Monet’s Magical Garden: Stories Behind The Source of His Inspiration

September 12th, 2018 Posted by Behind the Scenes, For Art Lovers 0 comments on “Monet’s Magical Garden: Stories Behind The Source of His Inspiration”

Any art lover can recognize and be inspired by a painting from one of history’s most famous art masters, Claude Monet. His paintings depict a variety of landscapes and architecture, including his pieces entitled “A Stormy Sea” and “Jean-Pierre Hoschedé and Michel Monet on the Banks of the Epte”. Some of his most loved paintings were created following his move to Giverny, France, where he painted his tranquil gardens.

Monet was known to say that his “greatest creation” wasn’t his art, but his garden in Giverny. His garden was filled with water lilies, tulips, dahlias and more. Also in the garden, a small, soon-to-be-iconic, Japanese-styled bridge arches over his pond, as seen in his 1889 painting, “Bridge Over A Pond of Water Lilies.”

It is said that to truly know and understand Monet, one must see his garden at Giverny. And so, we bring you 7 interesting facts about Monet’s garden and its influence on his impressionist style.

1. Monet's arrival in Giverny can be seen as a fresh start at life

In the earlier part of his life, Monet experienced a considerable amount of negativity and hardship. There was a constant struggle against his unsympathetic parents, harsh critics, and a lack of buyers which resulted in financial difficulty. With parents who disowned him, Monet’s debt increased to high levels and eventually his creditors began to take his canvases away in retaliation.

Then in 1883 after arriving in Giverny, Monet's career took a turn for the better; the public began to take interest in his paintings and he began to draw in some income. As he became more financially stable, Monet was able to purchase more plants, space, and gardeners to help build the amazing garden we can still see today.

The Artist's Garden at Giverny, 1900, Claude Monet (Photo Source: claude-monet)
The Artist's Garden at Giverny, 1900, Claude Monet (Photo Source: claude-monet)

2. It was by luck that Monet discovered his garden at Giverny

Through a train window, Monet spotted the quaint village of Giverny. This charming village lead Monet to get off the train and walk into the first pub and take a seat. Once grabbing a big jug of cider and talking to the local villagers, Monet learned that a local carpenter had a farm that he did not need. From this, the famous painter began to rent the property in 1883 and his journey of painting the flowers at Giverny began.

3. For the first time, Monet created the subjects of his paintings

Before discovering the garden at Giverny, Monet had painted what others had created. Locations such as the haystacks, steam locomotives, and the bank of River Epte provided great inspiration for the artist. But to Monet, his garden at Giverny was the first time he could create what he wanted to paint. Monet built a huge pond from a small stream and filled it with dozens of water lilies. His gardens were messy yet balanced with willows and shrubbery. His family members helped to preserve and expand his garden before Monet could afford gardening staff. Together, they created the garden that today brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors to Giverny each year.

Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies, 1899, Claude Monet (Credit: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929)
Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies, 1899, Claude Monet (Credit: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929)

4. There would be no water lily paintings if the council bureaucrats had gotten their way

During the last 30 years of his life, Monet had created over 250 water lily paintings. At the beginning of his time in Giverny when Monet purchased more property and attained a riverbed, he envisioned adding a pond to his property. This water garden required the import of water lilies from Egypt and South Africa. However, his neighbours and local council members objected to this, thinking that these unknown flowers would poison their waters. Luckily, Monet ignored their request and proceeded anyway. Had he not, his iconic water lily series would not exist!

5. Monet made his garden his studio

With hundreds of different species of plants, precious waterlilies, and a Japanese bridge stretching across the pond, Monet’s inspiration was his garden. He spent countless hours paintings outdoors – something unprecedented prior to Monet.

Giverny drew in a colony of foreign artists because of the village's light, air, and colour. Each equally inspired to paint greatness, the village began to be crowded with artists. Considering them a nuisance, Monet remained out of contact with these artists through the sanctuary of his garden. From here he painted the water lilies series – the first series to ever be completed by the artist.

6. Monet's gardeners didn't just plant and water his flowers, but also cleaned them daily

As Monet began to sell more paintings and his wealth grew, he hired a team of gardeners to continue planting and taking care of his garden. Eventually, one gardener’s role was to dust off the waterlilies each morning so that he could paint them perfectly!

7. Monet refused to leave his garden during the First World War

When World War I broke out in France, Monet’s family members went off to war and those who could flee the country did. However, to Monet, his paintings and garden were everything; they were his patriotic gift to France. When painting in Giverny, the artist was aware of the devastation surrounding him. From his property gunshots would go off, explosives could be heard, and thousands of French soldiers were dying around him. “…if those savages must kill me, it will be in the middle of my canvases, in front of all my life’s work.”

During this period, Monet painted far more than any other painter.  A select number of his paintings were offered as patriotic gifts to the French State following the war. The day after the ware officially ended, Monet vowed to create a ‘monument to peace’. As such, his grandest and largest paintings, which are now on display at The Musee de L’Orangerie, were dedicated to the French nation.

Claude Monet in front of his House at Giverny, 1921 (collection: Musée d’Orsay, Paris)
Claude Monet in front of his House at Giverny, 1921 (collection: Musée d’Orsay, Paris)

While it’s not hard to appreciate Monet’s paintings and level of skill the artist possessed, often the source of one’s inspiration is given lesser attention. We hope that these interesting facts about Monet’s gardens help you learn more about the artists and the importance of Giverny to him.

Monet once said, “I perhaps owe it to flowers that I became a painter.”

