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Who's the artist behind this popular painting?

Who's the artist behind this popular painting?

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Wikipedia says it's a German postcard dated 1900. But says nothing about the artist.

Does anyone know about the artist behind this work?

The author is unknown if the file's wikimedia commons is anything to go by, but digging a bit deeper using Google image search seems to variously attribute the original to a painter named Lindberg, to H Zabatari/Hans Zatzka, and possibly others.

Be wary that the sources might very well reflect hearsay without checking or, like this answer, googling. That being said, H Zabatari/Hans Zatzka seems like a better bet based on this slightly more credible looking and better researched source (an auction page for an original):

The Guardian (c. 1918) was painted by H. Zabateri as a postcard (Austria?). Original postcards with the artist's name (credit) can be purchased from collectors. Several prints of this painting have been attributed to "Lindberg". Lindberg copied the orginal painting and used brighter colors, detail changes, and simplier figures.

The Story Behind Banksy

When Time magazine selected the British artist Banksy—graffiti master, painter, activist, filmmaker and all-purpose provocateur—for its list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2010, he found himself in the company of Barack Obama, Steve Jobs and Lady Gaga. He supplied a picture of himself with a paper bag (recyclable, naturally) over his head. Most of his fans don’t really want to know who he is (and have loudly protested Fleet Street attempts to unmask him). But they do want to follow his upward tra­jectory from the outlaw spraying—or, as the argot has it, “bombing”—walls in Bristol, England, during the 1990s to the artist whose work commands hundreds of thousands of dollars in the auction houses of Britain and America. Today, he has bombed cities from Vienna to San Francisco, Barcelona to Paris and Detroit. And he has moved from graffiti on gritty urban walls to paint on canvas, conceptual sculpture and even film, with the guileful documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

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Pest Control, the tongue-in-cheek-titled organization set up by the artist to authenticate the real Banksy artwork, also protects him from prying outsiders. Hiding behind a paper bag, or, more commonly, e-mail, Banksy relentlessly controls his own narrative. His last face-to-face interview took place in 2003.

While he may shelter behind a concealed identity, he advocates a direct connection between an artist and his constituency. “There’s a whole new audience out there, and it’s never been easier to sell [one’s art],” Banksy has maintained. “You don’t have to go to college, drag ’round a portfolio, mail off transparencies to snooty galleries or sleep with someone powerful, all you need now is a few ideas and a broadband connection. This is the first time the essentially bourgeois world of art has belonged to the people. We need to make it count.”

The Barton Hill district of Bristol in the 1980s was a scary part of town. Very white—probably no more than three black families had somehow ended up there—working-class, run-down and unwelcoming to strangers. So when Banksy, who came from a much leafier part of town, decided to go make his first foray there, he was nervous. “My dad was badly beaten up there as a kid,” he told fellow graffiti artist and author Felix Braun. He was trying out names at the time, sometimes signing himself Robin Banx, although this soon evolved into Banksy. The shortened moniker may have demonstrated less of the gangsters’ “robbing banks” cachet, but it was more memorable—and easier to write on a wall.

Around this time, he also settled on his distinctive stencil approach to graffiti. When he was 18, he once wrote, he was painting a train with a gang of mates when the British Transport Police showed up and everyone ran. “The rest of my mates made it to the car,” Banksy recalled, “and disappeared so I spent over an hour hidden under a dumper truck with engine oil leaking all over me. As I lay there listening to the cops on the tracks, I realized I had to cut my painting time in half or give it up altogether. I was staring straight up at the stenciled plate on the bottom of the fuel tank when I realized I could just copy that style and make each letter three feet high.” But he also told his friend, author Tristan Manco: “As soon as I cut my first stencil I could feel the power there. I also like the political edge. All graffiti is low-level dissent, but stencils have an extra history. They’ve been used to start revolutions and to stop wars.”

Forgotten Masterpieces Are Rare

First of all, to be absolutely clear, finding a forgotten masterpiece is extremely rare. You will hear stories about a piece by Salvador Dali, Vincent Van Gogh, or Alexander Calder being found at a thrift store. If you're a fan of PBS's "Antiques Roadshow," you know that some forgotten family treasures can be worth surprising amounts of cash. These are not the norm.

That is not to say that you shouldn't keep an eye out for that hidden gem. It's really fun to explore bargains and see if you can find one, but don't count on every dusty painting being valuable.

