Unfinished Masterpieces and Their Intriguing Pasts [Infographic]

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,

Unfinished masterpieces and their intriguing histories

Unfinished artworks give off an aura of mystery. Were the works left incomplete by accident, or was it an intentional choice on the part of the artist?

Some of the most enigmatic and beautiful art — both for its unique aesthetic and intriguing historical context — is that which was left unfinished. While some artists purposely abandoned a piece due to lack of interest or to pursue another endeavor, others faced external circumstances that forced them to quit before the project was fully realized. From Renaissance paintings to feverishly-read novels, these unfinished works have afforded art historians and aficionados an array of untold stories and curious origins.

Famous artists, writers, and creators like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Jane Austen all left stunning unfinished works behind.

Check out more details of all of these works in the infographic by Invaluable below!


Sources: BBC | ListVerse | Arts Heaven | Arch Daily | Ranker | The Guardian

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unfinished masterpieces and their intriguing pasts
unfinished masterpieces and their intriguing pasts

Everything You Need To Know About Edvard Munch And His Famous Work "The Scream"

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,

The Scream, 1893             Edvard Munch — Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo

A version of the painting The Scream sold a few years ago for almost $120 million, making it the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction at the time.

This universally recognized, and widely parodied, work was created by Norwegian Edvard Munch (1863-1944), an intensely serious artist who is widely believed to have been bipolar.

Depression and mental illness were poorly understood and even considered shameful in the time he was creating, which would have made this piece shocking and even distasteful to its audience.

So what is this painting about anyway?

It is an unforgettable image of modern alienation that Munch recorded the genesis of in his diary: "One evening I was walking along a path; the city was on one side, and the fjord below. I was tired and ill… the sky stained red… I sensed a shriek passing through nature… I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood."

In the painting itself, the figure stands on a bridge and the scream comes directly from him, as something that might normally be considered beautiful (a sunset) becomes an agent of overwhelming dread. Anguish vibrates through the entire work as its swirling lines give pictorial form to his psychic experience and convey a loss of control, isolation, and mental agony.

The individual portrayed in the work has no discernible sex, age or ethnicity, making him/her an "everyman" that can be related to by people in all walks of life. Anyone can look at The Scream and say, “I’ve been there, or will be.”

What many people don’t know is that there are FOUR versions of The Scream.

The one sold at the Sotheby’s auction is the only version still in a private collection while the other three are in Oslo museums.

Munch never created a version in oil on canvas (the one sold was a pastel version from 1895) and art appraisers speculate that if he had, it would likely be valued at $810 million (what!?) in today’s market!

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