Top 5 Most Expensive Paintings by Claude Monet

May 11th, 2018 Posted by Art News, For Art Lovers 0 comments on “Top 5 Most Expensive Paintings by Claude Monet”

As both a pioneer and leader in impressionist painting, Claude Monet challenged tradition in the art world. His inspiring and jaw-dropping paintings have led his work to be considered as priceless to many.

This past week, a single Christie's auction for part of the Rockefeller collection reached a record of $646 Million in sales. Here, many of Monet’s paintings reaching bids much (much) higher than their appraised value!

The auction has inspired us to review the most expensive Monet paintings sold throughout history; well at least so far!

(Feature Photo Credit: Sam Giorgio Maggiore by Twilight, 1908. Held at the National Museum Wales)

5. Nymphéas (Water Lilies), 1905

$43.8 million, sold via Christie's New York in November 2012

Photo Source: Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Photo Source: Museum of Fine Arts Boston

The water lilies collection has been compared to the last quartets of Beethoven and Michelangelo’s Sistine chapel. Surprisingly, Monet had no intention of showcasing this collection. However, museums all over the world now hold most of his pieces and draw in crowds of visitors year after year!

This water lilies artwork from 1905 has a dark tone associated with it. The sky does not shine through and no light is reflected onto the water. Many studies have been conducted about how light and atmosphere change the look and feel of the same subject matter. This is a true Monet characteristic!

4. Nymphéas (Water Lilies), 1906

$54 million, sold via Sotheby's London in June, 2014

“One instant, one aspect of nature contains it all,” said Claude Monet referring to his collection of water lilies. This Nymphéas stands out from other artworks in his collection because of the exceptional attention of detail, shimmering light, and shadows. This was one of Monet’s first paintings to capture the delicate flowers at different times of the day. Monet‘s water lilies became his most celebrated inspiration and arguably the reason for his success.

3. Le Bassin aux Nymphéas (Water Lily Pond), 1919

$80.5 million, sold via Christie's London in June, 2008

Photo Source: Christie's
Photo Source: Christie's

Going to auction for the first time in 2008, this piece was the most expensive artwork sold in Europe by auction at the time. The striking artwork nearly doubled the previous record price of his piece called Le Pont du Chemin de Fer a Argenteuil. Consequently, Le Bassin aux Nymphéas has been described as the greatest water lily painting to be offered at auction and measures an impressive 39” x 120”.

2. Meule (Grainstack), 1890-1891

$81.4 million, sold via Christie’s New York in November 2016

Meule, one of the last pieces in the Grainstack series, is considered the most adventurous of all, leading to record auction prices. The series captures the atmosphere surrounding the haystack, rather than the haystack itself. This one of a kind piece not only intrigues the audience but also makes it seem as if you are experiencing this scene alongside Monet.

1. Nymphéas en fleur (Water Lilies in Bloom), 1914-1917

$84.6 million, sold via Christie's New York on May 8th, 2018

Photo Source: Christie's
Photo Source: Christie's

Nymphéas en fleur, translated to “water lilies in bloom” is one of many pieces in this series by Monet. He created bigger and bolder pieces, which is reflective of the avant-garde style often used during and after the First World War. The breathtaking and powerful painting is one of nearly sixty canvases that Monet has painted between 1914 and 1917.

The water lilies in his pond were almost exclusively the center of his inspiration during this period. Techniques used in the Nymphéas en fleur were used to test ideas and visual effects for his last, and most ground-breaking piece, Grandes décorations. The 22 mural-sized canvas was donated to the French state and can be seen in l’Orangerie Museum, Paris.

Your Very Own Monet Masterpiece

With three of Claude Monet’s masterpieces being sold at the Christie’s Rockefeller Auction this past week, who knows when the next Monet will be put up for auction!

Now you have the opportunity to own a Monet for your personal collection! Verus Art has leveraged innovative technologies that have resulted in the most accurate and authentic 3D re-creations! Through our work with the National Gallery of Canada, Monet’s brushwork has been captured, resulting in flawless details in the Stormy Sea and Jean-Pierre Hoschedé and Michel Monet on the Bank of the Epte paintings.

Monet Paintings vs. Real Life Comparisons: Plan your Monet Inspired European Adventure

February 16th, 2018 Posted by For Art Lovers, Travelling 0 comments on “Monet Paintings vs. Real Life Comparisons: Plan your Monet Inspired European Adventure”

From Van Gogh’s Sunflower to Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, Impressionist artists always found inspiration in nature and their surroundings.

To bring you Monet  wanderlust, we have researched 8 destinations in Europe where Monet found his inspiration, and have compared them to his paintings. These places are not as well-known as Monet’s gardens in Giverny, so get ready to be surprised by some hidden gems!

Monet Paintings and Real Life Locations

1. Bordighera, Italy

Bordighera, Italy
Bordighera, by Claude Monet (1884)
Bordighera, by Claude Monet (1884)

How could we not love the turquoise shades of the sea and beautiful beaches? In his letters to Alice Hoschedé, Monet has expressed his passion for the scenery at Bordighera, a beautiful, small town on the Mediterranean coast of Italy.. Monet traveled to Bordighera in 1883 with Renoir for about 10 weeks and painted more than 30 artworks. Just next to the French border, if you’re visiting Nice or Cannes perhaps it’s worth making a quick trip across the border to experience the inspiration Monet once felt over a hundred years ago!

