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Art Appreciation

September 14 2007 Art Appreciation Newsletter

Pronouncing the Names of Artists Accurately

If you're ever at a cocktail party and you want to impress the tight jawed art aficionados, you might need some coaching on how to pronounce the names of some of the world's great artists. A brief description of their notable works would be also be helpful.

Giotto (pronounced JOT toe) painted in the Arena Chapel in Padua, Italy (1305-6). These murals, well preserved, are narrative scenes from the life of Christ.

Masaccio (pronounced ma SOTCH O), from the Early Renaissance painted "The Holy Trinity with the Virgin, Saint John, and Two Donors" (1425). This fresco in Sta. Maria Novella, Florence, Italy is best known for its sense of large scale.

Raphael (pronounce RAF ee ul), from the High Renaissance in Italy is best known for his fresco, "The School of Athens" 91510-11) in Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican Palace, Rome. He was said to have merged the qualities of Leonardo and Michelangelo but expressing the meaning in his own unique style.

Caravaggio (pronounced car a VOD jo) has been called the "bad boy" of the art world. His religious commissions brought him much notoriety. "The Calling of Saint Matthew" (1599-1602) is a painting that was one of a series of three canvases devoted to Saint Matthew, for the Contarelli Chapel in S. Luigi dei Francesi, Rome.

Velazquez (pronounced ve LASS kes) was court painter for Philip IV of Spain in the late 1620s. His famous painting "The Maids of Honor" (1656) resides in the Museo del Prado, Spain.

Jan Vermeer (pronounced yon ver mare) was an extraordinary Dutch painter who used mostly women as his models. "Girl With an Earring" (1665-66) has been the inspiration for both a book and movie based on the artist and his model, "Girl With a Pearl Earring."

Don't be afraid to name drop the next time the subject of art comes up in coversation. Now you can speak with much more confidence. Good luck.
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