I’m always impressed with myself when I recognize
a famous painting, and actually know who painted it.
If I happen to know the artistic period during which it was painted, I think I’m a genius. I am not one to stand in front of a painting for half an hour, discussing its hidden meaning or symbolism, or to rent detailed audio tours at an exhibition, but I do find it fascinating to learn about artists and their work. For instance, which famous French artist was captivated by the Moroccan landscape, women and architecture? (Answer: Matisse)
When I heard about an app called Art Authority, by Open Door Networks, I knew I wanted to have it. Featuring a comprehensive and well-organized collection of over 70,000 paintings and sculptures by over 1,000 of the western world’s major artists, from ancient times to today, the app includes detailed captions (including title, date, size, location), as well as in-depth information about the works, the periods, and the artists.
Art can be viewed as thumbnails or full-screen, and your favorite images can be saved or shared. One cool feature also shows you the size of each piece relative to the person viewing it, and another, called Art Near Me, helps you find art near your current location.
Art Authority for the iPad or Mac is $9.99 and $4.99 for the iPhone. A kid-friendly version (K through 12) is $7.99 and a marvelous way to get your grandkids (or any curious kids) to start appreciating art. MacWorld Magazine calls this one of the “Best 25 Apps Of All Time.”
Ever since I installed the app on my iPhone, I read up on one artist each night after I get into bed. I am feeling so cultured.
And take this quiz to see how much you REALLY know about a handful of famous works.
Scroll down when you’re ready to check your answers!
The Pilgrim (René Magritte), Surrealism • Still Life with a Curtain (Paul Cézanne), Post-Impressionism • Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (Pablo Picasso), Cubism • Spread (Kenneth Noland), Abstract • I Love You With My Ford (James Rosenquist), Pop Art •
L.H.O.O.Q. (Marcel Duchamp), Dadaism.