2. Pourville-sur-Mer, near Dieppe in northern France 

Pourville-sur-Mer, near Dieppe in northern France
The Cliff Walk at Pourville, by Claude Monet (1882)
The Cliff Walk at Pourville, by Claude Monet (1882)

Monet painted the Cliff Walk at Pourville in the small seaside resort of Pourville-sur-Mer near Dieppe in northern France. Dieppe was the first town in the area to be established as a resort, attracting lot of famous artists and writers to visit here, such as John Turner, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Oscar Wilde, and Virginia Woolf. Following the steps of famous masters, Dieppe definitely should be on your travel list!  

3. Étretat, France 

Étretat, France
Étretat, gate of Aval: Fishing boats leaving the harbor, by Claude Monet (1885)
Étretat, gate of Aval: Fishing boats leaving the harbor, by Claude Monet (1885)

Étretat is a bustling tourism and farming town, situated north-east of Le Havre, France. Monet loved this town so much that lived here in 1868 with his first wife and their son. Even until today, Étretat remains to be a popular tourist destination in France.

Étretat, France Sunset
Étretat, France Monet

Especially during sunset, you will be dazzled and amazed by the spectacular views over the bay and rock archways. 

4. Le Havre, France 

Le Havre, France
Impression, Sunset by Claude Monet (1872)
Impression, Sunset by Claude Monet (1872)

La Havre is a major port city of France, in the Normandy where Monet grew up. Monet’s father thrived as a ship chandler, which may have influenced Monet’s childhood – gaining intimate knowledge of the sea and spending a lot of time near the beaches. The sea scenery therefore has become the most prominent background of Monet’s childhood. If you are interested in learning more about Monet’s upbringing, La Havre is a must-visit place!  

5. Rouen, France 

Rouen, France
The Cathedral of Rouen, the Portal, Morning Sun by Claude Monet (1893)
The Cathedral of Rouen, the Portal, Morning Sun by Claude Monet (1893)

Rouen is located along the Seine River, which is known as France’s longest river and also runs through Paris. The most famous tourist attraction in the city is the Rouen Cathedral. The cathedral was the subject of a number of paintings by Monet. He painted there in the late winter of both 1892 and 1893, working in a studio in a dressmaker’s shop across from the Rouen Cathedral. Many of these paintings are exhibited in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, which is a bucket-list destination for any art lover!

6. Sainte-Adresse, France 

Sainte-Adresse, France
Terrace at Sainte-Adresse (1867)
Terrace at Sainte-Adresse (1867)

Sainte-Adresse, a small town located in the Normandy region in northern France, was a popular vacation town during the 1800s. Monet’s aunt, Marie-Jeanne Lecadre bought a summer vacation house in this town and Monet often painted the beach view from her house during his early career. During this period, Monet was only 26 years old and he was still trying to discover new ways to experience and illustrate modern life. In this painting, you can see steam ships delivering goods to small towns as well as rich merchants enjoying their vacations. Monet is not only depicting modern commerce, he is also painting the joyfulness of middle and upper-class life.

7. Trouville-sur-Mer, France 

Trouville-sur-Mer, France
Trouville-sur-Mer, France
Hôtel des Roches Noires Trouville (1870)
Hôtel des Roches Noires Trouville (1870)

Trouville was one of the first-ever coastal resorts developed in France! Monet and his master, Boudin, have always enjoyed traveling and painting here. The hotels have been transformed into luxury apartments, amazingly depicted by Monet in his painting above. Trouville is also famous for its casino and lively fishing port, making for a popular fish market and world-class restaurants. You will be sure to encounter fresh and amazing seafood such as scallops, sole, prawns, and mackerel here!

8. Venice, Italy  

Venice, Italy
The Gran Canal, Venice (1908)
The Gran Canal, Venice (1908)

“One cannot come to Venice, without wanting to return” said Claude Monet. In the Autumn of 1908, Monet traveled to Venice, Italy with his second wife Alice. During his visit, he completed 36 paintings of Venice’s most famous canals, palaces, and piazzas. Monet painted almost every day from very early in the morning until sunset. In the above painting of Grand Canal, Monet explored colored reflections on water. The architecture and buildings fade into Venice’s magical and astonishing atmosphere.  

artistic brushes on wooden background

Art Quotes of the Month: Inspiration and Motivation for the New Year

January 23rd, 2018 Posted by Art Education, Book Lovers 0 comments on “Art Quotes of the Month: Inspiration and Motivation for the New Year”

With January in full swing, we are looking forward to the year ahead of us. Many resolutions made, goals set, and bucket list items to check off. Maybe yours is to visit a talked about exhibit (such as Infinity Mirrors), or maybe it’s to finish decorating your new apartment. Whatever the task – it is always helpful to get some motivation and inspiration. So, we have put together a list of our favorite and most inspirational artists quotes to get us through the year ahead of us. If you’re an art lover in need of some encouraging and inspiring words – then this is the place to be!

“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh struggled with depression and suffered from delusions, which eventually led him to an asylum in Saint-Remy, France. And although he was never a famous artist during his lifetime, Van Gogh never stopped working on his art. He is now known as one of the most influential artists in the history of Western art.

Own your own recreation of Iris by Van Gogh!

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was the most highly paid commercial illustrator in New York, and this was before he made art that was fit for galleries. His screen-printed images became the definition of Pop Art. He worked his way up from poverty to the High Society of New York City.

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing.  Making your unknown known is the important thing.” – Georgia O’Keefe

Georgia O’Keefe was best known for her paintings of large, zoomed in flowers. She created many different types of abstract art, but was admired especially as an independent female role model. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum opened in Santa Fe following her death.

