My mother was an exceptional artist as well as a great art teacher. In fact, a couple of her students landed careers as illustrators for Walt Disney, with one of those students being the designer of the Dumbo movie characters. However, her son, me, didn’t have much artistic talent at all – sorry Mom☹!!! But her genes were passed down to my son who is quite a good artist even though he just dabbles a bit in his free time and doesn’t do anything professionally.
However, Mom was quite successful in teaching her son a love and appreciation for great art. I truly do love beautiful paintings, brilliant sculptures, and other intricate creations. My fancy goes much more for the traditional art and not the new age or modern styles. I love the masters; Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Rembrandt, Henri Matisse, and Paul Ce’zanne. My appreciation of these great men of art, was so enhanced, that I wrote a couple of High School and College term papers on da Vinci and Michelangelo. Roughly 500 years ago, these two men changed the art world forever.
In 1501, Michelangelo would complete his famous sculpture of King David, simply called David. A true masterpiece and without doubt the standard for what we all feel King David must have looked like. This was just two years after he sculpted the Pieta’; an exquisite representation of the Virgin Mary mourning over the dead body of Christ. Seven years later, Michelangelo would begin his most incredible and awe-inspiring work when he started to paint the Sistine Chapel, in Rome. For well over four years, and most of this time laying on his back, on scaffolding, painting the ceiling of this great chapel, he painted arguably the most incredible work of art, of all time!!! Michelangelo may have been the most talented of all artists, throughout history, because of his range and variety. From paintings, to sculptures, he alone stands at the top of artistic royalty for his works.
Interesting side note on how my mother instilled a love of art in me. When I was just 13 years old, by pure luck, I won my very first horse race wager. My grandfather placed it for me because I was not yet of legal age to gamble. With that $76 I won, on a 2-3 exacta, I purchased a beautiful reproduction of the Pieta’ for my mother, and a set of bronze praying hands for dad. I was such a good son 😊😊😊!!!
Anyway, what was I talking about??? Oh yeh, great art and artists!!!
Leonardo da Vinci, may not be Michelangelo’s equal, when it comes to overall artistic talent, but he had a far broader brilliance in all his works, including designs for the future. Everyone knows of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, painted some 517 years ago in 1504, and his earlier masterpiece, the last supper, painted from 1495-1498. But not many know that the first designs of tanks, bicycles, airplanes, helicopters, crossbows, and the first ever drawings of the human anatomy, were designed, crafted, and drawn by da Vinci himself. And these futuristic drawings occurred some 350-400 years before the very first airplanes and helicopter successful inventions, that yielded the very first ever flights.
So, Michelangelo may have bested da Vinci as an overall brilliant artist, but da Vinci was both a brilliant artist and was also quite ahead of his time when it can to the “art” of the possible, with his designs and drawings. As you review my top ten paintings of all time, listed below, it’s interesting that da Vinci takes the top two spots, and Michelangelo tops out only at number ten. But when you look at the total works of art, especially the Sistine chapel, it’s certainly hard to put anyone else but Michelangelo, in the top spot for overall artistic talent. I have also listed my top ten artists below as well, even though I have already mentioned most of them.
In the past several years, there have been a plethora of so-called celebrities who have taken up art, and quite frankly, some are pretty good. From Johnny Depp, to George W. Bush, Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, Joni Mitchell, Viggo Mortensen, Anthony Hopkins, and Jane Seymour. I am especially a fan of lesser-known celebrity and comedian Yakov Smirnoff, of “America - What a Country” and television sitcom Night Court fame. Sarah and I were fortunate enough to see Yakov perform, a little bit, and also got to meet him. Displayed here is one of his more famous paintings, which as you can see, he autographed for us. Ironically, a huge banner of this painting was hoisted above, and flown over, the twin towers rubble at ground zero. The meg-shifted display was erected by the firefighters of New York, during the cleanup from that horrible day. However, Yakov’s words, on the painting were so true – and this from a transplanted Russian, so very proud to call the USA his home.
I am so very glad my mother installed a love of art in me. I marvel every day at the people who can depict the beauty of God’s creation, the work of God’s people, and the creativity of all who have shared such magnificent works, for us all to enjoy. I encourage you to check out some local art, in your nearby museums or art fairs. There is a tremendous amount of talent out there, must of it yet to be discovered.
For me, anything that can brighten our world, and honor God for the beauty and glory of His creation, is well worth a first, or second, look. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH – Martha Vivian (Snyder) Sharp – MOM!!!
Martha Vivian (Snyder) Sharp left us to be with the Lord 15 years ago this past Sunday, and would have been 92 years old tomorrow; October 01, 1929 - September 26, 2006.
10 most famous paintings in the world
1. 'Mona Lisa'
2. 'The Last Supper'
3. 'The Starry Night'
4. 'The Scream'
6. 'The Kiss'
7. 'Girl With a Pearl Earring'
8. 'The Birth of Venus'
9. ‘Las Meninas’’
10. Creation of Adam
The 5 most renowned artist of all time.
1. Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)
2. Michelangelo (1475–1564)
3. Rembrandt (1606–1669)
4. Vincent Van Gogh (1853–1890)
5. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
6. Henri Matisse
7. Claude Monet
8. Paul Cézanne
9. Edgar Degas
10. Raphael (have to keep the Ninja Turtles represented 😊)