first in art education since 1901
Davis Art
2014 Catalog
art education curriculum
Artist Biographies
Select a letter below to see the biographies for artists
whose last names start with that letter.
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Macaulay, David (United States, b.1946)
Macaulay was born in England but lives and works in the United States. He has written and illustrated many books that explain the planning and construction process for various inventions and types of structures, including cathedrals, castles, and skyscrapers.

MacDonald, James Edward Hervey (Canada, 1873-1932)
Born in Great Britain, MacDonald was a founding member of the Group of Seven, Canadian painters who sought to capture the unique character and lighting of Canadian landscapes in different seasons and at different times of day.

MacDonald, Jock (J.W.G.) (Canada, 1897-1960)
MacDonald, born in Scotland, played an important role in the development of abstract and surrealist art in Canada. Throughout his career, he experimented with media for painting, often developing one color harmony or image through a series of works.

Macdonald-Wright, Stanton (United States, 1890-1973)
Macdonald-Wright is known for his scientific studies of color and interest in developing color symphonies, in which colors are placed in relationships that imply harmonies in music or rhythms in music and dance. He also experimented with media for filmmaking and architectural decoration.

Maderno, Carlo (Italy, 1556-1629)
Maderno made important contributions to the style of Baroque architecture. Among his works, he designed a new front, or facade, for St. Peter's in Rome, Italy. The windows, doors, columns, and statues of the facade are enormous. But because of Maderno's careful design, they work well together and do not seem too large.

Magritte, René (Belgium, 1898-1967)
Magritte was an artist who developed his own witty style of Surrealism. His compositions are jarring for the juxtaposition of common objects often skewed in scale and placed in incongruous settings. The elements in his paintings are distinct and painted in a realistic style with crisp lines and sharp edges. Due to his improbable combinations, his work evokes mystery and often raises more questions than answers.

Maillol, Aristide (France, 1861-1944)
Starting his career as a painter, Maillol soon felt more at home in three-dimensional art. He restricted his subjects mainly to forms of southern French country women who served as his models. He admired the simple strength of early Greek sculpture, and his female figures tend toward such classicism. Maillol emphasized a static balance and feeling of serenity in his full-formed figures.

Manet, Edouard (France, 1832-1883)
The Impressionist painter Manet admired the work of the Spanish artists Velazquez and Goya. Like them, he believed that the message of the artist was the brushstrokes and patches of paint on canvas, not the subject matter. He wanted to make paintings that viewers could enjoy for their color and composition. One of Manet's masterpieces is Gare Saint-Lazare, which shows a young woman and girl at a train station.

Mantegna, Andrea (Italy, 1431-1506)
Born in Padua, Italy, Mantegna was a polished artist by the age of seventeen. He was a master of human anatomy. And he also excelled at using perspective to depict space. One of his most famous works is a religious painting that shows the body of Christ after his crucifixion.

Marc, Franz (Germany, 1880-1916)
Franz Marc was a member of an Expressionist group of artists known as Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). They were strong individual artists who exerted a powerful influence on twentieth-century art. While Marc painted many kinds of subjects, his animal paintings are of major importance. Marc combined color with shape and rhythm to dramatize the integration of all creatures in nature. In The Yellow Cow, the happy creature fills the picture with powerful movement, which seems to charge the environment with excitement.

Marey, Étienne-Jules (France, 1830-1904)
Marey was a pioneer of motion photography, which he used to study the human body in motion. He developed a method by which a camera made a series of multiple exposures that traced the movements of a person or animal.

Marin, John (United States, 1870-1953)
John Marin was one of the first Americans to experiment with Abstract art. His paintings have a Cubist feeling in which soft lines break up larger shapes. Much of his early work explores cityscapes. He later concentrated on Maine landscapes and seascapes. He often painted in watercolor so he could work quickly in his own personal shorthand style, which expressed a sense of agitation and excitement. He once compared his brisk painting style to a golf game-the fewer strokes, the better.

Marsh, Reginald (United States, 1898-1954)
Marsh painted the people of the streets during the Great Depression. His subjects included crowds in the tenements, on the steps, and in the streets. His sketchy style was the result of numerous pen and ink drawings he made for newspaper cartoons. The Bowery captures the crowded living conditions and the congestion of life in New York City.