Verus Art recreation of a Cezanne

"If I were called upon to define briefly the word ‘Art’, I should call it the reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature, seen through the veil of the soul." – Paul Cézanne

Cézanne is an artist who paid extremely close attention to detail. Cézanne adopted an analytical approach to what he put on canvas. His works feature structural integrity and methodical brushstrokes. This detailed oriented approach is does not go unnoticed in his works – making his efforts worth it. He is seen today as connecting Impressionism with art movements such as Expressionism.

“I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life.” – Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat is an artist who participated in the street art movement. His art spoke as social commentaries to different issues and dichotomies. One of Basquiat’s pieces was sold in 2017 for $110.5 million; the third most expensive painting sold that year. An amazing achievement for such a young artist. If you want to see the other most expensive paintings, check out our previous blog post here.

Photo Source: Yusaku Maezawa’s Twitter

“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso

With our goals set this year, towards many different achievements, this quote really spoke to us. We need to take actionable steps towards our goal, instead of just dreaming of them. Picasso is a famous painter, sculptor, printmaker, stage designer, poet and playwright. He did not complete all these amazing things without taking action.


We hope you enjoyed these inspiring quotes. We hope they help motivate you to do great things with the year ahead of you. For more artist quotes check out our previous blog post in this series: here.

5 New Year Resolutions for Art Lovers

December 22nd, 2017 Posted by Art Decor, For Art Lovers 0 comments on “5 New Year Resolutions for Art Lovers”

2018 is almost here! It is the perfect time to pat yourself on the back for being such a dedicated art lover, and make new goals for the New Year!

As an art lover, you may have a different list of resolutions than the average individual. If you love art and are motivated to create more artworks in the New Year, here are some artistic New Year’s resolutions that you can use to get more inspiration! Are you ready to accept the new challenges and opportunities for 2018?

1. Visit Art Museums!


For all art lovers, walking around art museums and galleries is perhaps one of the most ideal ways to learn more about art history and current art trends. In 2018, why not make one of your main goals to experience fine art at one of the Top 10 Museums and Galleries in the world?

Or, if you are tight on budget during New Year, maybe you could visit one of the Top Free Museums Around the World, which include famous attractions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York and both Tate Modern and Tate Britain, in the UK.

2. Subscribe to Art Websites!


Other than art museums and galleries, there are tons of resources online where you can stay updated about the current art market and interesting art news!

For example, ARTnews is the oldest art magazine in the world and serves as a trusted source of art criticism and news in the digital age. Plus, these Top 10 art websites are ranked by TimeOut on the latest trends in contemporary art. Start subscribing to these websites today to stay on the pulse with your favourite trends and artists in 2018!

3. Attend Art Festivals and Events!


Art Festivals are where the most amazing and talented artists around the world gather and share their artworks. Although the Internet has allowed art lovers to enjoy artworks around the world without traveling, nothing will ever beat a real-life experience. Listening to the artists explain their motivations and stories behind the painting will inspire the artist in you! Take a look at the 10 Must-Visit Art Festivals Around the World to add to your checklist for 2018!

4. Start a New Art Collection!


For the New Year, one of your resolutions could be to start your first, or another, art collection! Don’t worry if you have a small budget, there will always be suitable art options for you! Read the Beginner’s Guide to Starting an Art Collection, by Business Insider, to get some tips and inspiration.

Art fairs are also the perfect place to find a new favourite art piece. You will see amazing works from various galleries all at once, and the dealers are eager to make sales. Check out the Top International Art Fairs around the world for high-end art fairs. Or, if you are looking for affordable artworks, you can browse through this list of Affordable Art Fairs.

5. Embrace New Techniques/Mediums!


If you like being hands-on with art, 2018 maybe a good year to explore a new art technique or medium you’ve never tried before! Learn about Works of Art Made Using Unusually Awesome Mediums such as trash, spilled coffee, cassette tapes, jell-o and even more!  Learning a new medium may even help you to overcome creative blocks. Art should be fun, and everything can be art, so for this new year, try out a new art medium, or even create one yourself!


Artworks made of cassette tapes (above) and jell-o (below)!


2018 can be your year to be an artist and a more dedicated art lover! Start by visiting an art museum you’ve never been to, attend art festivals, and start your own collection!

Verus Art wishes you a Happy New Year, full of creativity and inspiration!


Feature Image Credit:

10 Most Expensive Paintings Sold in 2017

December 12th, 2017 Posted by Art News, For Art Lovers 1 comment on “10 Most Expensive Paintings Sold in 2017”

A record breaking year for art sales in 2017! This year all high expectations were more than achieved with the paintings sold. If you haven't already heard (which would surprise us) the most expensive painting ever sold in history occurred this November at Christie's art auction; a smashing $450 million for a da Vinci!

Blowing all other sales out of the park, this sale makes others look small in comparison. However, 2017 was a year of incredible sales on top of the da Vinci.

As the year comes to an end, we thought it would be fun to recap on 2017 with the Top 10 most expensive paintings sold, much like we did last year!

(Feature Photo Credit: CBS)

10. Femme accroupie (Jacqueline), Pablo Picasso (1954)

$36.9 million, sold via Christie’s New York on November 13th, 2017

Painted in 1954, the portrait of Jacqueline, Picassos’ lover, was hung for many years in his private collection; rarely being seen to the public eye.  Jacqueline was married to Picasso from 1961, until his death in 1973. She appeared in more of his works than any other woman before her, and this painting was regarded by Picasso as one of his greatest masterpieces. He completed a total of 3 portraits of Jacqueline the day he created this piece, a very productive day! This piece was sold to an unknown buyer, and had previously never been sold at auction before.

