"A painting only lives in the eye of the beholder" - Pablo Picasso
Large scale art is oftentimes very fascinating for the viewer. We often find ourselves in front of big art pieces, utterly fascinated, sometimes dazed but completely absorbed, as if both ourselves and the painting had become one.
Feeling impressed or even very insignificant in front of large paintings, is very common. We can also perceive a certain closeness with a character or subject depicted in the painting due to their size being almost true to life. Like a connection - as if understood their emotions, their feelings. The large format allows us to project ourselves more into a work, it invites us to scrutinize the smallest details and subtleties.
Whatever the subject or object (sculpture, painting, photography), large scale art pins us almost head to head with its subject, almost beckoning us to enter into the artist’s world, to become one.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) once said "A painting only lives in the eye of the beholder". This quote is all the more obvious when we find ourselves in front of big art pieces. Without us the viewers, it has no meaning.
For centuries, large paintings were purely reserved for History Painting, in order to illustrate political, warlike or royal events; stories with a message or moral behind them, or to illustrate holy and sacred texts from Ancient History.
Since the 19th century, various artists have taken the liberty of applying the large format to illustrate different themes, such as Genre Painting or landscapes, previously reserved for small formats, and situated at the bottom of the hierarchy of genres established by the Academy.
Gustave Courbet, leader of the Realism movement, painted portraits and landscapes, considered minor artistic genres by the Academy. Courbet was a highly controversial painter, but who nevertheless deeply upset the artistic codes established until then! Indeed, in 1850, he painted A funeral in Ornans: for this work the artist chose to use a large format to represent an otherwise banal subject.
Later, avant-garde artists chose to break free from academic constraints and went on to create large paintings, to depict scenes from everyday life, landscapes, or even abstract works.
Among these artists who had large format paintings for sale, it's hard not to mention Monet and his Water Lilies, Picasso and his monumental work Guernica, the work Grande Anthropophagie bleue, 275x407cm created by Yves Klein, or Giacometti's life-size sculpture, entitled L'Homme qui marche!
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