Monitor Quiz: Lives of the Artists

By Kendall, Nancy M. | The Christian Science Monitor, January 13, 1998 | Go to article overview

Monitor Quiz: Lives of the Artists


Kendall, Nancy M., The Christian Science Monitor


How well do you know some of the world's most famous artists?

1. With 5,000 pages of drawings in his notebooks, this Italian painter and sculptor was perhaps the world's first scientific illustrator, too. Many were technical drawings he made to improve his painting. He was captivated by flying machines and also drew the first cars, bicycles, tanks, and more. His curiosity and inventions were legendary. 'I question' were the words he wrote most frequently in his journals. But he is best remembered for what may be the world's best-known portrait.

2. In his lifetime, this largely self-taught Dutch painter sold only one painting. He drew on cafe menus, scraps of paper, and in books. He frequently painted outside, on location. Desperately poor, he went for days without food in order to buy art supplies. When he tried to sell a series of paintings of sunflowers for about $80, he had no success. But 10 years ago, his 'Sunflowers' sold for $40 million. 3. As a child, this Spanish artist was drawing before he could talk. His first words, in fact, were 'Piz, piz!' an urgent request for a 'lapiz,' or pencil. He preferred drawing to schoolwork (he had trouble learning to read and write), and would bring a pigeon to class so he could spend his time drawing it. His first art exhibit, at age 13, was in the back room of an umbrella shop. Five years later he left for Paris, where he lived in a garret. …

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