oil on canvas 40" x 30"
oil on canvas 40" x 30"
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"The Greatest of All Time"
The Sistine Chapel Ceiling
The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. Central to the ceiling decoration are nine scenes from the Book of Genesis of which The Creation of Adam is the best known, having an iconic standing equaled only by Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the hands of God and Adam have been reproduced in countless imitations.
Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon, or Alexander the Great, (356 BC-323BC) was an ancient Macedonian ruler and one of history’s greatest military minds who, as King of Macedonia and Persia, established the largest empire the ancient world had ever seen. His influence on Greek and Asian culture was so profound it inspired a new historical epoch, the Hellenistic Period.
It helps the case of inclusion in the painting to be nicknamed “The Great One”, so we give you Wayne Douglas Gretzky (1961-). He is a Canadian ice hockey player and played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League for four teams from 1979 to 1999. He has been called "the greatest hockey player ever” by many sportswriters, players, and the league itself. Gretzky is the leading scorer in NHL history, with more goals and assists than any other player. He is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season, a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, Gretzky tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive. At the time of his retirement in 1999 and persisting through 2017, he held 61 NHL records: 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records.
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475-1564) was an Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, and architect who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Considered by some the greatest living artist during his lifetime, he has since been described as one of the greatest artists of all time. A number of his works in painting, sculpture, and architecture rank among the most famous in existence, including the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the statue of David.
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (1452-1519) was a painter, architect, inventor, and student of all things scientific. His natural genius crossed so many disciplines that he epitomized the term “Renaissance man.” Today he remains best known for his art, including two paintings that remain among the world’s most famous and admired, Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Art, da Vinci believed, was indisputably connected with science and nature, so he filled dozens of secret notebooks with inventions, observations and theories about pursuits from aeronautics to anatomy. He was lauded in his time as a great artist, but his contemporaries often did not fully appreciate his genius. His combination of intellect and imagination allowed him to create, at least on paper, such inventions as the bicycle, the helicopter and an airplane based on the physiology and flying capability of a bat.
George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. (1895 –1948) is regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture and is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time. Nicknamed "The Bambino" and "The Sultan of Swat", he began his MLB career as a stellar left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but achieved his greatest fame as a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees. Ruth established many MLB batting (and some pitching) records, including career home runs (714), runs batted in (RBIs) (2,213), bases on balls (2,062), slugging percentage (.690), and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (1.164); the latter two still stand as of 2018.
Colosseum, also called Flavian Amphitheatre is a massive stone amphitheater that was commissioned around A.D. 70-72 by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty as a gift to the Roman people. In A.D. 80, Vespasian’s son Titus opened the Colosseum with 100 days of games, including gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights. After four centuries of active use, the arena fell into neglect, and up until the 18th century it was used as a source of building materials. Though two-thirds of the original Colosseum has been destroyed over time, it is still the iconic symbol of Rome and its long, tumultuous history.
John Robert Wooden (1910 –2010) is the greatest basketball coach of all time. Nicknamed the "Wizard of Westwood," he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12 year period as head coach at UCLA, including a record seven in a row. No other team has won more than four in a row in Division 1 college men's basketball. His teams won an NCAA men's basketball record 88 consecutive games. Wooden won the prestigious Henry Iba Award as national coach of the year a record seven times and won the AP award five times. Wooden, who was beloved by his former players, was renowned for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players, including his "Pyramid of Success." These often were directed at how to be a success in life as well as in basketball. Wooden's “Pyramid of Success” has created a legacy that transcends sports, and is used in business, personal success, organizational leadership, and education.
Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853 to 1890) is arguably considered the greatest Dutch painter. He was a post-impressionist painter whose work, notable for its beauty, emotion and color, highly influenced 20th-century art. Some of van Gogh's most famous works include "Starry Night," "Irises," and "Sunflowers." He struggled with mental illness,and in a moment of instability, cut off his ear and offered it to a prostitute. He remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life, and died in France at age 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ ( c. 4 BC – c. AD 30 / 33), was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah ( Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament. Jesus was a Galilean Jew who began his own ministry preaching his message orally, often being referred to as " rabbi". Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in parables and gathered followers. He was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, turned over to the Roman government, and was subsequently crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect. After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, and the community they formed eventually became the early Church .
Albert Einstein 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect, a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory. Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers and more than 150 non-scientific works. His intellectual achievements and originality have made the word "Einstein" synonymous with "genius".
Mother Teresa, (born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu)(1910 –1997), was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. She was born in Skopje (now the capital of Macedonia), then part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. After living in Macedonia for eighteen years she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life. Mother Teresa was the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic congregation of women dedicated to helping the poor. Considered one of the 20th Century's greatest humanitarians, she was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 2016.
Thomas Alva Edison (1847 –1931) was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He is credited with developing many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He is often credited with establishing the first industrial research laboratory. He was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name , as well as patents in other countries.
Mary, is commonly referred to as the Virgin Mary, in accordance with the belief that she conceived Jesus miraculously through the Holy Spirit without her husband's involvement. She was a 1st century BC Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth. The gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament and the Quran describe Mary as a virgin, who according to Christian teaching conceived Jesus while a virgin through the Holy Spirit. The miraculous conception took place when she was already betrothed to Joseph. Mary accompanied Joseph to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born in a manger. Mary has been venerated since early Christianity, and is considered by millions to be the most meritorious saint of the religion.
Secretariat (1970–1989), An American Thoroughbred racehorse, nicknamed Big Red, became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years when he swept the 1973 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, winning each race in record time. His win by 31 lengths at the Belmont Stakes is widely regarded as one of the greatest races of all time. The son of Bold Ruler became an American icon and carved out an enduring legacy as one of the greatest racehorses in history. During his racing career, he won five Eclipse Awards, including Horse of the Year honors at ages two and three and was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1974.
