The art classes I took in middle and high schools and during my university years laid the foundation for my art education. Working in and visiting art museums helped me build upon my formally-acquired knowledge. The result: I can recognize the unique style of an artist and match their name to a work I haven’t seen before. I also enjoy drawing visual parallels between styles and identifying home museums of specific works.
I’ve been presented with several opportunities to discuss my favorite artists during recent conversations. I hadn’t given much thought to the topic before and ended up talking about Claude Monet, everybody’s favorite. I appreciate Monet’s paintings as much as anyone, but he isn’t one of my favorite artists.
Now that I think about it, I prefer the works of Toulouse-Lautrec, Pissarro, Matisse, Signac, Seurat, and Caillebotte. My knowledge of these men sits very much on the surface, and I’m searching for books that reveal a little about who they were as artists in the context of their time and place.