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Johannes Vermeer, “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” ca. 1665 (Photo: Mauritshuits via Wiki Art Public Domain)

In 1665, Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer created his most well-known work of art: Girl with a Pearl Earring. Several art historians have questioned the true identity of the young woman depicted in the painting. One of the most common theories is that the woman in question is Maria Vermeer, the painter's eldest daughter. However, there are still several scholars who doubt this, and while this oil painting is often considered one of the most significant portraits, it's not technically a portrait at all.

Girl with a Pearl Earring is actually a tronie&mdasha study of an unidentified person. Tronies were particularly popular during the Dutch Golden Age, when artists like Vermeer and Rembrandt began adopting unnamed subjects for their “portraits.” Often, these figures are dressed in opulent clothing and set against a plain backdrop, which emphasized their anonymous nature.

Girl with a Pearl Earring is a prime example of this tradition, as it portrays an unknown girl dressed in lavish garments. “Like a vision emanating from the darkness, she belongs to no specific time or place,” art historians Arthur K. Wheelock and Ben Broos state in an exhibition catalogue. “Her exotic turban, wrapping her head in crystalline blue, is surmounted by a striking yellow fabric that falls dramatically behind her shoulder, lending an air of mystery to the image.”

Tronies by Rembrandt at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Other painters have painted portraits of people who they have loved and lost. The Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) was one who endured much loss. According to Ginger Levit in "Rembrandt: Painter of Grief and Joy,"

It was the best of times in 17th-century Holland—known as the Dutch Golden Age. The economy was thriving and wealthy merchants were building townhouse mansions along the Amsterdam canals, installing luxurious furniture and paintings. But for Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), it became the worst of times—his beautiful, beloved, young wife Saskia died at age 30, as well as their three infants. Only his son Titus, who later became his dealer, survived.

After that, Rembrandt continued to lose people he loved. The plague of 1663 took his beloved mistress, and then Titus, too, was taken by a plague at the young age of 27 in 1668. Rembrandt, himself, died only a year later. During this dark time in his life, Rembrandt continued to paint what was most personal to him, not conforming to expectations of the day, channeling his suffering and grief into powerful and evocative paintings.

According to Neil Strauss in his New York Times' article "The Expression of Grief and the Power of Art,"

In the art of Rembrandt, grief is secular and spiritual emotion. In the dozens of self-portraits he painted over nearly half a century, sadness develops like an ache of suppressed tears. For this man, who lost the people he loved most, mourning wasn't an event it was a state of mind, always there, shifting forward, retreating, always growing, like the shadows that move across the artist's aging face.

He goes on to say that for centuries Western art has depicted the human emotion of sorrow, ranging from the vase paintings of Classical Greece to religious paintings of Christianity, "which has tragedy at its very core."

&aposGolden Rule,&apos 1961

"Golden Rule," 1961. Oil on canvas, 44 ½" x 39 ½". Cover illustration for "The Saturday Evening Post," April 1, 1961. 

Photo: Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. ©SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN

In the 1960s, the mood in America was shifting. Once restricted from showing minorities on the cover of the Post, Norman Rockwell’s 1961 painting, Golden Rule featured a gathering of men, women, and children of different races, religions, and ethnicities, with the simple but universal phrase: 𠇍o Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You.” In 1985, Rockwell’s iconic illustration was reimagined as a giant mosaic, and gifted to the United Nations on behalf of the United States by First Lady Nancy Reagan—it has remained on display, since that time, in the UN’s New York City Headquarters. 

Coincidentally, Golden Rule began life as a drawing inspired by the UN’s humanitarian mission. Conceived in 1952 and executed in 1953, the original illustration featured 65 people representing the world’s nations, surrounding key members of the UN Security Council (USSR, UK and U.S.). The idea was to express hope in the new peacekeeping organization, and Rockwell conducted extensive research, including the photographing of the diplomats and models pictured. After completing the drawing, the artist lost faith and abandoned the project, feeling he was out of his depth. After moving to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Rockwell revisited the idea a decade later, removing the diplomats and focusing on the idea of common humanity, to create one of his most enduring portraits.

Television, hip-hop and video game graphics all inspired him

With his reputation already rocketing, his first solo exhibition in America, at New York’s Annina Nosei Gallery the following spring, sold out on its opening night – earning Basquiat $250,000. During that same pivotal year of 1982, Basquiat executed Dustheads, which sold at auction in 2013 for a record $48.8 million.

Basquiat’s Dustheads set a record when it sold at auction in 2013 for $48.8 million (Credit: EPA/Alamy)

In the months and years following his American debut, Basquiat proved extraordinarily prolific, building up an oeuvre of around 1,000 paintings as well as more than 2,000 drawings – all rendered in his inimitably energetic, fierce yet childlike style. References to popular culture and the street abound in his work. Television, hip hop and the rudimentary graphics of early arcade video games all inspired him, and his paintings contain stickmen as well as various symbols such as an omnipresent crown, which functions like a graffiti writer’s tag.

When Did Neo-Impressionism Begin?

The French artist Georges Seurat introduced Neo-Impressionism. His 1883 painting Bathers at Asnieres features the style. Seurat studied color theory publications produced by Charles Blanc, Michel Eugène Chevreul and Ogden Rood. He also formulated a precise application of painted dots that would mix optically for maximum brilliance. He called this system Chromoluminarism.

The Belgium art critic Félix Fénéon described Seurat's systematic application of paint in his review of the Eighth Impressionist Exhibition in La Vogue in June 1886. He expanded the contents of this article in his book Les Impressionistes en 1886, and from that little book his word néo-impressionisme took off as a name for Seurat and his followers.

The Story Behind the Painting -Washington Crossing the Delaware

In the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the painting Washington Crossing the Delaware hangs in Gallery 760. It is a well-known oil on canvas painting of George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas night in 1776 to attack Hessians in Trenton, New Jersey during the American Revolution. Not only does it depict the future first President of America, but it also features the future fifth President, James Monroe.

One of the most famous paintings of the American Revolution, it was painted in Düsseldorf in 1851 by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, a German who grew up in the United States but returned to Germany as an adult. Born 40 years after the Battle of Trenton, Leutze had hoped that the spirit of Revolution would motivate the European liberal Revolutionaries in 1848. He did get a few things wrong, though.

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. Photo by Adavyd CC BY SA 3.0

On Purdue Today, David Parrish, a professor of art history, says the flag being held by Monroe did not exist until about a year after the battle. The boat in the painting was an incorrect type, and Washington should have been painted as a younger man. Also, while he looks especially noble, Washington knew enough not to stand up in a rowboat. We’ll just leave that one to poetic license.

Many historians don’t believe Monroe crossed Delaware with Washington, but he certainly fought at Trenton and gained a bullet in his shoulder that remained for the rest of his life.

James Monroe White House portrait, 1819

The other occupants of the boat represent the different walks of life of the American colonists including French Canadian fur trappers, an African, a Scot, farmers, and a figure from the western part of the country. Some believe the figure in the red coat and black scarf may represent the women that fought and died for freedom.

The website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art tells us that Leutze began the painting in 1849 but it was damaged by a fire in 1850. The artist repaired the damage and the painting was acquired by Bremen Kunsthalle, an art museum in Bremen, Germany. That painting was destroyed in 1942 during a World War II bombing raid by British forces.

Washington Crossing the Delaware (1849–1850), original painting by Emanuel Leutze

Fortunately, Leutze had created a copy of the painting shortly after the first, and David Parrish reports that painting was shipped to New York City in the autumn of 1851, where thousands flocked to its display in a New York gallery and at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington DC. The painting is now on permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Other authorized copies are displayed at Perdue University, at Washington Crossing Historic Park, and in the White House. The Delaware crossing was also captured in other paintings by artists including George Caleb Bingham, an American frontier artist who worked in the mid-1800s and was a friend of Leutze Thomas Sully, an American artist born in England who worked in the early 1800s, and Currier and Ives, who made a lithograph of the scene painted by Leutze. Leutze’s painting is also depicted on the New Jersey state quarter.

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze (cropped), MMA-NYC

As always, parodies have emerged. One parody shows Leutze’s painting recreated but all of the figures have chicken heads while another has Washington and his boat mates sailing on a hot dog. There are others with Homer Simpson taking the place of George Washington and the Muppets taking the place of all of the men.

Emanuel Leutze, a German-American painter.

Parodies aside, Washington Crossing the Delaware is an awe-inspiring painting viewed by thousands each year. The painting was also recreated for a limestone statue on the spot where Washington landed in New Jersey, the 500 acre Washington Crossing Historic Park. Frank Arena, a retired limestone worker, carved the statue, and workers set each individually carved figure into the boat.

