35 Interesting Facts about Painters and their Paintings

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26 Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

When Andy Warhol was commissioned by BMW to paint the supercar M1 for the BMW Art Car Project, he turned down the scale practice model, painted immediately onto the full-size vehicle, and finished it in 24 minutes.

27. An early version of The Weeping Woman by Pablo Picasso was stolen from the National Gallery of Victoria with the ransom demand being an increase in funding to the arts. The painting was later found undamaged in a locker at a Melbourne train station and the theft remains unsolved today.

28. Mexican painter Diego Rivera was a communist who painted a massive series of murals in Detroit glorifying industry, with scenes of carmaking mixed with workers making chemical weapons.

29. Georges Seurat’s painting “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” (The one from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) shows hidden sex workers according to some historians.

30. At $300 million, “Interchange”, a painting by abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning, is the second most expensive artwork ever sold (as of 2017).

31 No. 6

No. 6

A painting named No. 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) consisting of 3 smudged blocks of colors was sold for €140 million in 2014.

32. The iconic “Dogs Playing Poker” isn’t a single painting; rather, it’s a series of 18 different paintings, 16 of which were commissioned by Brown & Bigelow to advertise cigars. The eleven which feature dogs sitting around a card table are all commonly used in home decoration.

33. Pablo Picasso’s 1932 painting “La Lecture” depicts Picasso’s mistress asleep with a book on her lap. The painting led to the breakup of Picasso’s marriage after his wife saw it at an exhibition and realized that the facial features (though highly stylized) were not her own.

34. Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “Madonna of the Yarnwinder” was stolen from Drumlanrig Castle by two thieves posing as tourists who claimed to be undercover police. It was found 4 years later in a lawyer’s office in Glasgow.

35. An English painter named Mary Barnes was a schizophrenic who painted her walls with her own feces until she was given paint to use instead. She went on to become a successful painter.

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