9. Untitled, Cy Twombly (2005)

$46.5 million, sold via Christie’s New York on November 15th, 2017

Photo source: Christie's

Christie’s was marketing it as “the largest work in Cy Twomby’s legendary Bacchus series;” Cy Twomby’s “Untitled” is one of 20 in the series that was painted in the second set in 2005. The piece is 10 feet high and 16 feet wide, and was executed using a pole with a brush attached to it. Bacchus was the Roman god of agriculture, wine and fertility – and came up several times in Twombly’s work over the years. The imagery used in the painting is said to represent dropping wine or blood. This painting was sold to an anonymous telephone bidder, the estimated price was $40 million.

8. Three Studies of a Portrait of George Dyer, Francis Bacon (1963)

$51.8 million, sold via Christie’s New York on May 17th, 2017

Photo source: Christie's

Three Studies of a Portrait of George Dyer is a rare triptych, and was expecting to go for $35-45 million. George Dyer was a significant person in Bacon’s career. Appearing in over 40 paintings, many of the works including the subject, radiate passion, energy, and an impressive presence – Three Studies of a Portrait of George Dyer is no exception. Dyer impacted Bacon’s work in many ways, even after his death. Their meeting was a popular story – with Dyer breaking into Bacon’s studio, attempting to steal his works. From this moment on, their relationship consisted of infatuation and love. They both played a big role in each other’s life until Dyer died from an overdose in 1971. Francis Bacon’s paintings that include Dyer are known to be the most intimate and intensely personal works of art of the 20th century.

7. Bauerngarten, Gustav Klimt (1907)

$59.3 million, sold via Sotheby’s London, on March 1st, 2017

Photo source: Sotheby's

Advertised by Sotheby’s as “one of the greatest works by the artist ever to appear at auction,” “Bauerngarten” was the third most expensive artwork ever sold at auction in Europe. The painting had been bought by Sotheby’s from its owner, a Canadian collector, before it was fought over by four telephone bidders at the auction. The work was purchased by a German-speaking telephone buyer, although their identity has yet to be revealed. Bauerngarten is a beautifully colourful Viennese masterpiece, inspired by a rustic garden of the Mayr-Hof, outside of Vienna. Renowned since its first exhibit in Vienna in 1908, this work of art is still viewed as one of the artist’s finest landscapes.

6. Sixty Last Suppers, Andy Warhol (1986)

$63.3 million, sold via Christie’s New York on November 15th, 2017

This work, inspired by The Last Supper by da Vinci, was part of a project that was the last of Warhol’s life. Following his sudden death, a month after the exhibition opened, this art event spun into a mass-media display. The Sixty Last Suppers was the biggest of the collection and makes the reproductions included in the work look like building with identical units, instead of the work of da Vinci. Sixty Last Suppers buyer has not been revealed. But it was sold from the estate of Andy Warhol and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

5. Contraste de forms, by Fernand Léger (1913)

$70.1 million, sold via Christie’s New York, on November 13th, 2017

Contraste de forms belongs to a collection of paintings that advanced Léger beyond Cubism, and into the contemporary art world. Leger was a French painter during the 1800s, and has been regarded as the trailblazer of pop art.  The collection, as with much of Léger’s art, has an emphasis on primary colours, round abstract forms, and has come to be regarded as “Tubism”. Most of the paintings in these series live in major institutions today. This painting was sold from the property of Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation – and the sale of this painting was to go towards the foundations’ philanthropic purposes.

4. Laboureur dans un champ, by Van Gogh (1889)

$81.3 million, sold via Christie’s New York, on November 13th, 2017

Photo Source: Youtube

Laboureur dans un champ was reportedly painted during the artist’s stay at the Saint-Paul asylum in Saint-Remy, France. It is said to be one of the first paintings Van Gogh created following his doctor’s orders to stay away from his work until he was recovered. Vincent wrote to his brother about his struggle and the unbearable months without his work to distract him. This painting is one of many that reflect Van Gogh’s view from the asylum. He painted about 13 pieces of this setting, all with very similar elements, farm houses, fields and hills. This painting was sold by the estate of billionaire couple, Nancy Lee Bass and Perry R. Bass. It was estimated to sell for $50 million, therefore selling quite above the estimated price.

3. Untitled, by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1982)

$110.5 million, sold via Sotheby’s New York, on May 18th, 2017

Photo Source: Yusaku Maezawa’s Twitter

2. Masterpiece, by Roy Lichtenstein (1962)

$165 million, sold by Agnes Gund in January 2017

Photo source: Bloomberg

A classic Leichtenstein painting, “Masterpiece” features his classic Ben-Day dots and a speech balloon. It is known for the narrative in the speech bubble that is foreshadowing his fame: “Why Brad darling, this painting is a masterpiece! My, soon you’ll have all of New York clamoring for your work” – a tongue in cheek joke that reflects upon his career as an artist. It was part of Lichenstein’s first exhibition at Ferus Gallery in LA.

He often used the name Brad in his other works, and stated that he thought it sounded heroic and cliché. Following Agnus Gunds, sale of the art work in January, it was revealed that a hedge fund billionaire, Steve Cohen, purchased the work. The money from the sale was used to start a fund for criminal justice reform, as Agnus Gunds is a known philanthropist. This masterpiece also falls under the top 20 paintings ever sold!