Martini, Simone (Italy, about 1284-1344)
Martini was born in Italy, where he was a student of the artist Duccio. He later lived in Naples, Italy, where he worked for the King of France. While in Naples, Martini learned about the work of the French Gothic painters. This knowledge inspired him to emphasize line and details such as fabric in his paintings. Among his accomplishments is Annunciation, a panel painting that is more than ten feet wide.

Masaccio (Italy, 1401-1428)
The young painter Masaccio was an influential artist of the Italian Renaissance. The figures and objects in his work seem more three-dimensional than in the paintings of earlier artists. His figures also look convincing and natural. Before he died at the age of twenty-seven, Masaccio painted an important group of frescoes at a church in Florence. The paintings are well-known for depicting light that shines from a single source.

Matisse, Henri (France, 1869-1954)
While studying to become a lawyer, Matisse felt the urge to paint and joined a group of artists known as Fauves (the French word for wild beasts). These revolutionary artists filled their canvases with vigorous brushstrokes and raw, bright, hot colors that sizzled. The artist's use of intense colors and simplified complex subjects moved him to the forefront of Fauvism. Matisse had a marvelous ability to look at a complex subject and reduce it to its simplest elements. This skill is clearly evident in The Red Studio.

Max Ernst (Germany/United States, 1891-1976)
Max Ernst was associated with the Dada movement, a group of artists and writers who protested the degradation of European society and the monstrous destruction of World War I. Dadaists created deliberately nonsensical works that relied on chance, paradox and disorder. Like other Dadaists, Ernst made extensive use of collage techniques and randomly incorporated found materials from the trash to construct new, disturbing art that puzzled observers. Later on, Ernst moved to the United States where he began working with the elements of Surrealism.

McFee, Henry Lee (United States, 1886-1953)
McFee's paintings combine the geometric qualities of Cubism and the light, airy effects of Impressionism. His subjects include still lifes, portraits, and landscapes. He emphasized the abstract design and overall composition of the painting rather than the individuality of his subjects.

Memling, Hans (Flanders, about 1440-1494)
The paintings of this Northern Renaissance artist are quiet and serene. His works show great attention to details such as light, fabric, and background. Although he was born in Germany, Memling lived and worked in the important town of Bruges in Flanders.

Merian, Maria Sibylla (Germany, 1647-1717)
Merian was known for her hand-colored engravings and watercolor paintings of plants and insects in Europe and South America. Her illustrations were used in scientific books and many of her watercolors were purchased by Peter the Great of Russia.

Metzinger, Jean (France, 1883-1957)
Metzinger worked in several styles but is best known for his work in the style of Cubism. He is also an important writer on this style, which helped other artists and collectors understand the visual concepts artists were exploring.

Michelangelo Buonarotti (Italy, 1475-1564)
Michelangelo was the greatest artist of the High Renaissance. Born to a poor family, he knew at an early age that he wanted to be an artist. He began to study painting at thirteen and later studied sculpture. Michelangelo created his first masterpiece, The Pieta, in his twenties. It is a marble sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding the body of Christ after his death. Among his other masterpieces are the larger-than-life nude statue of David and his paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Italy.

Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig (Germany/United States, 1866-1969)
Like other German architects, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe left Germany because of Hitler's closed attitude toward modern art. Although Mies worked with a number of building types, his most influential contribution was to the modern evolution of the skyscraper. Mies designed the Seagram Building in New York City, which is said to be the perfect embodiment of modernism and of Mies' dictum, 'Less is more.'

Miller, Melissa (United States, b.1951)
Miller, who grew up on a Texas ranch, has focused on animals in landscapes as a major theme for her paintings. Some works have a story element, but many are composed to suggest humorous, mysterious, or puzzling relationships between animals, their environments, and people.

Millet, Jean Frannois (France, 1814-1875)
Millet is known for his paintings of the peasants who worked in the French countryside. His works show common activities, such as sowing seeds, harvesting, and plowing. Millet wished to present farm workers as dignified people. Among his best-known works is The Gleaners, which is a simple but powerful composition of three women working in a field.

Mills, Lev T. (United States, b.1940)
Mills, an African American, constantly experiments with new methods and materials. His primary intention is to reveal meaning in African-American experience. He is known for his etchings and a mosaic he created for the Atlanta, Georgia, subway system.

