Edvard Munch, born in 1863, was Norway's most popular artist. His brooding and anguished paintings, based on personal grief and obsessions, were instrumental in the development of Expressionism. During his childhood, the death of his parents, his brother and sister, and the mental illness of another sister, were of great influence on his convulsed and tortuous art. In his works, Munch turned again and again to the memory of illness, death and grief. During his career, Munch changed his idiom many times. At first, influenced by Impressionism and Post-impressionism, he turned to a highly personal style and content, increasingly concerned with images of illness and death. In the 1892s, his style developed a ‘Synthetist' idiom as seen in The Scream (1893) which is regarded as an icon and the portrayal of modern humanity's spiritual and existential anguish. He painted different versions of it. During the 1890s Munch favoured a shallow pictorial space, and used it in his frequently frontal p
Claude Gellée, called Claude Lorrain was neither a great man nor a lofty spirit like Poussin. His genius cannot, however, be denied and he was, like Poussin, a profoundly original inventor within the limitations of a classical ideal. He too spent most of his life in Rome though the art he created was not specifically Italian, but French. For more than two centuries afterwards everyone in France who felt called upon to depict the beauties of nature would think of Lorrain and study his works, whether it be Joseph Vernet in the eighteenth century or Corot in the nineteenth. Outside France it was the same; Lorrain was nowhere more admired than in England. There is an element of mystery in the vocation of this humble and almost illiterate peasant whose knowledge of French and Italian was equally poor, and who used to inscribe on his drawings notes in a strange broken Franco-Italian. This mystery is in some way symbolic of that with which he imbued his pictures, le mystère dans la lumière. T
Pieter Brueghel was the first important member of a family of artists who were active for four generations. Firstly a drawer before becoming a painter later, he painted religious themes, such as Babel Tower, with very bright colours. Influenced by Hieronymus Bosch, he painted large, complex scenes of peasant life and *ure or spiritual allegories, often with crowds of subjects performing a variety of acts, yet his scenes are unified with an informal integrity and often with wit. In his work, he brought a new humanising spirit. Befriending the Humanists, Brueghel composed true philosophical landscapes in the heart of which man accepts passively his fate, caught in the track of time.
Since The Turkish Baths (1863) by the French painter Ingres, the Far Eastern woman has, to many, been a symbol of out of reach or forbidden pleasures. Seafaring explorers, military adventurers and simple travellers from Europe over the centuries have all been enthralled by the exotic nature of the Asian woman, her foreignness accentuated by the gentle pallor of her skin. Thus arose the myth that she, of all women, was in possession of the knowledge of certain refined pleasures.
Beauty of the Beast
一直以来，艺术家都与动物世界保持着紧密的关系，这样常常是他们灵感的无穷无尽的资源。首先，他们直接从环境中获得灵感。动物是人类的朋友，是亲密的家庭生活的象征，也是天马行空的想象力的起点，因此在艺术中频频出现，特别是在文艺复兴时期备受推崇。在之后的东方主义中，异国动物群出现在动物艺术中，吸引了当代艺术家的目光。动物及其野性的美通过阿尔布雷特·丢勒（Albrecht Durer）、布勒哲尔（Pieter Brueghel）、莱昂纳多·达·芬奇（Leonard da Vinci）、欧仁·德拉克洛瓦（Eugene Delacroix）、亨利·卢梭 （Henri Rousseau）和保罗·克利（Paul Klee）的作品在本书中体现得淋漓尽致。
圣经中的最后一部语言，称为《启示录》或者《若望默示录》，揭示了世界末日所发生之事。在中世纪时期，宗教权威统治了社会，上帝的信仰深入人心，关于世界末日的话题也常常出现在艺术之中。宗教话题那些象征性的内容常常引发不同的解释，不同的说法往往援引不同类型的支撑材料（壁毯、彩图级、雕塑和绘画）。这本书收集了最有名的宗教主题作品，例如昂热大教堂（Angers Cathedral）的天启帘，欧坦大教堂(Autun Cathedral)雕刻的半月楣，阿尔比教堂（Albi Cathedral）的壁画。启示录的话题能够让艺术家们发挥自己的想象力来表现内心。
让我们去发现保罗·塞尚（Paul Cezanne）的作品，他对于技巧和形式的探讨定义了绘画的后印象主义运动，也为立体主义的出现搭建了艺术的舞台。他大胆地运用亮丽的色彩，影响了之后好几代艺术家，也让今天的我们感到惊喜和愉悦。这本Mega Square收录了大量这位重要的法国画家的作品——当然，对于任何一位艺术粉丝来说，都是一份至上的礼物。