1. Salvator Mundi, by Leonardo da Vinci (c. 1500)

$450.3 million, sold via Christie’s New York on November 13th, 2017

Known as “The Last da Vinci,” this painting is one of 16 paintings by Leonardo that is still in existence today, and the last known work still in a private collection. This sale smashed the record for the most expensive piece of art ever sold – making history. The last remaining record was held at $300 million, privately sold. Before the sale, art appreciators from around the world lined up for viewings held in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, and New York, to catch a glimpse at the rediscovered Da Vinci painting.

The bidding for this painting went on for 20 minutes – jumping by 20, then 30 million each bid. The buyer has now been revealed to be Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Meanwhile, the art community still recovers from shock.

Such a bidding war has art buyers wringing their hands over the future economics of art dealings. Forecasting has put the first $1 billion painting to be sold in 2030 with the current trendline! We will just have to wait and see what takes place next year.

blue and yellow cupcakes and starry night painting

Creative Cooking With These Works Of (Edible) Art

November 20th, 2017 Posted by Art Decor, Art for Children, Art News, Food Lovers, For Art Lovers 0 comments on “Creative Cooking With These Works Of (Edible) Art”

Cooking and baking are often said to be an art. Perfecting each recipe can have the same feeling as perfecting a piece of art. And often, cooking takes some creativity – just like art does. So, why not combine the two?

We have put together a list of our favourite art inspired food to encourage all the foodies out there. Get artsy in the kitchen with these amazing ideas below.

The Starry Night Cupcake

blue and yellow cupcakes and starry night painting
Source: Pintrest

Inspired by Van Gogh’s “A Starry Night,” these art-tastic cupcakes are just calling our name. If you are a foodie who just loves to bake, try mixing it up with this amazing icing work of art. We are huge fans of Van Gogh, so do let us know if you recreate this recipe!

All you need to add to your usual recipe is some blue and yellow food colouring, and you are set! The ones pictured were by Salomie – and made with a set of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes as well as cream cheese icing. (Tip: use a star tip to squeeze the blue icing, and round tip for the yellow!)

Piet Mondrian Pound Cake

Mondrian pound cake and painting
Source: Feasting on Art

This cake, inspired by the Mondrian, was recreated by Megan Fizell. Mondrian has many composition numbers, so it is up to you how you would like to style this cake!  This recipe used natural food dye with fruit, however; the natural food die could be subbed with food colouring if you wanted to get a more vibrant colour. We think this one is great if you want to experiment a little and have fun trying different techniques – isn’t that what art is all about? Check out the full recipe here.

Impression Sunrise Cocktail

blue cocktail and blue painting by monet
Source: Kevin's Cocktails

Although a cocktail isn’t technically food – we just loved the inspiration behind this colourful cocktail and had to share it. It is taken from the Impression, Sunrise painting by Monet, seen above. This very work began the use of the term “Impressionism” – used to describe Monet and other artists of his time.

With Gin, Blue Curaçao, Maraschino Liqueur, Lemon, Tonic, & Rhubarb Bitters – this cocktail was created by Kevin Postupack, with this painting and its beautiful colours in mind. Add a round cut from an orange peel to achieve the appearance of the sunset – and it is ready to be served!

Wassily Kandinsky Pizza

Pizza and painting with red circles
Source: Pintrest

This pizza interpretation of Wassily Kandinsky’s “Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles” has got to be one of our favourites! Made with ingredients that can be found in any kitchen – we hope you feel up to putting this one together when you’re feeling artsy.

To make this pizza, coat the dough with pureed fresh tomatoes to recreate the reds of the painting. Then add the slices of delicate-squash rings, slices of soppressata and halves of brussels sprouts to create the circles! Bake at 475 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until it is golden on the edges. Enjoy 😊

Jackson Pollock Cookies

cookies with easels and paint splatters
Source: Pintrest

These cookies are a fabulous recreation of some of Jackson Pollock’s works of art! We found them on Jacks & Kate. Made with a standard sugar cookie recipe, the icing takes the cake (no pun intended) with its creativity! Remember to let the cookies cool completely before icing them with a layer of white icing.

Next, use different food colouring to dye small quantities of icing – using these colours to splatter the remaining icing onto the cookies. We just love the final touch of the mini easels, really making it look like a work of edible art!

Scream Cheese Brownies

brownies and scream painting
Source: Sugary Winzy

Now this is an actual work of art. Cream cheese icing as the paint and brownie batter as the canvas! We think this recreation of Edvard Munch’s “Scream” must be the best (and most delicious) out there. Hats off to Sugary Winzy! If you’re feeling extra artistic today, we suggest you give this recipe a go! The worst that can result is a batch of delightful cream cheese brownies – so try not to be too discouraged if you can’t get the scream to look just right.


These creative and delicious food ideas make us hungry for more – pun intended this time! Send us your attempts of the recipe’s above or share your own ideas. We would love to hear from all you foodies!

6 Romantic Vacation Destinations for Art Loving Couples

November 17th, 2017 Posted by For Art Lovers, Travelling 0 comments on “6 Romantic Vacation Destinations for Art Loving Couples”

What is your ideal vacation destination with your loved one? Cancun, Maldives, Bali, or Disneyland?  For art-loving couples, your answer may be different from the majority. Not only romantic and fun, the ideal destination should also be artistic and culturally rich.

To give you some ideas, we have gathered our 6 favourite vacation destinations for art-loving couples. We also included the famous art museums and galleries at each location! Finding romance and culture at the same place, your experience will be unforgettable.