John The Baptist
John the Baptist (Late 1st century BC – 28–36 AD) was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early first century AD. John is revered as a major religious figure in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá'í Faith, and Mandaeism. He is called a prophet by all of these traditions and is honored as a saint in many Christian traditions. According to the New Testament, John anticipated a messianic figure greater than himself. Christians commonly refer to John as forerunner of Jesus, since John announces Jesus' coming and baptizes Jesus. John is also identified as the spiritual successor of the prophet Elijah. John was sentenced to death and subsequently beheaded by Herod Antipas sometime between 28 and 36 AD after John rebuked him for divorcing his wife and unlawfully taking the wife of his brother Herod Philip I.
William Shakespeare (1564 to 1616) was an English playwright, actor and poet also known as the “Bard of Avon” and often called England’s national poet. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, he was an important member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men company of theatrical players from roughly 1594 onward. Known throughout the world, his works have been performed in countless hamlets, villages, cities and metropolises for more than 400 years. His works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. His plays include Hamlet , Othello , King Lear, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, and are all considered to be among the finest works in the English language.
St. Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis of Assisi, born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named as Francesco (1182 – 1226), was an Italian Catholic friar, deacon and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, otherwise known as the Franciscan Order, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Pope Innocent III decided to endorse Francis' Order on April 16, 1210, and constituted the official founding of the Franciscan Order.
Abraham Lincoln (1809 –1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through the American Civil War—its bloodiest war and perhaps its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. In doing so, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy. On April 14, 1865, five days after the surrender of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, Lincoln was shot by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth and died the next day. Lincoln has been consistently ranked both by scholars and the public as the greatest U.S. president.
Self proclaiming yourself as “I am the greatest” and then going out and proving it certainly constitutes a reason for putting this boxer in the painting. Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.) (1942–2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. He is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century. From early in his career, Ali was known as an inspiring, controversial, and polarizing figure both inside and outside of the ring. Ali was one of the leading heavyweight boxers of the 20th century and was involved in some of the most historic boxing matches, including the Liston fights, the " Fight of the Century", " Super Fight II" and the " Thrilla in Manila" against his rival Joe Frazier, and The Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman. Ali was also known for being a humanitarian and philanthropist and became one of the most iconic and recognizable human beings on the planet, all the while fighting Parkinson's syndrome which he was diagnosed with in 1984. As his condition worsened, Ali made limited public appearances, and was cared for by his family until his death on June 3, 2016.
Barbara Joan Streisand (1942-), known professionally as Barbra Streisand, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and filmmaker. In a career spanning six decades, she has achieved success in multiple fields of entertainment and has been recognized with two Academy Awards, ten Grammy Awards, five Emmy Awards, a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award, a Kennedy Center Honors prize, four Peabody Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and nine Golden Globes. Streisand is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, with more than 68.5 million albums in the U.S. and a total of 150 million albums and singles sold worldwide, making her the best-selling female artist of all time. She starred in many movies including Funny Girl, The Owl and the Pussycat, The Way We Were, and A Star Is Born, With the release of Yentl in 1983, Streisand became the first woman to write, produce, direct, and star in a major studio film. The film won an Oscar for Best Score and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Musical; Streisand received the Golden Globe Award for Best Director
He wasn’t called “The Greatest”, but “The King” is close enough to warrant inclusion in the painting. Elvis Aaron Presley (1935 –1977) was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply the "King". Presley is one of the most celebrated and influential musicians of the 20th century. Commercially successful in many genres, including pop, country, blues, and gospel, he is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music. He won three competitive Grammys, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36, and has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame. Since his death, Presley has remained one of the world's most popular music icons.
The Godfather/Marlon Brando
The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy, based on Mario Puzo's best-selling novel of the same name. It stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of a fictional New York crime family. The story, spanning 1945 to 1955, chronicles the family under the patriarch Vito Corleone (Brando), focusing on the transformation of Michael Corleone (Pacino) from reluctant family outsider to ruthless mafia boss. The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in world cinema and one of the most influential, especially in the gangster genre. It was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1990, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and is ranked the second-greatest film in American cinema (behind Citizen Kane) by the American Film Institute . The Godfather was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, winning three for Best Actor (Marlon Brando), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture.
The Eifel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, it has become a global cultural icon of France and is considered an architectural wonder that attracts more visitors than any other paid tourist attraction in the world.
The Beatles/ Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. They became widely regarded as the foremost and most influential music band in history. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented with several musical styles from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock, often incorporating classical elements and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways. In 1963, their enormous popularity first emerged as " Beatlemania"; as the group's music grew in sophistication, led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, the band were integral to pop music's evolution into an art form and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. The Beatles are the best-selling band in history, with estimated sales of over 800 million physical and digital albums worldwide. They have had more number-one albums on the British charts and sold more singles in the UK than any other act. They are also the best-selling music artists in the United States, with 178 million certified units. In 2008, the group topped Billboard magazine's list of the all-time most successful artists; as of 2017, they hold the record for most number-one hits on the Hot 100 chart with twenty. They have received seven Grammy Awards, an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and all four main members were inducted individually from 1994 to 2015. They were also collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of the twentieth century's 100 most influential people
This commissioned original oil painting depicts the client's list of the 25 "greatest" of all time, spanning subjects that range from religion, to the arts, to sports, architecture and more. While the list was the client's, it spurred many fascinating and even heated debates between my friends and colleagues. The painting also created a unique technical challenge and provided a fantastic creative opportunity. I was really able to dig in and explore different painting techniques, from my own style of realism to the textured flow of Van Gogh's brush strokes. Take some time and enjoy what I consider to be one of my "greatest" creations.