Marc Chagall was born into a strict Jewish family for whom the ban on representations of the human figure had the weight of dogma. A failure in the entrance examination for the Stieglitz School did not stop Chagall from later joining that famous school founded by the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts and directed by Nicholas Roerich. Chagall moved to Paris in 1910. The city was his “second Vitebsk”. At first, isolated in the little room on the Impasse du Maine at La Ruche, Chagall soon found numerous compatriots also attracted by the prestige of Paris: Lipchitz, Zadkine, Archipenko and Soutine, all of whom were to maintain the “smell” of his native land. From his very arrival Chagall wanted to “discover everything”. And to his dazzled eyes painting did indeed reveal itself. Even the most attentive and partial observer is at times unable to distinguish the “Parisian”, Chagall from the “Vitebskian”. The artist was not full of contradictions, nor was he a split personality, but he always remained different; he looked around and within himself and at the surrounding world, and he used his present thoughts and recollections. He had an utterly poetical mode of thought that enabled him to pursue such a complex course. Chagall was endowed with a sort of stylistic immunity: he enriched himself without destroying anything of his own inner structure. Admiring the works of others he studied them ingenuously, ridding himself of his youthful awkwardness, yet never losing his authenticity for a moment. At times Chagall seemed to look at the world through magic crystal – overloaded with artistic experimentation – of the Ecole de Paris. In such cases he would embark on a subtle and serious play with the various discoveries of the turn of the century and turned his prophetic gaze like that of a biblical youth, to look at himself ironically and thoughtfully in the mirror. Naturally, it totally and uneclectically reflected the painterly discoveries of Cézanne, the delicate inspiration of Modigliani, and the complex surface rhythms recalling the experiments of the early Cubists (See-Portrait at the Easel, 1914). Despite the analyses which nowadays illuminate the painter’s Judaeo-Russian sources, inherited or borrowed but always sublime, and his formal relationships, there is always some share of mystery in Chagall’s art. The mystery perhaps lies in the very nature of his art, in which he uses his experiences and memories. Painting truly is life, and perhaps life is painting.
Mega Square的《高更》邀请读者跟随这位绘画梦想家保罗·高更（Paul Gauguin）的色彩丰富的杰作，从法国到梦幻到充满异域风情的塔希提岛。这本书既收录了这位影响深远的画家的标志性作品，也收录了他一些鲜为人知的杰作，重点强调了高更著名的情色、原始的风格和色彩的灵动。对于高更的粉丝或者是还未发掘高更作品的艺术爱好者来说，这本方便丰富的小册子就是一份*的礼物。
Picasso was born a Spaniard and, so they say, began to draw before he could speak. As an infant he was instinctively attracted to artist’s tools. In early childhood he could spend hours in happy concentration drawing spirals with a sense and meaning known only to himself. At other times, shunning children’s games, he traced his first pictures in the sand. This early self-expression held out promise of a rare gift. Málaga must be mentioned, for it was there, on 25 October 1881, that Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born and it was there that he spent the first ten years of his life. Picasso’s father was a painter and professor at the School of Fine Arts and Crafts. Picasso learnt from him the basics of formal academic art training. Then he studied at the Academy of Arts in Madrid but never finished his degree. Picasso, who was not yet eighteen, had reached the point of his greatest rebelliousness; he repudiated academia’s anemic aesthetics along with realism’s pedestrian prose and, quite naturall
Rembrandt is completely mysterious in his spirit, his character, his life, his work and his method of painting. What we can divine of his essential nature comes through his painting and the trivial or tragic incidents of his unfortunate life; his penchant for ostentatious living forced him to declare bankruptcy. His misfortunes are not entirely explicable, and his oeuvre reflects disturbing notions and contradictory impulses emerging from the depths of his being, like the light and shade of his pictures. In spite of this, nothing perhaps in the history of art gives a more profound impression of unity than his paintings, composed though they are of such different elements, full of complex significations. One feels as if his intellect, that genial, great, free mind, bold and ignorant of all servitude and which led him to the loftiest meditations and the most sublime reveries, derived from the same source as his emotions. From this comes the tragic element he imprinted on everything he pa
