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Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists Tulsa Public Schools – Fifth Grade Visual Arts Assessment Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists Oklahoma Fine Arts Standard Two: Visual Art History and Culture Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists

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Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists

Tulsa Public Schools – Fifth Grade Visual Arts Assessment


Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists

Oklahoma Fine Arts Standard Two: Visual Art History and Culture


Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists

Oklahoma Fine Arts Standard Two: Visual Art History and Culture

The student will recognize the development of Visual Art from an historical and cultural perspective doing the following:

Describe and place a variety of significant art objects by artist, style, and historical and cultural context.

Identify historical themes and cultural purposes of works of art and artifacts.

Demonstrate a basic knowledge of several fields of art such as painting, sculpture, drawing, computer graphics, printmaking, architecture, and fiber arts.

Identify how visual art is used in today’s

world including the popular media of advertising, television, and film.


Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists

Oklahoma Fine Arts Standard Two: Visual Art History and Culture

You will look at the work of three artists from a long time ago. They painted in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Their names are Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Edward Hopper.


Introducing the Art Work of Vincent Van Gogh

Self Portrait. (1889). Oil on Canvas.


Vincent was an artist for whom things never went right. He never smiled in his self portraits. Yet, the paintings he made are loved the world over.


Van Gogh was born in Holland in 1853, but he didn’t become a painter until he had grown up. He had many other jobs first. He was even a minister.


He loved his home country of Holland and made many beautiful paintings of the landscape, the windmills, and the common people at work. Do you see the smoke from the factory in the background?


Vincent always tried his best at whatever he did. For a while he worked in an art gallery and then a bookstore. Finally, he studied to become a minister. None of these professions made him as happy as when he was painting.


Van Gogh’s first paintings were dark in color and showed the life style of the poor people he was helping as a minister. In this painting, the family was so poor they had only a few potatoes to eat for dinner.


The dark colors of Van Gogh’s early paintings gave people the message that the lives of the poor people were hard. He kept using the dark colors until he discovered Japanese artwork. He loved the bright colors of the Japanese artists.


In 1886 Vincent moved to Paris, France. It was the center of the art world then. He met many painters there. His best friend was another artist, Paul Gauguin.


His friend convinced him to move to the South of France, a city called Arles. Here is a picture he painted for his landlord of his own room. He had no money to pay the rent, so the landlord kept the painting.


The Starry Night is probably the most beloved of all of Van Gogh’s works. It has been made into cards and posters all over the world. The singer Don McClain even made a song about it.


Why do we love this artwork so much? Everyone has different reasons. Some like the swirling colors; some like the way the stars glow; some like the way the little town looks so cozy and safe.


Van Gogh belonged to a group of artists called the “Post Impressionists.” The characteristics of their art movements included:

  • Studying the way changing light would change
  • colors
  • Working out of doors quickly so as to capture the
  • changing light
  • Painting scenes of the common man
  • Using small dabs of color placed side by side and
  • allowing the human eye to blend them
  • Using intense colors to draw out emotion

Does this painting look like it is moving? How did Van Gogh make this landscape look like the wind was blowing?


Van Gogh usually put his paint on very thick. Sometimes he painted so fast he didn’t even mix his colors. He used paint right out of the tube (which was a new invention at that time)—in the past artists had to blend paint from power pigment and oil.

Van Gogh used so much paint he was always running out. He had to give up buying other things so he could afford to buy his paint.


Hardly anyone was interested in Van Gogh’s work while he was alive. He sold only a few drawings and maybe one or two paintings.

Today his work sells for millions of dollars to collectors around the world.

The colors are so intense in this painting that you can almost smell the flowers or feel the bright sun.


Maybe more than any other artist, Van Gogh’s feelings came out in his paintings. That’s why he is one of the world’s greatest artists.


You may find Van Gogh’s art work in many museums in the United States. You can really see the brush strokes in person. This is a picture of a museum in Holland called the Van Gogh Museum. The only art work on display is Van Gogh’s!


Here is a finger puppet that is sold on the internet….can you guess who this is?


Introducing the Art Work of Pablo Picasso

Self Portrait (1896). Charcoal.


Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain in 1881. He was just a teenager when he made this self portrait In charcoal. He would go on to become one of the most famous artists of our time.


Picasso’s father was an art teacher at the local art institute. Picasso

was a lively child. He learned to walk so that he could reach his favorite cookies. He learned to draw at an early age with help from his father.


When Picasso became a teenager, he went off to art school in the Spanish town of Barcelona. He was one of the top students there.


Picasso graduated from Art School in Barcelona and headed

for Paris. For him the city was alive with energy. He almost instantly found the art community and made many friends.


While in Paris, he lived in poverty but produced many art works. He had many young friends who were poets and artists. They inspired and supported one another.


For three years Picasso painted works that were mostly in shades of blue. His subject matter was the miserable lives of people shunned by society: the poor, the sick, and beggars.

Most of these paintings are of people who look sad.


For two years Picasso painted his Rose Period paintings. These paintings are mostly done in tones of pink with delicate lines. The mood is less serious than the Blue Period paintings.


These people are circus performers. They are chosen by Pablo Picasso to symbolize his feelings about the artist’s condition. In French, “saltimbanques” are buffoons.


