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!

unfinished-masterpieces-infographic.jpg

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



Is Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling at The Vatican Under Threat?

by Lindsay Shapka in , , ,


The Sistine Chapel recently celebrated its 500th Birthday and, along with a huge party, it also got a warning — it may soon have only a limited amount of visitors.

More than 20,000 people a day — that's 5 million a year — visit the chapel, making it THE MOST visited room in the world! That's a lot of people packed into a space that is only 130 feet long and around 143 feet wide (approx. the same measurements that are recorded in the Bible for The Temple of Solomon).

Though many of these visitors are respectful cultural-tourists, more and more they are herds of people who are there only to say that they were, know little about the value of what they are looking at, and have no qualms about using flashes to take photos (camera flashes damage the pigments in the paintings) or even touch the work (NOT GOOD).

According to Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums:

"The anthropic pressure with dust, the humidity of bodies, carbon dioxide produced by perspiration can cause discomfort for the visitors and, in the long run, damage to the paintings." (From the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano)

The Sistine Ceiling by Michelangelo          Vatican City

Interestingly, if he were still alive, Michelangelo himself may not have cared if the work was damaged.

He hated it.

In 1508, he was ordered by Pope Julius to redecorate the ceiling which pulled him away from what he loved most — sculpture. In a letter to one of his friends, he called the work "a miserable job" and wrote, "I'm not a painter".

Not someone to do anything halfway, he mastered the fresco technique and, despite hating every minute of it, created one of the most iconic works of all time.

More than 20,000 people a day—that’s 5 million a year—visit the chapel, making it THE MOST visited room in the world!

So, with human breath damaging this stunning chapel that is important to the pious, the artists, the historians, and mass tourism alike, what is the solution?

Technology.

Apparently, the Vatican is searching for a high-end air purification system that will keep the work safe. Until a solution is found, constant restoration is the only other option other than limiting numbers or closing the doors of the chapel altogether.  

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