Ever wondered what the last artworks of some of history’s greatest artists looked like? Well if so then you’re in luck because we’ve collected thirty seven final masterpieces from some of the world’s most well-known artists. Here is a second third of this series, we will cover more artist in the upcoming posts!
Edgar Degas: Two Dancers Resting I
Edgar Degas was a French artist known for his paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints. He is often associated with the subject of dance, and more than half of his works depict dancers in some form or another. Two Dancers Resting I is thought to be his final pastel painting, which he created at a time when his eyesight had almost completely gone. His vision began to decline when he was 36, and he had lost his central vision by his forties due to a form of retinopathy. The artist died in 1917, aged 83.
Georges Seurat: The Circus (1891)
Georges-Pierre Seurat (1859-1891) was a French post-Impressionist painter. He is best known for devising the painting techniques known as chromoluminarism and pointillism. The Circus was his last painting. It’s an oil on canvas painted in a Neo-Impressionist style in 1890-91, and it remained unfinished at the time of his death. It can be found at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
Mark Rothko: Untitled (1970)
Mark Rothko was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. Although he refused to adhere to any art movement, Rothko is generally identified as an abstract expressionist. He painted a number of gloomy works in the period running up to his death, but his final piece was bright red. He painted it just before his suicide in 1970, when the artist was 66, and the bright red is often considered to be symbolic of the fact that Rothko was found in a pool of blood after cutting his wrists in his New York studio.
Andy Warhol: Last Supper (1986)
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was an American artist and leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His work explores the relationship between celebrity culture, artistic expression, and advertising. His final series of paintings, called “The Last Supper,” was made in late 1986 and can now be seen at the Guggenheim Museum SoHo. The series was a commission, and the idea was thought up by the late Paris dealer, Alexander Iolas, who arranged for the work to be paid for by the Milan bank Credito-Valtellinese. The pictures were hung in the bank’s new premises, just across the street from the Church of Santa Maria della Grazie, where Leonardo da Vinci’s noble, dilapidated original can be seen. Warhol, as he often did, used commercial reproductions as his source material.
Stanley Spencer: Christ Preaching At The Cookham Regatta, Unfinished (1959)
Sir Stanley Spencer (1891 – 1959) was an English painter. He became well known for his paintings depicting Biblical scenes as if taking place in Cookham, the small village beside the River Thames where he was born and spent much of his life. Spencer died of Cancer in 1959, and his last work, titled Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta, remains unfinished.
Titian: Pieta (1576)
Tiziano Vecelli, or Tiziano Vecellio, known in English as Titian, was an Italian painter born in 1490. He is thought to be one of the most versatile of Italian painters and was equally adept with landscapes, portraits, and mythological and relgious subjects. Titan died of a fever when the plague hit Venice in 1576. His last work was Pieta, a dramatic, nocturnal scene of suffering.
Jackson Pollock: Red Black And Silver By (1956)
Paul Jackson Pollock, otherwise known as Jackson Pollock, was an American painter and a major player in the abstract expressionist movement. He was best known for his unique style of drip painting. His final work was called Red Black and Silver and was painted just months before the artist died in a car accident in 1956. The painting was for his mistress, Ruth Kligman, but because Pollock’s wide, Lee Krasner (who naturally hated Kligman) ran the group that authenticated Pollock’s work, Red Black and Silver was never declared a true Pollock until CSI tests proved its authenticity in 2013.
Bartolome Esteban Murillo: The Mystic Marriage Of Saint Catherine (1682)
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was a Spanish Baroque painter. He was born in Seville, Spain, in 1617, and he died in April 1682. He is best known for his religious work but Murillo also produced many paintings of contemporary women and children. His last work is The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine (c. 1682), for the altar of the church of Santa Cataline in Cádiz. According to his biographers however, It wasn’t actually completed by his hand. The artist fell from scaffolding during the project and died several months later, presumably from his injuries, and so it was up to others to complete his final masterpiece.