke, Schaller presents the images in large format, each work existing at approximately 190 x 150 cm.

Through June 8, the Giorgio Cini Foundation will present Schaller’s Das Meisterstück alongside the Venice Biennale, an exhibition that will focus on 20 of Schaller’s palette photographs. (via Hyperallergic)