Miró, Joan (Spain, 1893-1983)
Joan Miró charms the viewer with his Spanish wit and delightful menagerie of impossible animals and people. He uses black lines and flat shapes of red, yellow, blue, black, and white that often seem cut from paper and glued to the canvas. Sometimes his shapes and lines are suggestive of people and animals. At other times, they are purely abstract. In his later years, Miró; turned to abstract sculpture, using plastic and ceramic as his media. He also worked with fibers, creating huge woven tapestry murals that repeat the colors, shapes and lines of his paintings.

Modigliani, Amedeo (Italy, 1884-1920)
Modigliani was born in Italy, but spent most of his life painting in Paris. He developed a unique style based on the elongated distortion of African sculpture and his innate Italian interest in portraiture. He was an excellent draftsman, and he was able to reduce human features into a simple and dignified statement. Although many outside influences can be found in Modigliani's work, his final expressions are completely original in their design and emotional content.

Mondrian, Piet (The Netherlands, 1872-1944)
Piet Mondrian led the development of a coldly intellectual approach to design called De Stijl, Dutch for The Style. The basic precept of De Stijl was the complete reliance on design and the elimination of all feeling and emotion. Mondrian restricted his design to vertical and horizontal black lines and his colors to the three primary hues, plus black, white, and gray. By doing this, he eliminated all possibility of representation.

Monet, Claude (France, 1840-1926)
Monet was the leading painter of the Impressionist movement. He was fascinated with light and loved to work outdoors. His later paintings are known for a shimmering effect in which the entire surface vibrates with color and light. There are no definite edges of contours to anything. Often, Monet painted a single subject at different times of the day or year. One such series is a group of paintings that depict Rouen Cathedral.

Moore, Henry (Great Britain, 1898-1986)
Almost all of Henry Moore's abstract sculptures are based on various forms of the human figure. His early work was only slightly abstracted. In his later years, his forms became rounded and simplified. Sheep Piece is a monumental bronze work of two interacting forms. Moore places this casting in a sheep pasture, where it seems to belong. However, the powerful forms would be just as comfortable in front of a skyscraper or in a museum courtyard.

Morgan, Julia (United States, 1872-1957)
Morgan was the first woman to be licensed as an architect in California. During her long career, she designed over 800 buildings. Her largest project was San Simeon, the astle-like residence of the publisher William Randolph Hearst.

Morisot, Berthe (France, 1841-1895)
The artist, Berthe Morisot, worked and exhibited with the Impressionists, but she developed her own style. She often posed for her friends and painted many of them in return. Morisot's works are known for flat patches of color and strong compositions. They are also more solid looking than the unposed works of many Impressionist artists.

Morrisey-McGoff, Deborah (United States, 20th century)
Morrisey-McGoff creates drawings and paintings that have subtle variations in textures and mixtures of colors. Her work has focused on landscapes, especially the mysterious interplay of light and shadow on three-dimensional forms.

Motherwell, Robert (United States, 1915-1991)
Robert Motherwell's paintings have flatly painted, delicate hues. The white backgrounds and powerful bold shapes intensify these delicate hues. Usually, his gigantic canvases were laid flat on the floor so he could walk on them during the designing and painting process. The spontaneity of the brush work gives no hint that the artist actually made many small studies prior to painting his large canvases.

Mozley, Loren (United States, b.1905)
Mozley is recognized for his landscape paintings, which he usually paints outdoors. He emphasizes the geometric structure of natural forms but is known for his accurate use of subtle colors he observes. He often creates a series of paintings based on the same subjects.

Munch, Edvard (Norway, 1863-1944)
The paintings and prints of the artist Edvard Munch often depict anxiety, loss, and loneliness. His first one-person show had to be closed after only one week because his subject matter was too gloomy for most people. The artist often used strong diagonals and dark shapes in his compositions. Munch's most famous work is The Cry, which shows a figure standing on a bridge and screaming in terror.

Murillo, Bartolome Estaban (Spain, 1617-1682)
Murillo was the last great painter of Spain's Golden Age. From the important city of Seville, Spain, the artist developed his own warm, colorful style. Murillo is known for paintings of poor children and flower girls as well as religious subjects. The charm of his works made him very popular. Immaculate Conception is among his best-known works.

Muybridge, Edward (United States, 1830-1904)
Muybridge, born in Great Britain, was a leader of motion photography. He developed a set of cameras that could document movement at regular intervals. He also used an early projection system to show these images in motion, providing the first step toward the development of motion pictures.

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