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges on 25 February 1841. In 1854, the boy’s parents took him from school and found a place for him in the Lévy brothers’ workshop, where he was to learn to paint porcelain. Renoir’s younger brother Edmond had this to say this about the move: “From what he drew in charcoal on the walls, they concluded that he had the ability for an artist’s profession. That was how our parents came to put him to learn the trade of porcelain painter.” One of the Lévys’ workers, Emile Laporte, painted in oils in his spare time. He suggested Renoir makes use of his canvases and paints. This offer resulted in the appearance of the first painting by the future impressionist. In 1862 Renoir passed the examinations and entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and, simultaneously, one of the independent studios, where instruction was given by Charles Gleyre, a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The second, perhaps even the first, great event of this period in Renoir’s life was
The eclectic art of which the Carracci family dreamed was realised by Rubens with the ease of genius. However, the problem was much more complicated for a man of the north, who wished to add to it a fusion of the Flemish and Latin spirits, of which the rather pedantic attempts of Romanism had illustrated the difficulties. He achieved it without losing anything of his overflowing personality, his questing imagination, and the enchanting discoveries of the greatest colourist known to painting. Rubens, the greatest master of Baroque painting’s exuberance, took from the Italian Renaissance what could be of use to him, and then built upon it a style of his own. It is distinguished by a wonderful mastery of the human form and an amazing wealth of splendidly lighted colour. He was a man of much intellectual poise and was accustomed to court life, travelling from court to court, with pomp, as a trusted envoy. Rubens was one of those rare mortals who do real honour to humanity. He was handsome,
来吧，来翻来书页欣赏优美的画作，来探索后印象主义的创造性天才——文森特·梵高（Vincent van Gogh）。生动活泼的色彩，异想天开的画笔，这些画作让我们能够洞察梵高波动的内心世界。这本Mega Square的小册子带你领略这位成就非凡的画家。
在电子游戏发明之前，希罗尼穆斯波希（Hieronymus Bosch）的笔下就已经创作出了恐怖但丑萌的怪物，还带有一点小幽默。他的作品是自信的宣言，有力地挑战了背叛基督教教义之人的精神恐慌。波希生于1450年，死于1516年，他的出生之时正值文艺复兴的高潮时期，也见证了这一时期的宗教战争。中世纪传统和价值观轰然倒塌，为新世纪的到来开辟了道路。在这样的新世纪里，信念失去了力量和魔力。 ?波希开始警告那些不信教者和对上帝丧失了信仰的人——等待是危险的。波希相信所有人必须要有自己的道德选择，他关注地狱、天堂和欲望的主题，才华横溢地挖掘了水果和植物的象征意义，让他的意向充满了强烈的性欲色彩。这本独特的选集展示了波希最为引人入胜的作品，小巧的形式也让它成为了一份完美的礼物。
Degas was closest to Renoir in the impressionist’s circle, for both favoured the animated Parisian life of their day as a motif in their paintings. Degas did not attend Gleyre’s studio; most likely he first met the future impressionists at the Café Guerbois. He started his apprenticeship in 1853 at the studio of Louis-Ernest Barrias and, beginning in 1854, studied under Louis Lamothe, who revered Ingres above all others, and transmitted his adoration for this master to Edgar Degas. Starting in 1854 Degas travelled frequently to Italy: first to Naples, where he made the acquaintance of his numerous cousins, and then to Rome and Florence, where he copied tirelessly from the Old Masters. His drawings and sketches already revealed very clear preferences: Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Mantegna, but also Benozzo Gozzoli, Ghirlandaio, Titian, Fra Angelico, Uccello, and Botticelli. During the 1860s and 1870s he became a painter of racecourses, horses and jockeys. His fabulous p
Goya is perhaps the most approachable of painters. His art, like his life, is an open book. He concealed nothing from his contemporaries, and offered his art to them with the same frankness. The entrance to his world is not barricaded with technical difficulties. He proved that if a man has the capacity to live and multiply his experiences, to fight and work, he can produce great art without classical decorum and traditional respectability. He was born in 1746, in Fuendetodos, a small mountain village of a hundred inhabitants. As a child he worked in the fields with his two brothers and his sister until his talent for drawing put an end to his misery. At fourteen, supported by a wealthy patron, he went to Saragossa to study with a court painter and later, when he was nineteen, on to Madrid. Up to his thirty-seventh year, if we leave out of account the tapestry cartoons of unheralded decorative quality and five small pictures, Goya painted nothing of any significance, but once in contro