This is a painting from Pablo’s Cubism period. This period is considered to be the most revolutionary development in the 20th Century. It is a completely new way of representing reality.


What are the characteristics of Cubism?

  • The painting appears flat without any depth that perspective
  • might give.
  • The viewer is able to see several sides of an object all at one
  • time.
  • The painted objects often appear fragmented or geometric.
  • Geometric patterns are highlighted.
  • Often artists used words collaged (pasted) from the
  • newspaper.

In this painting there are three figures, masked and costumed. The three musicians are seated next to each other, behind a table. From left to right they are a pierrot (holding a wind instrument), a harlequin (holding a guitar), and a monk (holding a music score). There is a dog under the table.


On April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, an aerial attack by Nazi bombers acting as allies of the Spanish fascists completely destroyed the Basque town of Guernica in North East Spain. The horror of the event was described by Picasso in his painting entitled “Guernica.”

The work reveals Picasso’s deeply held belief in freedom for all, which led him to take the part of the oppressed and victims of violence.


The painting does not contain any specific details that tie it to the actual bombing of Guernica. It is a symbol of the devastation caused by all war.

It has a universal message: all war is madness.


Here is an advertisement for a Citroin (a French made car). This model is called Picasso. What message is the car maker giving by naming it after Picasso?


Picasso was a revolutionary artist who changed many traditions in painting. He lived to be a very old man and produced hundreds of painting during his life time.

Most cities have museums that own a Picasso. Philbrook Museum had an exhibit a few years ago that displayed some of his work.


Introducing the Art Work of Edward Hopper

Nighthawks (1942). Oil on Canvas.


Edward Hopper was born in Nyack, New York, in 1882. He was one of America’s greatest artists and was known as an American Realist painter.


Even if you’ve never seen Edward Hopper’s paintings before, many of them might look familiar to you. That’s because he painted pictures of real, everyday things.


When you look at this painting you might wonder what the people are doing out so late at night. Although the restaurant is bright and warm, nobody looks very friendly or happy. The dark shadows and shapes of the buildings give you the feeling that something mysterious could happen at any moment.


Edward Hopper always liked to draw. When he was very young, he got a blackboard as a gift.

His mother encouraged Hopper and his sister to draw. It was one of their favorite things to do.

He was a tall boy. By the time he was 12 years, old he was 6 feet tall. He felt funny about being so tall and spent a lot of time alone.

While he was alone, he practiced painting.


His parents knew how much he wanted to be an artist. After he graduated from high school, they sent him to New York City to study art.

One of his teachers at the Art School brought him all over town to look at life as it really was. This teacher believed that there is beauty in everything, even buildings in the city.

Most other artists at this time would not paint city scenes.


When he was growing up he lived right next to the Hudson river. This river holds the Statue of Liberty. He saw all kinds of boats coming and going.


He even built his own small sailboat when he was 14 years old. He always loved water and boats, and he painted many pictures of them and the houses that line the coast.


Hopper fell in love with a woman he met in art school. Her name was Jo Nivison. She was an artist too. He used her

as a model in practically every painting he did with a woman.


Sometimes he changed the color of her hair or put her in different costumes. Here she is looking out the window

Of a house at the seashore in a town called Cape Cod.


Hopper was what is known as an American Realist painter. His works look like real buildings or people. Because of the dramatic use of light and shadow, they all have a mysterious look about them.


Although he traveled three times to Europe to study art, he kept returning to America and painting common scenes from every day life in the States.


The Hoppers never had children. Instead, they loved to travel around the country, stopping to paint scenes of America that caught their eyes.


Hopper used strong shapes, shadows, and lighting to make everyday things interesting. Sometimes it is fun to guess what the people in Hopper’s paintings are thinking.


Even without people in them, Edward Hopper’s paintings of houses and buildings make you wonder what could be going on inside of them.


His use of sunlight shining on a building or the way a lamp lights the inside of the room makes the whole scene mysterious. Some people say his paintings have a lonely feeling about them. What do you think?


The Edward Hopper paintings in this slide show are in the museums listed below. If you are on vacation maybe you can visit them:

Addison Gallery –Andover Mass.

The Chicago Art Institute

Butler Institute-Youngstown Ohio

Carnegie Museum-Pittsburgh

Dallas Museum of Art

Huntington Library-San Marino California

Metropolitan Museum-New York

Museum of Modern Art-New York

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Whitney Museum of Art-New York


Let’s think about Art

If you were to make a drawing or a painting in the style of one of these artists what would you include?

Would you consider the light and color around you?

Would you paint common people and places?

Would you use “collage” or pasting words and images on your paintings?

Would you paint or draw a portrait, landscape, or a still life?

Think about one of the three artists and make either a portrait, a still life, or a landscape. The portrait can be a self-portrait.Use crayons, collage, or paints. Use forms and shadows to give a mysterious quality to your art work.


The End

Many thanks to the Visual Arts Assessment Committee:

Carole Odierno-Memorial High School

Carol Dvorak-Carver Middle School

Fran Kallsnick-Byrd Middle School

Joe Sizemore-Nimitz Middle School

Linda Barnett-Wright Elementary School

Janet Gillis-Carnegie Elementary School

Janet Lefler-Key Elementary School

Ann Tomlins-Fulton