Tag Archives: Did you know

Remarkable artists: Bas Jan Ader

Bas Jan Ader was a Dutch conceptual and performance artist who disappeared in a mysterious way.

i'm too sad to tell you

Bas Jan Ader – i’m too sad to tell you

Did you know…

  • Bas Jan Ader disappeared during one of his performances:
    • His performance was titled In Search Of The Miraculous
    • in search of the miraculous

      in search of the miraculous

    • For this performance he wanted to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo
    • In 1975 he left Cape Cod in a small sailboat
    • 6 months later his boat was found in Ireland. Bas Jan Ader was vanished. No-one has heard of him since then.
    • Some people believe his disappearance is part of a performance
    • His mother had a premonition of his dead and wrote a poem about it: From the deep waters of sleep
    • In Search Of The Miraculous is a tryptich:
      1. in part one he walked to the coast of L.A.; his wife took pictures of this performance
      2. in part two he wanted to cross the Ocean from Cape Cod to Amsterdam
      3. in part three, he wanted to wander through the streets of Amsterdam
  • In the Seventies, Ader already performed Jackass stunts: in his performances he filmed himself falling from a roof or riding with his bike into a canal
  • Today, the work of Ader is recognized in the contemporary art world

What is a masterpiece?

Did you know that a masterpiece was literally a master piece: a piece of work that had to proof the creator of the masterpiece had the right skills?

Salvador Dali  - The Persistence of Time

A Dali masterpiece

In mediaval Europe guilds were formed to group craftsmen and merchants with the aim to protect their respective professions and to control the quality of the craft.
In the guilds, knowledge and experience were exchanged. New members were trained in the craft. After a thorough training, a pupil could be recognized as a craftsman with the title of “journeyman”. Everyone who wanted to settle as an independent craftsman had to proof his skill with a master piece: a sort of practical exam that showed the technical skills of the candidate master.
In the Painter’s guilds for instance, the candidate master had to create an original painting according to the guidelines of the guilds.
This painting was his masterpiece.

Gustav Klimt - The Kiss

A Klimt masterpiece

Pablo Picasso- Guernica

A Picasso masterpiece

Edward Munch - The Scream

A Munch Masterpiece

Remarkable artists – Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous painters in history, but did you know…

Vincent Van Gogh - self portrait

Vincent Van Gogh – self portrait

The Red Vineyard - Vincent Van Gogh

The Red Vineyard – Vincent Van Gogh

Portrait of Dr. Gachet

Portrait of Dr. Gachet

Van Gogh - Bedroom in Arles

Van Gogh – Bedroom in Arles

Vincent Van Gogh - The Night Cafe

The Night Cafe

Vincent Van Gogh - Starry Night

Starry Night

Vincent Van Gogh - Irises


  • Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime: The Red Vineyard. The buyer was Anna Boch, a Belgian Painter.
  • When Van Gogh’s paintings are sold today, they are among  the most expensive painitngs ever
  • At the age of 32 he went to the art academy, but was sent away after 3 months
  • He only painted 10 years, but produced 2100 art works in this period
  • His brother Theo sent him money to survive.
  • He worked as a missionary in the Borinage, a Belgian coal mining region
  • He suffered from tinnitus. As a result he heared non-existing sounds.
  • About his cut off ear:
    • Some say tinnitus was the reason why he cut of his ear: to stop the sounds in his head
    • Other sources say that he cut of his ear accidentally in a fight with Paul Gauguin, using a razor blade.
    • And yet another story tells Paul Gauguin cut of Van Gogh’s ear with a sword in a fight for a local girl
    • It is said he cut of his ear and brought it to a prostitute
  • He had periods he was very depressive and in which he had hallucinations
  • He stayed in mental institutions for this.
  • Dr Gachet treated him. A portrait from Van Gogh of dr Gachet was sold in 1990 for US$ 82.5 million
  • Officialy, he commited suicide with a revolver (but the gun was never found)