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10 funny and tragic reasons that prevented great artists from completing their masterpieces
10 funny and tragic reasons that prevented great artists from completing their masterpieces
Unfinished paintings of the greats

History knows cases when even great artists, for some reason, did not finish their paintings. One can only guess whether the artist has run out of inspiration or whether some other reasons prevented him from finishing the work. This review contains a dozen unfinished paintings by world famous artists.

1. Adoration of the Magi. Leonardo da Vinci

Adoration of the Magi.Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci believed that "quality work takes a lot of time." He worked too slowly to complete a series of his creations, since the huge range of his talents forced the genius to invent more and more new things.

In 1481, when da Vinci was living in Florence, the Augustinian monks commissioned him to paint The Adoration of the Magi, a scene depicting three wise men who came to worship the newborn Jesus. Within a year, da Vinci created an initial life-size sketch (2, 1x2, 1 meters) and began painting it. But the artist needed money. In 1482, he gave up his job and went to Milan to win the favor of the wealthy future Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza. It was worth it, as in Milan the artist was commissioned to paint the famous "Last Supper".

2. The Paris Treaty. Benjamin West

Treaty of Paris. Benjamin West

Towards the end of the American Revolution, both sides were understandably looking for mutually beneficial terms for a mutual agreement, so an American delegation, including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, traveled to Paris to begin negotiations with the French, Spanish, Dutch, and British in 1783.

To celebrate the peace treaty that was eventually concluded, renowned historical artist Benjamin West was commissioned to paint a painting depicting the event. There was only one snag in this all: the British delegates refused to be drawn because they felt ashamed of defeat. As a result, the painting has a gaping empty space where the British were sitting while painting the painting.

3. Winning Boogie Woogie. Pete Mondrian

Boogie Woogie win. Pete Mondrian

The abstract works of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian are world renowned for depicting city models in the most basic elementary colors and shapes. Reflecting the musical influences and energy of New York, Victory of the Boogie Woogie was never completed due to Mondrian's death from pneumonia in 1944.

4. James Hunter is a black conscript. Alice Neal

James Hunter is a black conscript. Alice Neal

American portrait painter Alice Neal's oil painting "James Hunter - Black Conscript" is a great example of how a painting can be completed without being finished. Although the painting was actually incomplete, Neal decided that its incompleteness was in fact already conveying the emotion she wanted out of the painting. In the end, she signed the painting and exhibited it at the Whitney Museum.

Throughout most of her career, Neil often invited strangers to pose for portraits. In 1965, she invited James Hunter, who had just learned that he had been drafted into the Vietnam War. During the first posing, Neal finished most of the painting, and for the second posing, Hunter never showed up.

5. Madonna with a long neck. Parmigianino

Madonna with a Long Neck. Parmigianino

Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola (also known as Parmigianino because he was born in Parma) was an Italian Renaissance painter who painted in the mannerist style, i.e.with exaggerated and elongated proportions. Having received an order to paint a picture of Mary and Jesus for the funeral chapel, Parmigianino dedicated the creation of the Madonna of the Long Neck, but died of a fever in 1540 without completing it.

The famous perfectionist Parmigianino is perhaps a classic example of how a person does not know how to stop in time and bring things to an end. He was never able to fully achieve what he wanted, and as a result, there are several unfinished areas in the painting (for example, the pillar and the sky).

6. Portrait of George Washington. Gilbert Stewart

Portrait of George Washington. Gilbert Stewart

One of the most famous portrait painters of his time, Gilbert Stuart painted over 1,000 works, including portraits of presidents, kings and queens throughout Europe and the United States. His most famous work, however, is an intentionally unfinished painting by George Washington. After Stewart first painted George Washington in 1795, George's wife Martha asked Stewart to create another portrait of the first president of the United States in 1796. Stewart did not complete this second portrait, painting only the face and part of the background. However, this is the exact image used on the $ 1 bill.

7. Oscar - an interrupted portrait. Natalie Holland

Oscar is an interrupted portrait. Natalie Holland

Also known as Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius is considered a hero by many as he defied his disability (he was born without a fibula in both legs) and won six gold medals at the Paralympic Games. This is simply unbelievable for a man who had both legs amputated below the knee. To celebrate the occasion, Russian-born artist Natalie Holland was commissioned to paint several portraits of Pistorius.

The third portrait (in which she wanted to show the victory of Pistorius) remained unfinished. After Holland finished painting the face and hands of the athlete, he was found guilty of the murder of his girlfriend and imprisoned.

8. Unfinished portrait. Elizaveta Shumatova

Unfinished portrait. Elizaveta Shumatova

Elizaveta Shumatova initially refused to paint a portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but they managed to convince her. She was not happy with the first portrait, so in 1943 she tried to make another portrait of the president. Although the artist heard that Roosevelt was unwell, the president insisted on posing. He was in good spirits for a week, posing for Shumatova, and was constantly joking. But suddenly, during the next posing, Roosevelt complained of a severe headache, and then lost consciousness and fell face forward. He suffered a stroke and died the same day.

9. Burial. Michelangelo

Burial. Michelangelo

Burial is an unfinished painting depicting the body of Jesus, which is brought into the tomb after being crucified. The history of the painting is shrouded in mystery. It does not have Michelangelo's signature, the painting lacks several figures, and the canvas itself has been lost over the centuries. The location of The Burial was unknown until 1846, when Scottish photographer and artist Robert MacPherson decided to revisit many of the paintings he had bought for £ 1 and decide what to throw away and what to keep. To his amazement, he recognized Michelangelo's brush in one of the paintings.

10. Turning the road. Paul Cezanne

A bend in the road. Paul Cezanne

Regarding Paul Cézanne's later paintings, the question is often asked: "Is this painting really finished?" Cezanne was afraid that one wrong stroke would ruin the entire canvas, so in his later works there are whole pieces of an unpainted canvas. Some believe that this was done unintentionally, but because of the artist's poor eyesight.

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