Christmas quiz

For each question if you click the word, “Answer” then it will be revealed.

Let’s start with some questions about artists’ materials …..

1. Ultramarine, a very expensive pigment, is made from lapis lazuli.  In the 15th century it was sourced exclusively from one country – which?
(a) Uzbekistan     (b) Persia                  (c) Afghanistan

(c)  In the 15th century lapis lazuli, from which ultramarine was made, could only be sourced in Afghanistan.

2. Canaletto was among the first artists to use a new blue pigment.  What was it?
(a) Azurite       (b) Prussian blue          (c) Cobalt blue

(b)  Prussian blue was introduced in the 18th century – the first modern chemically produced pigment.  It was much cheaper than ultramarine and was found to be stable and relatively lightfast.

3.  Renoir’s son said that without paint in tubes there would have been no Impressionist painters.  When did Winsor & Newton first begin to sell commercially manufactured paints in metal tubes?
(a) 1830s         (b)  1840s       (c)  1850s

(b)  The collapsible metal tube was first patented by Winsor & Newton in 1842 and made it practicable for artists to paint in oils en plein air – an essential part of the Impressionists’ philosophy.

4.  Artists such as Van Eyck, Memling and Holborn painted on panels of wood.  Which wood?
(a)  Baltic oak  (b) English oak                       (c) Poplar

(a)  Artists in Northern Europe found that the species of oak grown in the Baltic region was particularly suited to their needs whereas in Italy and the south, poplar was the wood of choice.

5.  Cennino Cennini, in his Craftsman’s Handbook of the 15th century, suggests that the finest paint brushes are made from the hair of which animal?
(a) domestic hog          (b) horse          (c) red squirrel

(c)  The fur from the underside of the red squirrel’s winter coat is greyish-white in colour.  The individual hairs, known as minever, were used to make the finest brushes in the 15th century.

6.  Acrylic paint is now widely used in paintings.  When was it first introduced into the artist’s palette?
(a) 1930s         (b) 1950s         (c) 1960s

(b) Acrylic paints for artists were first produced in the 1950s.  They were found to be fast drying and water-soluble but to become water-resistant when dry.

Now some questions about artists’ lives ……

7.  Visiting an exhibition and looking at the paintings, a famous art critic publicly accused an artist of ‘flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face’.
Who was the art critic?  (a) Andrew Graham-Dixon  (b) John Ruskin   (c)  Will Gompertz
Who was the artist?       (A) James McNeill Whistler  (B) Damien Hurst  (C)  Jackson Pollack

(b)(A)  The accusation was made by the art critic John Ruskin on seeing Whistler’s Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket at the newly-opened Grosvenor Gallery in 1877.  Whistler subsequently sued Ruskin for libel, winning the case but being awarded a mere farthing in damages.

8.  Berthe Morisot, who exhibited in seven out of the eight Impressionist Exhibitions, married the brother of which artist in 1874?
(a)  Auguste Renoir      (b) Gustave Caillebotte      (c)  Edouard Manet

(c)  Berthe Morisot was first introduced to Edouard Manet by Fantin-Latour whilst she was sketching in the Louvre in 1867.  She sat regularly to Manet from 1868 until her marriage to Manet’s brother Eugène in 1874, after which she never sat for him again.

9.  Which Pre-Raphaelite artist was the son of a warehouse manager and worked as an office clerk before entering the Royal Academy schools in 1844?
(a) William Holman Hunt        (b) John Everett Millais                        (c) Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(a)  Holman Hunt met Millais at the Royal Academy Schools and went on to share a studio with him in Millais’ home.  Together with Rossetti, they formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848.

10. Which artist received a knighthood and counted an Emperor, a Pope and a Prince among his patrons?
(a)  Van Eyck              (b) Titian          (c)  Michelangelo

(b)  Titian received commissions from the Emperor Charles V, Pope Paul III and Prince Philip, son of Charles V and later Philip II, King of Spain. 

11. In 1760/61, William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath, was shocked to find that the distinguished artist who was painting his portrait employed drapery painters to paint his ermine robes.  Who was he?
(a) Allan Ramsay         (b) Thomas Gainsborough       (c) Joshua Reynolds

(c)  Like many artists, Joshua Reynolds regularly employed drapery painters or ‘painter taylors’ as they were known in the 18th century.  Gainsborough was a rare exception in not doing so.

12.  Pablo Picasso spent much of his later life in France and died in Mougins in the Alpes-Maritime in 1973.  In which Spanish city was he born in 1881?
(a)  Malaga                   (b)  Madrid      (c)  Barcelona

(a)  Pablo Picasso was born on 25th October 1881 in Malaga, the son of an art teacher.  His early years were spent in Barcelona.  In 1897/8 he went to train at Madrid’s Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando but by 1901 had settled in Paris.

And finally, Christmas Cards were first introduced in Britain by Henry Cole in the 1840s.  Below are some images that could be used on Christmas cards.  Can you identify the artists and put the works into date order, starting with the earliest painting? To help you on your way, here are the artists in alphabetical order:
Crivelli;  Caspar David Friedrich; Murillo; Claude Monet; Pissarro; Raeburn; John Singer Sargent; Tiepolo; Titian

In date order:
4. 1486 Crivelli, The Annunciation with St. Emidius, National Gallery London
9. 1510 Titian, Holy Family with Shepherd, National Gallery London
2. 1675-82 Murillo, Two Trinities, National Gallery London
8. 1767-70 Tiepolo, The Flight into Egypt, Metropolitan Museum, New York
6. 1775 Raeburn, The Rev. Robert Walker skating on Duddingston Loch,
National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh
7. 1810 Caspar David Friedrich, Winter Landscape, National Gallery London
1. 1870 Pissarro, Fox Hill, Upper Norwood, National Gallery London
5. 1875 Monet, Snowscene at Argenteuil, National Gallery London
3. 1884 John Singer Sargent, Dinner at Night or Le Verre de Porto (Mr and Mrs Albert Vickers), Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco