The Maestros and Their Masterpieces


Here, after a loooooong break from my Toastmaster educational meeting, I finally 'found' time to go back and present speech.  And I started the year 2013 with my CC Project 8 – Get Comfortable with Visual Aids.  Being a teacher, probably this is not a big problem.  But my speech content is probably too compact.  I chose to use Prezi and did a presentation style speech.

Here is my speech.

This is my unfinished work. It has been sitting on my cupboard for 2 years now collecting dust. Can you make out my painting? Great, right? Wrong. Now, this is a cheat actually. This is an art package sold in Parkson. It is a DIY numbered painting kit. As you can see the picture is numbered according to the colour palette. So what you need is really some patience and some psychomotor skills of the hand to complete a 'masterpiece'.

Whether or not I can paint, I cannot deny that I do have a love for art. How many of you are into art appreciation? Do you think art appreciation is a heavy subject? I hope after my presentation, I change your mind.

To talk about art, you have to know the history of art. The history of art spans the entire history of humankind, from prehistoric times to the twenty-first century. The entire art history can be broken up, chronologically, into five chunks.

1. Ancient art

2. Medieval art

3. Renaissance art

4. Modern Art

5. Contemporary Art

I particularly like artworks in between 14th – 20th century. These artworks are categorized under the Renaissance art and Modern art.

Renaissance is a distinct style emerge in Italy in about 1400. Renaissance arts is perceived as a 'rebirth' of ancient traditions. The paintings are intended to show joy in human beauty and life's pleasures. The artworks are more lifelike. The famous maestros from this time are none other than Giotto, Leornardo and Michelangelo. In fact, Giotto is one of the first to paint the Renaissance style. He lived more than a century before the beginning of the Renaissance. Often we can only remember Leornardo and Michelangelo, because they were truly the "Renaissance Man". They were skilled in many fields and their works paid attention to the slightest details. For example, Leonardo made notes and drawings of everything he saw, he studied the different parts of the human bodies, the curves, the muscles before he painted. Leonardo is often linked to his famous painting – Mona Lisa. This is because of the medium that he worked with – oil paint. He depicted the human emotion and light and the effects of light effectively. Michelangelo's sculptures included veins and muscles. He painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in St Peter's Church in Vatican City. It was a fresco. Paintings on the wall fade over times, but fresco sustained the colours, this is because artist had to work with it while it was still wet. If the artist painted too slowly, the fresco dried up, and he would have to start all over again. Imagine how Michelangelo had to lie on his back on a scaffolding alone painting for 4 long years for him to complete the paintings.

Now, the 18th century marks the evolution of artworks, the defiant act of representing ideas impressionistically. Some of the famous painters between 1800s to the near 20th century are Vincent van Gogh, Paul Signac and Monet. One of the artists that took a change in his artwork was Vincent van Gogh. He favored a colourful palette and subjects taken from modern life than his early sombre works. He spent his life briefly in an asylum. It may explain his brilliant creativity and expression of his visionary art. His paintings are housed in d'Orsay Museum. I can't find his ' 14 Sunflowers', but I did find others like 'Starry Night' and his self portrait.

Paul Signac is one of the artists in Modern Art that I personally think he can't draw, this is in comparison to the highly realistic paintings during the Medieval time. But then again the ability to 'dot' out a whole huge canvas of 'Le Démolisseur' – the 'decomposition' technique, is definitely a masterpiece. It certainly befits him to be termed as the father of neo-impressionism.

Impressionistic paintings like those of Monet are probably not those that one can appreciate, especially when there are always considered as unfinished work, sketches almost that give an 'impression' rather than portraying a 'real' picture.

This is one of Monet's more 'complete' work.

So, can you strike a small talk on art appreciation now? If you still can't, I hope you at least remember Leonardo, Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Signac and Monet.  😀

More pictures:  Musée d'Orsay, ParisMusée du Lovre, Paris