It is no secret that art and architecture are two subjects that often interlace with each other. There have been many extraordinary artists who were also architects like the Italian sculptor Michelangelo; and architects who have delved into the fine arts from time to time. While both art and architecture are creative methods to express and invoke emotions, architecture does have a technical aspect to it as well.
We can only wonder what would go on inside the head of an artist if they were to indulge in the craft and science of architectural design. Looking at the vast amount of talented artists the world has witnessed over many centuries, one can only presume, ‘what if’, these artists and painters were to become architects as well.
Here is a list of celebrated artists that would have indeed made great architects –
1. LEONARDO DA VINCI
No one can argue that Leonardo Da Vinci was perhaps the most well-known artist in the world. And while most people remember him for his portrait Mona Lisa, Da Vinci was also a savant of science and invention. He is also credited with the sketch Vitruvian Man, in which he drew the proportions of the human body based on the work of the Roman architect, Vitruvius.
2. ADELAIDE LABILLE-GUIARD
Adelaide was one of the first female artists in the world who was widely recognized for her miniature paintings and portraits. She was an inspiration to women who wanted to pursue arts in the 18th century and was the first female member of the Royal Academy. She went on to become a painter for the Royal Family in France.
3. VINCENT VAN GOGH
Van Gogh is arguably the most influential and celebrated artist from the late 19th century. His brushwork and style are known to have set the foundation for modern art. Van Gogh’s work is famous for its bold, expressive, and dramatic style.
4. PAUL CEZANNE
This French artist is often known to be the link between Impressionism and Cubism art movements. Cezanne was fascinated with finding geometry in nature and his art is recognizable from its small brushstrokes and planes of colors.
5. GUSTAV KLIMT
A member of the Vienna Secession movement, Gustav Klimt is celebrated for his murals, sketches, and art objects. He is widely known for his ‘Golden Phase’ during which his art included the use of the gold leaf. Klimt deserves a spot on this list the most as he studied architectural painting in his younger days and his career began with painting on walls and ceilings.
6. CLAUDE MONET
This list would’ve been incomplete without the founder of the Impressionist movement. Oscar-Claude Monet is mostly known for his expressive landscape paintings and his mastery of light and color on objects that made his art so superior.
7. SALVADOR DALI
Known for his technical approach to art and his draftsmanship, Salvador Dali also has a few architectural projects under his belt. He is notable for his bizarre and surreal painting style that paved the way for Surrealism as an art movement.
8. FRIDA KAHLO
Mexican painter Frida Kahlo was a pioneer of portraits, especially self-portraits. Kahlo’s work was deeply rooted in Mexican culture as well as her pain and suffering due to her medical conditions and accident. Surrealism and Magical Realism was her forte. She is also the first Mexican artist whose work is featured in the Louvre Museum, Paris.
9. PIET MONDRIAN
Dutch artist Piet Mondrian was well known for his geometric style which made him a pioneer of abstract art in the 20th century. His use of primary colors – red, blue, and yellow through abstract expressionism has influenced many artists, architects, and fashion designers.
10. EDWARD HOPPER
A realist painter, Edward Hopper’s niche was oil paintings and watercolor paintings. His art mostly included urban and rural American life from his point of view. Lighthouses, sailboats, sea, beach, farmhouses and urban architecture were some of his popular subjects.
11. PABLO PICASSO
This Spanish painter needs no introduction. Picasso was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. His work was not limited to just paintings but included ceramics, set designs, and sculptures. He was constantly experimenting with different artistic styles and is credited as the founder of the Cubist art movement.
12. HENRI MATISSE
French painter Henri Matisse was a contemporary of Pablo Picasso and a sculptor and printmaker as well. He is a pioneering artist of modern art while also being one of the few artists to follow the Fauvism art movement. Fauvism was recognizable by its intense coloring and flat shapes.
13. S H RAZA
Indian artist, S.H.Raza was awarded the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan titles which are the highest civilian honors in India. His niche is abstract expressionism and he takes inspiration from many Indian Scriptures. His later work was very inspired by the Hindu concept of the ‘Bindu’.
14. ANDY WARHOL
The father of Pop Art, Andy Warhol was an American artist, film director, and producer. He was significant in shaping the Visual Arts movement in America. From painting, advertising to photography, and silkscreening, he worked in various mediums. He has a distinct style that is easily recognizable.
15. ERIN HANSON
The only living artist on this list, Erin Hanson is an American artist known for her unique art style – Open Impressionism which derived from the Impressionist art movement. Her art is characterized by fresh and bright colors interlaced with contemporary and modern art concepts.
These incredible artists are all pioneers in different art movements and styles but what makes them stand out is their unique approach to art and expression of emotions. They have all fought their own battles that make them such interesting and celebrated painters. These qualities also make them the right candidates for architectural design if they had chosen to explore that field.