1. Paris France


With over 1,000 art galleries, and 150 museums, Paris oozes with romance and is the dream destination for art lovers. The Louvre is one of the largest, oldest, and perhaps the most famous art museums, which houses over 35,000 pieces of work – including the most famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci. Understandably, many couples have also chosen this setting to have their wedding photos taken!

Among Paris’ other art museums, impressionist fans will love Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie, which houses Claude Monet’s masterpieces. Contemporary art by masters such as Matisse and Picasso can also be found at the Centre Georges Pompidou.

Effel Tower

Don’t forget the amazing nightview of the Effel Tower! After a day of museum-visiting, this is a perfect place to enjoy your honeymoon.

2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam Romantic

Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands, which nurtures many famous painters like Vincent van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Carel Fabritius. To top it off, the city has an elegant cityscape of 165 waterways and 1280 bridges. Imagine sitting together in a boat, with the glittering city lights passing by – can you think of anything more romantic?

Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum is undoubtedly a must-see for art lovers. An entire museum dedicated to Van Gogh – it holds the world’s largest Vincent van Gogh collection which includes SunflowersAlmond Blossom, and Self Portrait with Straw Hat. The front of the museum is even decorated with sunflowers, which shows respect to Van Gogh and enhances the artistic atmosphere even more!

Van Gogh Museum

We love that the Van Gogh Museum even created this Insta-worthy Sunflower Maze!

3. New York City, United States

New York Romantic

New York’s art scene is arguably the biggest in North America. Contemporary art lovers would be drawn in to the endless options of museums, including world-famous MoMA. Local operators like New York Gallery Tours, will also take you to the most fascinating galleries in Chelsea, SoHo, Tribeca and the Lower East Side.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most iconic art museum in New York, which contains more than 2 million pieces of precious historical art including works by European masters such as Vermeer, Monet and Rembrandt. This is a must-visit for art-loving couples!

Metropolitan Museum

Together with your loved one, it will be easy to find yourself immersed in the thriving artistic culture of New York City.

4. Barcelona, Spain


Home of many famous artists such as Picasso and Dali, sunny Spain is a heavenly place for art-loving couples! Museo Picasso houses one of the largest collections of Picasso in the world. Top tourism attractions also include the remarkable buildings created by architectural artist Antoni Gaudi, which decorated the entire city with beautiful, romantic palaces.


The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), which houses a great amount of Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic works, is another must-visit museum in Barcelona. We love how the architecture of the museum itself looks like a piece of art!

5. Florence, Italy

Florence Italy

Florence is the best vacation destination for couples who love Renaissance art! Home to the iconic David sculpture and other pieces of Michelangelo’s famous work, Galleria dell’Accademia should be at the top of your travel checklist. This romantic city is also surrounded by beautiful gardens and rivers, as well as plenty of renaissance styled architecture.


Don’t forget to save a day for the Uffizi Gallery, which hosts masterpieces by great Italian artists such as Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raffaello. It is the home of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Raphael’s Madonna of the Goldfinch.

6. London, England

London Romantic

London is the home of some of the world’s best museums (many of which are free) as well as over 200 galleries, and their art collections range from modern to traditional. The Tate Modern houses paintings by famous contemporary artists such as Lichtenstein. In addition, the British Museum hosts world masterpieces by Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rosetta Stone.

Tate Britain

Tate Britain is another iconic museum that houses the largest collection of British Art in the world! After you finish a lovely day at the museum, don’t forget to enjoy London’s romantic night view!

For art-loving couple, it doesn’t get more romantic than walking hand-in-hand through world’s greatest museums while admiring the breath-taking artworks. From Amsterdam, to Paris, to Florence, we hope you can find culture, art and romance all in the same place with your loved one!


Feature Image Credit: Sara Monika

Paris Wedding

Indulge Your Artistic Self With Art Quotes Of The Month

October 31st, 2017 Posted by Art Education, For Art Lovers 0 comments on “Indulge Your Artistic Self With Art Quotes Of The Month”

Are you an art lover with an appeal to art history? Do you enjoy great masterpieces by renowned artists? We have just the thing for you to indulge that artsy side of you: art quotes!

A Stormy Sea by Monet

With the Verus Art collection we bring art to the people. Our textured reproductions accurately capture the colour and relief of the artists brushstrokes. These great masters can be brought out of the museum and into your home or gallery – allowing art to be appreciated and enjoyed by all!

Another way we hope to bring these great masters to you is through their words. Below is a list of some of our favourite quotes by the artists in the Verus Art collection. We hope these words bring you closer to the artists – just as their brushstrokes do.

Flowers in paint

Bowl of Zinnias and Other Flowers



“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”

Vincent van Gogh



“Everyday I discover more and more beautiful things. It’s enough to drive one mad. I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it.”

– Claude Monet  

Woman with an Umbrella



“A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.”

– Edgar Degas



“Art is either plagiarism or revolution.”

 – Paul Gauguin

Yellow Sunset by Tom Thomson


"Sometimes I imagine colors as if they were living ideas, being of pure reason with which to communicate. Nature is not on the surface, it is deep down.”

– Paul Cézanne


“The maples are about all stripped of leaves now, but the birches are very rich in colour... the best I can do does not do the place much justice in the way of beauty.”

