The Perfect Artist

During my art course in Egypt, someone asked me about whom I would consider to be the ‘perfect artist’. She gave me options actually! I had to choose between Michelangelo and Da Vinci. I failed her down.

An artist can never be perfect without the innovation of Masaccio, the skill of Ghiberti, the grace of Botticelli, the quality of Raphael, the mystery of Da Vinci, the talent of Michelangelo, the attention to detail of Jan Van Eyck, the confidence of Dürer, the mastery of Titian, the monumentality of Rubens, the attitude (problem) of Caravaggio, the grandeur of Rembrandt, the ethics of Delacroix, the wisdom of Blake, the sharpness of Goya, the softness of Monet, the productivity of Picasso, the madness of Dalí, the brushstroke of Van Gogh, the freshness of Gauguin, the boldness of Matisse, the honesty of Schiele, the intensity of Munch, the creativity of Klimt, the bitterness of Lautrec, the sweetness of Modigliani…do you see how difficult it is?

Then you have the “Salieri”s and the “Barromini”s of this world, eclipsed by the “Mozart”s and “Bernini”s of this very same world…were they less passionate about their art than any of their more famous contemporaries? Not a bit. Artists will keep on trying…they should…but as Salvador Dalí once said: “Don’t be afraid of perfection, you will never reach it.”

The Last Judgment - Michelangelo

5 thoughts on “The Perfect Artist

    • Sure, it’s because most of what we know about Caravaggio comes from police records. He was famous for being a trouble maker, he killed a man following a game and had to escape, and he caused one scandal after another through his art and his life. Nevertheless, it was this attitude problem that rendered his art unique and revolutionary.

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