Simon Shamas Power of Art Series Videos
Born in Naples, Bernini was an exceptional talent from an early age and went on to dominate the art world of 17th century Rome. His work epitomised the Baroque style and his sculpture, church interiors and exteriors and town planning could be seen everywhere. He was also a painter, playwright, costume and theatre designer.
Michelangelo Merisi di Caravaggio left his birth town of Caravaggio in the north of Italy to study as an apprentice in nearby Milan. In 1593 he moved to Rome, impatient to use his talents on the biggest stage possible.
Born to a wealthy Parisian family, Jacques-Louis David was aged seven when his father was shot dead in a pistol duel. Brought up by his uncles, his desire was to paint and he was eventually sent to his mother's cousin, Francois Boucher, the most successful painter in France at the time.
Born in Malaga, Spain, Picasso's many styles and prolific work rate have marked him out as one of the most recognised artists of the twentieth century. Not limited to one medium he created sculptures, etchings and prints. His artistic career only began to boom once he moved to Paris in the early 1900s. His Blue Period, reflecting the colour and his mood at the time was followed by his Rose Period, work inspired by primitive art and then Cubism, which shocked the critics, but ultimately made his name.
Born to a family of millers in Leiden, Rembrandt left university at 14 to pursue a career as an artist. The decision turned out to be a good one since after serving his apprenticeship in Amsterdam he was singled out by Constantijn Huygens, the most influential patron in Holland.