 – Tom Thomson

Art Costumes for Halloween

Halloween Costume Party for Art Lovers – 10 Costumes Inspired by Famous Paintings

October 17th, 2017 Posted by Art for Children, For Art Lovers 0 comments on “Halloween Costume Party for Art Lovers – 10 Costumes Inspired by Famous Paintings”

The Sunflowers, Mona Lisa, Girl with a Pearl Earring; have you ever imagined wearing your favorite paintings as costumes? Or have you pictured yourself being Vincent van Gogh for a day? Well, it’s the perfect time of year to get creative and step into the shoes (or canvas!) of your favorite art. This Halloween why not opt for a unique, art-inspired costume?

To get you started, we have gathered 10 fabulous Art-themed costumes, each representing a famous painting or artist! The costumes are also suitable for both kids and adults, so why not dress up the whole family? Read below to find your favorite painting and get prepared for this Halloween!

1. Self-Portrait, by Vincent van Gogh

Self Portrait Van Gogh
Van Gogh Costume
Source: The House That Lars Built

Straw-hat, Tobacco Pipe and a reddish beard, Vincent van Gogh is probably the most recognizable artist around the world.  Van Gogh has painted 36 self-portraits throughout his life! painting to dress as one of the most famous artist this Halloween!

2. Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci

Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa Costume
Source: Pinterest

The Mona Lisa is described as the “best known, most visited, most written about, and most sung about, work of art in the world.” It has the highest known insurance valuation in history (100 million dollars) as stated in the Guinness World Record. Simply by printing a poster of the painting, adding a gold cardboard frame and cutting out a space for the face, both you and your children can picture yourselves inside the most valuable painting in the world!

3. Composition with Red Blue and Yellow, by Piet Mondrian

Composition with Red Blue and Yellow,
Composition with Red Blue and Yellow Costume
Source: Top Brands

Composition with Red Blue and Yellow is a famous work of abstraction created in 1930, by Mondrian. This painting is a representation of the Dutch De Stijl movement or “The Style” – overlapping of individual theoretical and artistic pursuits. Today, Top Brands has recreated this painting in the form of a dress, which would be perfect for both everyday-wear and an artistic Halloween costume!

Composition with Red Blue and Yellow Makeup
Source: Pinterest
Composition with Red Blue and Yellow Makeup
Source: Pinterest

Makeup artists are also inspired by this famous abstract painting – looking modern and stylish on both male and female models!

4. Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Johannes Vermeer

Girl with a Pearl Earring
Girl with a Pearl Earring Costume
Source: The House That Lars Built

Girl with a Pearl Earring is Vermeer’s most famous painting, forgotten until its rediscovery in the late nineteenth century. Today we consider the work as a masterpiece and even as the ‘Dutch Mona Lisa’. Using simple props such as yellow and blue headpiece, a pair of large pearl earrings, and red lipstick, you will shine just like the pearl at any Halloween party!

5. Old Guitarist, by Picasso

The Old Guitarist
The Old Guitarist Costume
Source: The House That Lars Built

The Old Guitarist illustrates a blind, old man weakly hunching over his guitar, playing in the streets of Barcelona. This painting is the best representation of Picasso’s Blue Period, which lasted from 1901-04, filled with subjects painted in moody blues and greens. Blue dress, blue make-up and hair, and an old guitar, your chance to dress as the famous Picasso painting!

6. American Gothic, by Grant Wood

American Gothic
American Gothic Costume
Source: Pinterest

American Gothic is one of the most famous paintings in American art history. It is a primary example of Regionalism, strongly opposed European abstract art. This painting has become a major part of American popular culture and the couple has been the subject of numerous parodies. This is probably the best costume idea for couples who both love art! With a fork from the hardware store and few visits to your local thrift store, you’re likely to find the perfect costume.

7. The Sunflowers, by Vincent van Gogh

The Sunflowers
Source: Cassie Stephens
Source: Cassie Stephens

Vincent van Gogh loved to paint Sunflowers – he has painted two series of the Sunflowers both in Paris and Arles. Using bright yellow paints and vigorous brushstrokes, Van Gogh depicts a feeling of liveliness and joy. This costume has amazingly re-created this masterpiece with hand-sewed sunflowers! The cozy sunflowers sweater with blue dress as the background will keep you warm while having fun for Halloween!

8. Man in a Bowler Hat, René Magritte

Man in a Bowler Hat

René Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist and was well-known for his mysterious and though-provoking paintings. In many of his paintings, he used the image of a man wearing a bowler hat, with various objects covering his face. From white doves to green apples, you can easily prepare the costume for this painting for yourself or your children!

9. Self Portrait, by Frida Kahlo

Self Portrait, by Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo Costume
Source: Pinterest

Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a famous Mexican painter, painting mostly self-portraits. She used a folk art style to explore questions of race, class, gender and identity in Mexican society. Recreating Frida’s unique make-up style and making a bold flower crown will help you to complete this look with a low budget!

10. Bust of a Woman, by Pablo Picasso

Bust of a woman
Picasso Halloween Costume
Source: Pinterest

Pablo Picasso pioneered the Cubism movement, a revolutionary style of modern art that Picasso developed in response to the fast-changing modern world. To dress as Picasso’s paintings, you have a lot of freedom and flexibility to be creative! To demonstrate his cubism style, feel free to use contrasting colors, bold lines, and different combinations of geometric shapes!

Hope you have an amazing Halloween!

About Us

Verus Art is passionate about art and technology and our blog is where we will share our stories, ideas and information about these worlds. We'll also be supporting our mission to make art more accessible, focusing on working with museums and artists to put masterpieces into homes, boardrooms and classrooms.

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