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I have to agree with your list of five: Da Vinci, Michelangelo,
Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Picasso. Each for a myriad of reasons, even though
there are a lot more than these five. I always include these when we talk
about perspective (Leonardo), sculpture and the study of anatomy
(Michelangelo), focus point, use of light in painting (Rembrandt), color!
(Van Gogh), cubism and abstraction (Picasso).
I agree with others that it is important to include women and
non-European artists as well. I usually include: O'Keeffe, Rivera, Kahlo,
Kollwitz and Jacob Lawrence.
Dennis in Stockton
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