Stephanie Wilson lists her ten favourite paintings of all time. Rather than the obvious classic ones, however, her top ten consists of an alternative selection.
Whilst The Mona Lisa smile is undeniably spectacular, it is time for da Vinci to share the limelight and make way for a few modern favourites.
1. The Singing Butler – by Jack Vettriano
In 1992, Scottish painter Jack Vettriano emerged from artistic wilderness and gave us a taste of velvety romance and handsome chivalry. Fascinated by the art of seduction, he elegantly collides the boundaries between vice and virtue. A real charmer in the making.
2. April in Paris – by Brent Heighton
Call me cliché, but Paris in the rain is an all time classic. In a haze of colour and culture, Brent Heighton captivates a teary glance at French timelessness and simplicity. It’s enough to give anyone a warm glow inside.
3. Ram’s Head White Hollyhock and Little Hills – by Georgia O’Keefe
Coming to New York attention in 1916, Georgia O’Keefe positions the natural within the abstract. With a taste for natural formation, she illustrates the sculpted beauty of flora and fauna. Equating a ram’s skull to a hibiscus flower, O’Keefe realigns our expectation of artistic values.
4. Abstract Jazz – by Debra Hurd
Fusing music and image together, Debra Hurd depicts a mirage of lyrical synthesis. In a deliberate orchestration of colour, we see Jazz become not just a genre of music, but as a way of evoking both mood and movement.
5. Wild Horses Equine – by Karen Tarlton
Karen Tarlton captures an untamed breathlessness within the summer landscape. Horse lover or not, the rich undertones between a muddy gold and clouded green are enough to make anyone melt!
6. Urban Watercolour – Michal Orlowski
Breaking the convention of boats and beaches, Polish watercolour artist puts a splash of urban tarnish in its place. Through a wash of coal greys and rusted golds, Orlowski positions the urban above the rural, the ugly over the pristine.
7. The Old Woman – Michael Tsinoglou
Beauty through age. For Michael Tsinolou, this is key. In his view, youth is only ripened through time; wrinkles deepen, but windom flourishes. Focusing on a soft glance, Michael uses the eyes to draw upon the nostalgia of age and time.
8. Curious Baby Elephants – Zaira Dzhaubaeva
In an array of inky blotches, Russian-American artist, Zaira Dzhaubaeva, paints African elephants into a fusion of colour and culture.
9. Little Boy – Emerico Imre Toth
Encapsulating the simplicity of a boy and his boat, Emerico Imre Toth takes us back to a place of childhood haven. Through a paste of creams and browns, we reflect back on a time where all we needed was the beach and a toy boat. Those were the days!
10. Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
Admittedly an illustration for young children, there is something beautifully classical about Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit. Its timeless portrayal of a naughty bunny will forever capture the mischief of being child and getting into trouble. But then again, who says that we have to really grow up?
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