As an artist, inspiration is imperative to your practice. It fuels creativity and allows your work to grow and develop – but where do we find inspiration, exactly? You might look everywhere from nature to pop culture, but why not start at the very beginning (which, after all, is a very good place to start). Explore some of history’s most inspirational art pieces to motivate you to get creating.
From Renaissance Classics to Film Noir
One of the most inspirational art pieces from history; Botticelli’s Birth of Venus depicts the goddess Venus emerging from the sea as a grown woman. An icon of the Italian Renaissance, the painting was ahead of it’s time in both terms of subject matter, medium and style. Endlessly analysed, the symbolic piece is a striking [depiction] of classic Greek mythology.
Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa is one of the most recognisable works of Japanese art in the world. Created between 1829-1833, the traditional woodblock print depicts a huge wave rising above boats off the coast of the town Kanagawa, with Mount Fuji in the background. Impressions of the print are displayed all over the world, alongside Hokusai’s other print series.
The Dream, a large-scale oil painting by Henri Rousseau, features a somewhat surreal portrait of Henri’s Polish mistress amongst jungle foliage and wildlife. The stylised plants were based on Rousseau’s studies at the Paris Museum of Natural Art and were accompanied by a poem to help viewers understand the painting. The subject of a reclining nude is taken from a classical tradition, but enveloped in a surrealist environment.
As an abstract artist, Kandinsky’s works are often open to a range of interpretations. Returning to Russia after the start of World War 1, the artists style made changes that reflected the everchanging nature of his surroundings. Kandinsky’s belief in creating expressive abstract forms alienated him from his peers, who favoured more rational techniques and principles. The importance of the circles in Composition 8 prefigures the important role they would play in many of his future works.
As far as inspirational art pieces go, Nighthawks has gone on to inspire works to this day. Described as Hopper’s best piece, the painting was inspired by a diner in Manhattan and is one of the most recognisable paintings in American Art. Nighthawks and similar works went on to influence various film movements such as film noir, and inspired a range of literature, music, television and even opera.
Move Art From the Walls to Your Wardrobe
Artworks aren’t just for walls anymore – why leave your inspiration hanging up in the gallery? After being hit with inspiration by these important works of art, we designed our own painted classics collection to continue feeling creative in everyday life. Featuring iconic paintings, the Contrado Master’s Collection combines our artistic enthusiasm with a love for all things fashion and homeware.
With Contrado you can turn your favourite paintings into clothing, accessories and more. Design beautiful eco-friendly garments featuring works by the great masters, or iconic art furnishings to adorn your home. Every piece is handmade on site in our London factory, using sustainable practices and materials.
The merging of artwork and fashion has become prevalent in recent years, with fashion houses collaborating with artists to create unique collections, such as the recent Louis Vuitton range. Working with contemporary artist Jeff Koons, the designer brand has launched a line of products featuring the works of painting masters. Jeff Koons is known for re-contextualizing classic art, previously recreating the classic Venus sculpture in his paintings for example. This ‘appropriation’ of classic artwork is controversial, but each iteration of an image only makes it stronger. The combination of contemporary art, classic art and fashion results in beautiful accessories which challenge our perception of art.
Which pieces of work are imperative to your artistic practice? Whether they’re famous or unknown, design an ‘inspired’ collection to share your motivation and admiration with your customers. Let your fans see behind the brand and have a sneak peek into your work process; let them explore how your original designs come to fruition, having been inspired by those who came before you.
Design your own ‘inspired’ collection to share your own inspiration with your customers.