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The Art Story Homepage Artists Robert De Niro, Sr. Art Works

Robert De Niro, Sr. Artworks

American Painter

Robert De Niro, Sr. Photo

Born: May 3, 1922 - Syracuse, New York

Died: May 3, 1993 - New York, New York, USA

Artworks by Robert De Niro, Sr.

The below artworks are the most important by Robert De Niro, Sr. - that both overview the major creative periods, and highlight the greatest achievements by the artist.

Portrait of Mrs. Z (1959)

De Niro's primary subjects were representational landscapes, still lifes and portraits, such as the seated woman in Portrait of Mrs. Z. He expanded on these traditional subjects with carefully chosen combinations of vivid colors bordered by distinctive outlines, reflecting an influence of artists such as C├ęzanne, who also painted expressionistic figurative works. Through these works, De Niro gained recognition for connecting French Fauvist painters' colors and representational themes with Abstract Expressionists' gestural paint application.

Pattern Still Life #1 (1960)

In Pattern Still Life #1 , one of De Niro's many still life paintings, he continued using representational subject matter as a forum for expressionistic experiments with color. Often drawn to interesting patterns and designs, he closely replicated the decorative patterns found around the room, but in many other still life works he deployed a more abstracted style. He also integrated his diverse, multicultural interests into his work, commingling exotic or antique sculpture amidst everyday flowers and fruit. By the time he created this painting, De Niro had solidified the painterly representational style in which he worked for the remainder of his career.

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Nude with Leg Up (1970)

Although De Niro was making work at the same time as the Abstract Expressionists, he drew less on the sharp angles of Cubism than did his contemporaries. Nude with Leg Up illustrates his propensity for rich, thickly applied colors, dynamic, spontaneous curves and wavy brushstrokes. Linearity played a particularly integral role within De Niro's work; many of his paintings' compositions relied on bold outlines to give structure to the abstracted sections of color.

Gray Barn in Blue Landscape (1976)

De Niro's landscapes, many of which he painted in the 1960s and 1970s, often featured a harmonious relationship between architecture and nature, with one blending into the other. In these paintings, De Niro merged deep abstraction with recognizable images of buildings, roads and plants. He also continued using the bright, Fauvist palette prevalent in his other works. Gray Barn in Blue Landscape also exemplifies the recurring overlapping of colors using thick, undulating brushstrokes.

A Fashionable Watering Place (1978)

In addition to painting, De Niro also wrote a great deal, particularly poetry, which he self-published in a 1976 book called A Fashionable Watering Place. This 10-part lithograph series of the same name combines his handwritten poetry and black and white illustrations. His expressionistic imagery brings to life the visual descriptions in his poems. The poem written on this page begins, "The rose behind your ear/ Close to your temple/ Is fading/ And you with it.

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Crucifixion with Two Figures (1982)

Crucifixion scenes were another frequent motif for De Niro, reflecting his personal background as a lapsed Catholic who retained his interest in the religion, particularly in the ritual, art and music. Despite the specific subject matter, these paintings were as expressionistic as his other works, and thus, they sidestepped extreme religious iconography. Yet, they still possess strong emotional undertones, reinforced by the dark lines and vibrant shapes De Niro created using a brush heavily loaded with rich paint.

Related Artists and Major Works

Joy of Life (Le Bonheur de Vivre) (1905-06)

Joy of Life (Le Bonheur de Vivre) (1905-06)

Artist: Henri Matisse (Read Full Artist Overview, Biography, and Artworks pages)

During his Fauve years Matisse often painted landscapes in the south of France during the summer and worked up ideas developed there into larger compositions upon his return to Paris. Joy of Live, the second of his important imaginary compositions, is typical of these. He used a landscape he had painted in Collioure to provide the setting for the idyll, but it is also influenced by ideas drawn from Watteau, Poussin, Japanese woodcuts, Persian miniatures, and 19th-century Orientalist images of harems. The scene is made up of independent motifs arranged to form a complete composition. The massive painting and its shocking colors received mixed reviews at the Salon des Indépendants. Critics noted its new style -- broad fields of color and linear figures, a clear rejection of Paul Signac's celebrated Pointillism.

The Conjurer (1959)

Artist: Hans Hofmann (Read Full Artist Overview, Biography, and Artworks pages)

Moving from geometric into fluid forms and a more intense color range, The Conjurer demonstrates the diversity of Hofmann's mature style. He uses density of color and constellations of shapes to evoke psychological and spatial relationships, rather than objective reality.

Pastry Cook with Red Handkerchief (1922-23)

Pastry Cook with Red Handkerchief (1922-23)

Artist: Chaim Soutine (Read Full Artist Overview, Biography, and Artworks pages)

Soutine was on occasion referred to as a "servant painter" due to his many portraits of cooks, maids, and other wait staff - even random people he encountered on the street. Pastry Cook with Red Handkerchief (aka The Little Pastry Cook) is perhaps the best known of Soutine's pastry cook paintings which caught the attention of Albert Barnes in 1923. Widely regarded as a masterpiece of color, the handkerchief is the focal point of the work. Despite being partially hidden in the young man's grasp, the splash of red in the handkerchief draws the viewer's eye throughout the composition. The angular, exaggerated features of the young man and his absent gaze echo those found in some of Soutine's self-portraits, suggesting that Soutine saw himself in this young man. The flatness of the representation and the thick impasto of the paint application would later reappear in works by the Art Brut painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet, further demonstrating Soutine's impact on modern art, despite his non-involvement in a specific avant-garde group.


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