10 world famous works of art that were never finished
When composers, artists or writers begin work on their works, they are sure that they will finish the job. Otherwise, why? But their aspirations are not always justified. Sometimes it happens that works of art for various reasons remain incomplete. However, some of these unfinished works have become world famous and have enjoyed worldwide fame and popularity for more than a century.
1. “Saint Jerome” by Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci considered himself more an engineer than an artist. Perhaps that is why he has few finished paintings. For example, his painting “St. Jerome”.
The canvas dates from around 1480, and it depicts a repentant saint hermit against a rocky landscape. The unfinished painting was most likely kept by da Vinci until his death, but it is not clear what happened to her next. The earliest mention of the painting dates back to the 19th century (in the will of the Swiss artist Angelika Kaufman). Then the work disappeared and was later acquired by Cardinal Joseph Fesch, Napoleon’s uncle. He learned that the picture was cut into five parts. After the restoration of all parts, Fesch again assembled a painting that was later acquired by Pope Pius IX and exhibited in the Vatican Pinacoteca.
2. Symphony No. 8 in B minor. Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert Symphony No. 8 in E minor is also known as the “Unfinished Symphony”. It consists of two completed parts: Allegro moderato and Andante con moto, and later notes were also found for the beginning of the score of the third part. In 1822, Schubert, who was only 25 years old, began to compose this eighth symphony. The following year, he received an honorary degree from the Graz Music Society and gave the sketch of the symphony to his friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner. But Hüttenbrenner did not tell anyone about the symphony and did not even try to play it, because he believed that it was not over. In 1865, Hüttenbrenner finally gave the recordings of the Vienna Musical Association, where The Unfinished Symphony was first performed. Unfortunately, Schubert did not wait for this. He died in 1828 at the age of 31.
3. Portrait of Ria Munk III. Gustav Klimt
This was the third and final picture in a series of portraits of Ria commissioned by Klimt by the Munk family. After parting with her lover in late 1911, Ria committed suicide by shooting herself in the chest. Ria’s mother instructed Gustav Klimt to paint a portrait of her daughter.
The first two paintings were not liked by the family, and the third was not finished. But the unfinished picture gave an idea of Klimt’s working methods. In the portrait, Ria stood sideways and turned to face the viewer, smiling. The face and surrounding details are finished, but the dress and the floor were made only in the form of charcoal sketches. This picture makes it clear that Klimt was spontaneous and impulsive. He painted directly on canvas, without sketching. The portrait went to the Lentos Museum, but later it was returned to the heirs of Ria’s mother. The portrait was sold in 2010 for about $ 27.8 million.
4. The Kubla Khan. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote his 54-line, unapproved poem, Kubla Khan, while he was taking Laudanum (an opiate pain medication). The work was published in 1816. According to Coleridge himself, Kubla Khan appeared to him in a dream after taking the drugs. The poem was hundreds of lines long, but the poet could only remember a fragment of it after he woke up.
The poem tells of a man named Kubla Khan who went to the land of Xanadu, where he found a dome made of ice, but not melting under the sun. The narrator also described the contrasts that he saw in Xanada. In the end, critics decided that the poem describes the essence of human genius.
5. Portrait of George Washington. Gilbert Stewart
Gilbert Stewart created more than 100 portraits of US President George Washington. The first painting by Stuart, the famous Vogan portrait, shows Washington waist-high. However, the most famous in the series is the Athenaeum portrait, which was launched in 1796 at the request of Washington’s wife Martha. This image can also be seen with slight changes on a one-dollar American banknote. The picture was not finished, and Stuart asked the president if he could help him with future portraits. More than 75 replicas were made. Original unfinished paintings became known as Athenaeum portraits because they were acquired by the Boston Athenaeum after the death of Stuart in 1828.
6. David Apollo. Michelangelo
This sculpture is called “David Apollo” because art historians have not been able to come to a consensus about who the master captured.