Matisse and Picasso: the art world's greatest rivalry – in pictures.
Raphael was not Michelangelo's only rival. Michelangelo also seems to have resented his contemporary Leonardo da Vinci, another of the great Renaissance masters. Vasari recounts the legendary artistic contest between Michelangelo and Da Vinci during the decoration of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
This exclusive extract from Walter Isaacson's latest biography Leonardo da Vinci describes his very public contest with his chief rival, Michelangelo.
Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso were introduced in 1906 by Gertrude Stein. Thus began a long and artistically bountiful competitive dialogue between the two great artists.
Although Matisse's and Picasso's works were exhibited together in a small gallery in 1902, they had apparently not met. The Steins took Matisse to Picasso's studio and invited both painters to their weekly salons. There the two artists could see each other's paintings on the walls, among the Cézannes.
Enter a young Michelangelo, in awe of da Vinci's talent, but with dreams of his own glory. His brashness and shabby appearance earn Leonardo's immediate condescension—and so begins a lifelong rivalry fueled jealousy, ambition, and history's greatest masterpieces.
It is not surprising that the Renaissance masters Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo are famous and admired alike. While they may have been fierce competitors at one time, they later became friendly friends as well. During the commission process, both artists engaged in direct competition.
The two men were deeply dislike by each other, Vasari reported. There was a bond between them. When Michelangelo appeared 20 years behind Da Vinci, Da Vinci already had a reputation as an extraordinary artist. Among their sources was Giorgio Vasari, one of the most reliable Renaissance historians.
Michelangelo lost several commissions to Raphael when an ambassador erroneously made the announcement that the Sistine Chapel was to be painted by him. This led to a resentment that kept growing as Raphael kept getting rave reviews of his works of art.
As Robert S. Liebert writes in “Raphael, Michelangelo, Sebastiano: High Renaissance Rivalry,” he “made Raphael bear the brunt of his unrelenting envy, contempt, and anger.”
Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh never met. The Spanish painter discovered the Dutchman's work in Paris aged 19, when he was paying visits to independent salons. But an exercise in historical fiction leads one to surmise that had they met, they would not have gotten along.
' Both friends and rivals, the two enjoyed each other's company and especially the many heated conversations they often entertained when Picasso and Gilot visited Matisse at his Villa le Rêve studio in Vence, an inland town on the French Riviera, and at the Hôtel Régina in Cimiez, a hilltop suburb of Nice.
“I've changed my mind so many times in writing this book,” Jones said, asked who he thought was the greater of the two. “These were both incomparable geniuses. There is no question that Michelangelo did win, but Leonardo has won historically, just about.
The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was painted from 1508-1512, but it was not painted by Leonardo.
Leonardo da Vinci, the ultimate Renaissance man, is the subject of Walter Isaacson's newest book. Pictured is Leonardo da Vinci's iconic "Vitruvian Man" c. 1490.
Beginning in 1907, Picasso began to experiment with Cézanne's techniques alongside fellow artist Georges Braque.
Vincent van Gogh cut off his left ear when tempers flared with Paul Gauguin, the artist with whom he had been working for a while in Arles. Van Gogh's illness revealed itself: he began to hallucinate and suffered attacks in which he lost consciousness. During one of these attacks, he used the knife.
Claude Monet also knew Vincent van Gogh, maybe. While van Gogh wasn't mourned until he died after having been praised as an artist during the lifetimes of Monet and Van Gogh, neither of these artists took their fame to heart.
The painter of the Sistine Chapel, and sculptor of David and the sublime Pieta, found relationships difficult, Dr Arshad writes. "He was a loner, self-absorbed and gave his undivided attention to his masterpieces - a feature of autism." He was also "paranoid, narcissistic and schizoid".
Opening a window on Renaissance Florence and two of its geniuses, the author traces the little-known friendship between da Vinci and Machiavelli and their joint effort to fulfill da Vinci's extravagant dream of turning Florence into a seaport.
I learnt much later that they were actually names of four of the greatest Italian Renaissance artists—Leonardo da Vinci, Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardic, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino and Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.