According to Washington Crossing Historic Park, one worker also placed a small American flag, a New Jersey State quarter, and a note listing the names of the workers who helped put the statue together under one of the figures.

Look at a painting by Peeters and you are not reminded of mortality – you are reminded that you are hungry

Ignoring the high idealism of Rubens, which dominated the Antwerp art scene, Peeters chose instead to paint in the new realist style which was gradually gaining influence throughout Europe. “And if you’re painting in the realistic mode in Antwerp you’re really being very different to everyone else working there,” says Vergara. Whereas previous still life painting had been largely allegorical, Peeters’ work is characterised by a precise form and texture in which glowing vessels and foodstuffs contrast elegantly with dark unadorned backgrounds. Look at a painting by her and you are not reminded of mortality, you are reminded that you are hungry.

The subject of this Vanitas from around 1610 is thought to be Peeters herself, making it a self-portrait (Credit: Prado)

“We do know that the leading collectors of the time had paintings by her,” says Vergara. But beyond that the details of her life remain a mystery. We can perhaps gain some clues to her personality from the numerous miniature self-portraits reflected in the gilt cups and goblets of her paintings. This was yet another innovation no still life painter had previously thought to depict themselves in this way. Vergara sees it as a discreet but assertive proclamation of her worthiness, not only of being a painter, but also a woman painter. “How could you not read into that a certain will to be recognised?” Perhaps now, she will be.

Portrait of a lady

Unlike Peeters, the life of Louise Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun is well documented. She was the most successful, and expensive, portrait painter of the 18th Century, yet when the retrospective of her work opened at Paris’ Grand Palais in 2015, few outside academia had heard her name.

A precociously gifted artist known for her wit and beauty, Le Brun had established a portrait studio while still in her teens. At 23 she painted the first of many portraits of Marie Antoinette, whose direct intervention finally allowed her to enter the Académie Royale, from which she had previously been excluded due to her marriage to Charles Le Brun, an art dealer. Renowned for her exquisite treatment of colour, fabric and texture she could also, “capture a likeness like nobody,” says curator of the Paris exhibition, Joseph Baillio.

Vigée Le Brun painted her Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat in 1782 after encountering the work of Rubens in Antwerp on a tour of Flanders (Credit: Wikipedia)

Such success inevitably caused envy amongst her male peers. “It must have been galling to see that a woman got more money than they did,” says Baillio. When she exhibited her spectacular portrait of the Comte de Calonne at the 1785 salon there were rumours that it must have been painted by a man. Her royal connections forced her to flee France during the revolution and she spent the next 12 years painting the great and the good of Europe, including a six-year spell at the court of Catherine the Great in St Petersburg, before returning to France to live in extraordinary splendour until the age of 86.

Frida Kahlo&aposs Marriage to Diego Rivera

In 1929, Kahlo and famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera married. Kahlo and Rivera first met in 1922 when he went to work on a project at her high school. Kahlo often watched as Rivera created a mural called The Creation in the school’s lecture hall. According to some reports, she told a friend that she would someday have Rivera’s baby.

Kahlo reconnected with Rivera in 1928. He encouraged her artwork, and the two began a relationship. During their early years together, Kahlo often followed Rivera based on where the commissions that Rivera received were. In 1930, they lived in San Francisco, California. They then went to New York City for Rivera’s show at the Museum of Modern Art and later moved to Detroit for Rivera’s commission with the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Kahlo and Rivera’s time in New York City in 1933 was surrounded by controversy. Commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller, Rivera created a mural entitled Man at the Crossroads in the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller halted the work on the project after Rivera included a portrait of communist leader Vladimir Lenin in the mural, which was later painted over. Months after this incident, the couple returned to Mexico and went to live in San Angel, Mexico.

Never a traditional union, Kahlo and Rivera kept separate, but adjoining homes and studios in San Angel. She was saddened by his many infidelities, including an affair with her sister Cristina. In response to this familial betrayal, Kahlo cut off most of her trademark long dark hair. Desperately wanting to have a child, she again experienced heartbreak when she miscarried in 1934.

Kahlo and Rivera went through periods of separation, but they joined together to help exiled Soviet communist Leon Trotsky and his wife Natalia in 1937. The Trotskys came to stay with them at the Blue House (Kahlo&aposs childhood home) for a time in 1937 as Trotsky had received asylum in Mexico. Once a rival of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, Trotsky feared that he would be assassinated by his old nemesis. Kahlo and Trotsky reportedly had a brief affair during this time.