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Modern Art - Russian Post-Impressionist Painter Igor Grabar

Igor Grabar (1871-1960) was a Russian post-impressionist painter, notable for a peculiar divisionist painting technique bordering on pointillism and his rendition of snow. He was also a historian of art, restorer and publisher. A descendant of a wealthy Rusyn family, Igor Grabar was born in Budapest and after his family moved to Russia, he was sent to a boarding school in Moscow. In 1889, he enrolled in the Law Department of the Saint Petersburg University, where, as a student, he made living by selling short stories to magazines, soon becoming the editor of "the weakest of humour magazines" Shut and later moving up to the respectable Niva magazine.

After graduating the Saint Petersburg University, Grabar was admitted in Ilya Repin's class at the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1894. His student fellows included, among others, Nicholas Roerich, amazing Philipp Malyavin, Konstantin Somov. Igor remained "a fervent admirer" of Repin for life. In 1896, he left for Munich, enrolled at a private school of painting of Anton Ažbe and soon became assistant to Ažbe. Two years later, Grabar was offered an opportunity to open his own school, but Ažbe made him his equal partner, not for long though, as Grabar accepted a lucrative offer from Prince Shcherbatov and left Munich.

Igor Grabar was known as an art critic - he wrote and published a series of books on contemporary and historic Russian painters. In 1910s, Grabar published his opus magnum, the History of Russian Art - he wrote the issues on architecture that set an unsurpassed standard of understanding and presenting the subject. In 1913, Igor Grabar was appointed executive director of the Tretyakov Gallery and became the first professor of Art restoration at the Moscow State University (now Grabar Institute).


Modern Art - Johannes Grenness (Norwegian, 1875-1963)

John Grenness was born in Drammen, Norway. In 1896-99 Grenness studied at P. S. Krøyer's painting school and had been called the "modest Krøyer". Wassily Kandinsky was his teacher in Munich in 1902-1903. Later in life he moved to Denmark, where he lived with his wife Musse, two sons and daughter Signi, who became a famous actress in Denmark.


Top 10 The Most Expensive Art and Other Things Sold At Auctions in 2010

1. Most expensive painting

Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, sold for $106.5 million at Christie's and set a world record for any work of art sold at auction breaking up a previous record - $104 million paid for Giacometti sculpture.

2. Most expensive book

Sold at Sotheby's London for $11,542,683, one of the most monumental printed books ever produced, John James Audubon's Birds of America, set a new world record for any printed book ever sold at auction. It is estimated there are only around 100 copies of this book which is more than three feet tall and contains 435 hand-colored prints. It was bought by London dealer Michael Tollemache for £7,321,250, making it the most expensive printed book in the world. In 2000, a different copy sold for $8.8 million.


Modern Artist Elin Danielson-Gambogi (Finnish, 1861-1919)

Elin Danielson-Gambogi was one of the first Finnish women artists who had received professional education in art. She studied at the Art School in Helsinki, later in France and Italy, where she settled permanently in. Danielson-Gambogi despised the conventional, petit-bourgeois lifestyle and can be considered the first Finnish female bohemian artist - she was a woman of a new age who wasn't satisfied with the narrow role traditionally reserved for women. She married much younger Raffaello Gambogi at the age of 36.
By the end of the century, Elin Danielson-Gambogi was regarded as a prominent artist, receiving praise in Finnish art circles.

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