ART&DESIGN

10 RECENT PAINTINGS BY ARTISTS WHO HAVE COMMITTED SUICIDE

1. “Zebra and a parachute,” Christopher Wood

Zebra and Parachute 1930 Christopher Wood 1901-1930 Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to Tate 2004 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T12038
Zebra and Parachute 1930 Christopher Wood 1901-1930 Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to Tate 2004 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T12038

The painting “Zebra and parachute” in the sky is easy to see the parachutist, which hangs on the dome if the dead. After the departure from Paris to England in August 1930, Wood met his mother in Salisbury, to show her his new works, including this painting. Due to the constant use of opium from Wood developed paranoia, and in a desperate attempt to avoid an imaginary pursuer Wood threw himself under a train on the day of arrival.

2. “Naked on the beach,” John William Godward

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Artwork “Contemplation” and «Nu Sur La Plage» («Naked on the beach”) was completed a few months before his death. «Nu Sur La Plage» is particularly unusual because it Godward strayed from his usual style image of women in beautiful clothes and wrote naked nature. In December 1922, Godward committed suicide, writing in a suicide note, that this world is not big enough for him and Picasso.

3. “The Concert”, Nicolas de Stael

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Nicolas de Stael, in a relatively short career has created thousands of paintings and drawings.Only in the last five months of his life he wrote 147 paintings, the last of which («Blue Nude Lying») was completed in 1955. In March of that year, he committed suicide by jumping from a high building in Antibes, leaving painting «Le Concert »unfinished. Shortly before his death, Nicholas wrote: “I can not finish my paintings.”

4. “The Death of James Dean,” John Minton

Composition: The Death of James Dean 1957 John Minton 1917-1957 Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1957 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00140
Composition: The Death of James Dean 1957 John Minton 1917-1957 Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1957 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00140

The day before the suicide Minton visiting artist Ruskin Spear said that the dying person on his painting reminds him of Hollywood actor James Dean, who died two years earlier in a car accident. Speer said that James Dean Minton represented for the suffering of the young generation. In fact, the real identity of the dying man in the picture has remained a mystery.

5. “Untitled” / “Black on gray,” Mark Rothko

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The reputation of this abstract artist largely developed thanks to his famous images of brightly colored rectangles. Toward the end of his life Rothko, his paintings are not as bright and vivid, and the last work was a picture without a name, written in black and gray. After the divorce with his wife, the artist suffered from severe depression and soon committed suicide by cutting the veins in his New York studio in 1970.

6. “Unhappy Family” Constance Mayer

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Constance Meyer committed suicide while working on this painting it. The work was completed by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, her roommate. They often painted pictures together, so it is often difficult to tell where one ends with creativity of the artist and the work of another begins. The couple have lived together for many years, but Prud’hon refused to marry Constance. This led to a depressed woman, and she cut her throat with a razor.

7. “A trip to the death,” Jean-Michel Basquiat

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Jean-Michel Basquiat began his career as a teenager as a graffiti artist in Manhattan, and began to study painting much later. His work quickly gained wide recognition for its depth and composition, and Basquiat became widely known in the art world. Unfortunately, the artist addicted to heroin and died of an overdose at the age of 27 years.

8. “Nude Self-Portrait with Palette”, Richard Gerstl

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Richard Gerstl created his best work during the affair with Mathilde, wife of the famous composer Arnold Schoenberg. Gerstl painted herself naked and Matilda. But Matilda finally left him “for the sake of the children.” Distraught, Gerstl committed suicide at the age of 25 years, striking his chest with a knife and hung in his studio. His last work was the “Self-Portrait with Palette”, completed in September 1908.

9. “Agony”, Arshile Gorky

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During the two years before the death of Gorki experienced many unfortunate events. In 1946, in his studio there was a fire, during which many of his best works were burned to ashes. A few weeks after that Gorky was diagnosed with cancer. Shortly thereafter, the artist discovered that his wife was cheating on him. The couple divorced and two children stayed with Agnes. In 1948, bad luck ended Gorki that he broke his neck in a car accident, after which his hands were paralyzed. Unable to write, he committed suicide a month later in his studio.

10. “The Garden of Daubigny,” Vincent Van Gogh

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The painting “Wheatfield with Crows” is often mistakenly considered to be the last work of Vincent van Gogh. An analysis of the artist’s letters shows that “Wheatfield with Crows” was completed two weeks before his suicide in July 1890, which means that the actual Van Gogh’s last painting is “The Garden of Daubigny.” On the morning of July 27th, 1890, Van Gogh went to the open air, but the walk shot himself in the chest, and 2 days later died in hospital at the age of 37 years.

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