Art is a way of survival, they say, but it’s not only that; it’s a form of communication, an expression of deeply seated emotions or the telling of s story, either made up or based on real-life events. Here, we take a look at four of the most famous paintings in history, and how they came to be:
Starry Night is one of the most widely known paintings, created by the genius artist Vincent Van Gogh in 1889. Some may view it as a bright colorful painting, full of shining stars swirling in a night sky, while others may see it as a depiction of “insanity and isolation” as it was a shift in his use of colors, going from brighter ones used in his earlier works to the use of shades of black and blue. Vincent Van Gogh created this painting while in a sanitarium as it was the view from his room’s window. However, it is said that he painted it during the daytime, meaning it was only inspired by the view.
It’s also believed to have a religious side, as he, in 1888, wrote a letter describing the view as “a great starlit vault of heaven; one can only call God,” which led some art scholars to consider the possibility that the number of stars in the painting (eleven) may hold a deeper Biblical meaning.
Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” GENESIS 37:9
The Fall of Icarus
“Don’t fly too close to the Sun.” – Daedalus
“The Fall of Icarus” by Jacob Peter Gowy (1635-7) is a representation of the Greek mythology story of Icarus. Icarus was the son of Daedalus, a talented craftsman and the creator of the Labyrinth. The two of them were banished to the island of Crete, completely on their own, having nothing but each other’s company. Daedalus decided to have both himself and his son escape from the island; he made them wings from feathers, held together by beeswax. He warned Icarus not to fly too close to the Sun as the heat could melt the wax which would cause him to fall and drown. Icarus, however, craved nothing more than to experiment with his new wings and go as far up in the sky as possible, which led him to his destined death. The sea now holds his name; the Icarian Sea.
Girl With A Pearl Earring
With a blue and yellow turban wrapped around her head, a shiny pearl earring dangling from the ear and a captivating look in her eyes, “Girl with a Pearl Earring” has managed to enchant yet intrigue countless art scholars and even viewers across the years. As little is known about the identity of the woman portrayed in the picture and also about its creator Johannes Vermeer (1665), several theories have emerged. Some say she may have been either his daughter or his mistress. Others say she was a 16-year-old Dutch girl who was hired as a maid in the painter’s household and became a source of fascination to him for the similarities they hold in the way they look at things, but no one knows for sure. For all we know, she could be no one. Perhaps it’s the mystery that surrounds it, is what makes it so alluring.
“The Scream”, also quite a popular one, was painted by Edvard Munch in 1893. It is one of a list of paintings that may be considered a semi-autobiography of Munch through in which he expressed themes of love, illness, and death, called “The Frieze of Life”.
The Scream was inspired by one of Munch’s walks in nature, when he stumbled across a view of a blood-red colour, tainting the originally white clouds during sunset, which he described as “a scream passing through nature”. In 1978, it was suggested by the scholar Robert Rosenblum that the visibly screaming creature in the painting was inspired by a Peruvian mummy, which was buried with hands on the sides of its face, and that Munch may have come across.
The biggest animal lover ever, who cooks for fun, and rides around the city on a longboard. She's the one to do everything full-heartedly, from writing to organizing festivals, and is definitely the right person to drag along to a concert!