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Mona Lisa meets Street ART

A montage collage of the past and the present

By Novel AllenPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 6 min read
Photo by Norburt Braun, Berlin

Unsplash has a plethora of undiscovered art which is overlooked by most writers. Here I will have these modern, mostly unknown masters stand shoulder to shoulder with the masters of yesteryears.

All the modern art depicted here are from Unsplash.

Art of the old masters.

What is it about the art, music, genius and eccentricities of past sages, philosophers, scholars and thinkers, that continue to hold such fascination and appeal for so many of us. Still, hundreds of years into the future, we dote upon their contributions to humanity. Is it our ego that compels us to want to be included with the great ones, or to be embraced within the elite of society. To say that we can stand with the greatest of minds and have intellectual and intelligent conversations that equals the best that those learned minds can offer.

Why the need to possess the most extravagant and lavish of these long past geniuses, hung upon auspicious walls of the rich and famous. Or upon the walls of thieves, connoisseurs and savants just so that they may ogle the inanimate still forms peering back at them from across the centuries.

Graffiti art of Albert Einstein

photo by Tatum Moise on Unsplash

Can we compare this to the Mona Lisa?

Mona Lisa

Monna Lisa is a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci.

Considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, it has been described as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world". The painting's novel qualities include the subject's enigmatic expression, monumentality of the composition, the subtle modelling of forms, and the atmospheric illusionism.

The painting has been definitively identified to depict Italian noblewoman Lisa del Giocondo. It is painted in oil on a white Lombardy poplar panel. Leonardo never gave the painting to the Giocondo family, and it is believed he later left it in his will to his favored apprentice Salaì. It was believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506; however, Leonardo may have continued working on it as late as 1517. It was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic


Street art

Schweiz-Sankt Gallen-Painting

Still, the sheer mastery and professionalism of those masters continue to defy and amaze. Most of these geniuses existed in times of great hardship and with a lack of many of the basic and simple rights that we take for granted today.

Why do we try so hard to be counted among the likes of these great minds?

Van Gogh self portrait

In the aftermath of the 23 December 1888 breakdown that resulted in the self mutilation of his left ear, Van Gogh voluntarily admitted himself to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole lunatic asylum on May 8, 1889. Housed in a former Monastery, Saint-Paul-de-Mausole catered to the wealthy, and was less than half full when Van Gogh arrived, allowing him to occupy not only a second story bedroom, but also a ground floor room for use as a painting studio.

During the year Van Gogh stayed at the asylum the prolific output of paintings he had begun in Arles continued. During this period, he produced some of the best known works of his career. including the Irises from May 1888, now in the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the blue self portrait from September 1889, in the Musee d'Orsay. The Starry Night was painted in mid to 18th June, the date he wrote to his brother Theo to say he had a new study of a starry night.

The Potato Eaters

Van Gogh said he wanted to depict peasants as they really were. He deliberately chose coarse and ugly models, thinking that they would be natural and unspoiled in his finished work.

Street art

Photo Bruno Guerrero-Flint Michigan

Waterlilies and the Japanese Bridge-Claude Monet

He added a Japanese-style wooden bridge in 1895, then a few years later started to paint the pond and its water lilies—and never stopped, making them the obsessive focus of his intensely searching work for the next quarter century. Lush and luminous, The Japanese Bridge immerses us in the physical experience of being in the garden.

Girl with a Pearl earring

Girl With A Pearl Earring (Dutch: Meisje met de parel) is an oil painting by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer, dated c. 1665. Going by various names over the centuries, it became known by its present title towards the end of the 20th century after the earring worn by the girl portrayed there.

Street art

Photo Norbert Braun-Germany

The Scream-Edvard Munch

The Scream is a composition created by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch in 1893. The Norwegian name of the piece is Skrik (Shriek), and the German title under which it was first exhibited Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature). The agonized face in the painting has become one of the most iconic images of art, seen as symbolizing the anxiety of the human condition. Munch's work, including The Scream, would go on to have a formative influence on the Expressionist movement.

Munch recalled that he had been out for a walk at sunset when suddenly the setting sun's light turned the clouds "a blood red". He sensed an "infinite scream passing through nature". Scholars have located the spot to a fjord overlooking Oslo, and have suggested other explanations for the unnaturally orange sky, ranging from the effects of a volcanic eruption to a psychological reaction by Munch to his sister's commitment at a nearby lunatic asylum.

Street art

Art by Okuda - Photo Luismi Sanchez

Okuda San Miguel, (born Óscar San Miguel Erice; Santander, 19 November 1980) is a Spanish painter and sculptor known for his distinctive style of colorful geometric patterns that portray animals, skulls, religious iconography and human figures. He is perhaps most famous for painting the Kaos Temple in Llanera, Asturias, Spain. His murals can be seen on buildings and objects across the world in India, Mali, France, the United States, Japan, Chile, Brazil, Peru, South Africa, Mexico, Canada, Morocco, Ukraine and Spain.

The Persistence of Memory

Salvadore Dali- A vision of how time melts, warps and finally melts away.

The Persistence of Memory (Catalan: La persistència de la memòria) is a 1931 painting by artist Salvador Dalí and one of the most recognizable works of Surrealism. First shown at the Julien Levy Gallery in 1932, since 1934 the painting has been in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, which received it from an anonymous donor. It is widely recognized and frequently referred to in popular culture,[1] and sometimes referred to by more descriptive titles, such as "Melting Clocks", "The Soft Watches" or "The Melting Watches".

The well-known surrealist piece introduced the image of the soft melting pocket watch. It epitomizes Dalí's theory of "softness" and "hardness", which was central to his thinking at the time. As Dawn Adès wrote, "The soft watches are an unconscious symbol of the relativity of space and time, a Surrealist meditation on the collapse of our notions of a fixed cosmic order".

This interpretation suggests that Dalí was incorporating an understanding of the world introduced by Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity. Asked by Ilya Prigogine whether this was in fact the case, Dalí replied that the soft watches were not inspired by the theory of relativity, but by the surrealist perception of a Camembert melting in the sun.

Street Art

Art by Azure Productions-Newark NJ

Guernica -Pablo Picasso

Guernica (Spanish: is a large 1937 oil painting by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. It is one of his best-known works, regarded by many art critics as the most moving and powerful anti-war painting in history. It is exhibited in the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid.

The grey, black, and white painting on a canvas, portrays the suffering wrought by violence and chaos. Prominent in the composition are a gored horse, a bull, screaming women, a dead baby, a dismembered soldier, and flames.

The garden of earthly delights

The Garden of Earthly Delights is the modern title given to a triptych oil painting on oak panel painted by the Early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch, between 1490 and 1510, when Bosch was between 40 and 60 years old. It has been housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain since 1939.

In conclusion, art is beautiful no matter who the author may be. Modern art is just as appealing as the work of the famous and revered. We should take some time to appreciate new ideas and new offerings of breathtaking beauty and fresh perspectives.

Street Art

Jon Tyson


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About the Creator

Novel Allen

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. ~~ Rabindranath Tagore~~

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Comments (3)

  • MT Poetryabout a year ago

    You concludes that art is beautiful regardless of the artist's fame, urging readers to appreciate the new ideas, fresh perspectives, and breathtaking beauty offered by modern art. 💕🙌👏

  • Totally agree that art is beautiful regardless who the artist is! So happy to see that you included Okuda here! I really enjoyed this piece!

  • Asif Aliabout a year ago


Novel AllenWritten by Novel Allen

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