Since Picasso left no will, his death duties (estate tax) to the French state were paid in the form of works from his personal collection (both his own works and those of other artists he had traded with). These paintings form the core of the immense and representative collection of the Musée Picasso in Paris.
Nine months before Salvador Dalí was born, his older brother (who was also named Salvador) died of gastroenteritis. When he was five, Dalí's parents took him to visit the grave and told him he was a reincarnation of his brother. The artist came to believe this was true and once said that his brother "was probably a first version of myself but conceived too much in the absolute." Images of his deceased sibling appear scattered throughout his later works, including Portrait of My Dead Brother.
Grant Wood thought his mother would be perfect to depict the ideals of rural America in American Gothic, but he was worried that standing for so long would be too exhausting for her, so he asked his sister Nan to wear his mother's apron and pin while posing, and recruited his 62-year-old dentist to model the man.
In the early morning of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from its glass case at the Louvre. The police thought the modernist enemies of traditional art might be involved. Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned along with avant-garde poet and playwright Guillaume Apollinaire. Both were later cleared and released.
The Pietà, a Renaissance masterpiece depicting the body of Jesus on his mother's lap, is the only work of any sort that Michelangelo ever signed. He later regretted what he considered an outburst of pride and vowed to never sign another work again.
Blobism or blobitecture is a type of wavy, curvy building design without traditional edges or traditional symmetric form. American-born architect Greg Lynn is credited with founding the movement in 1995 while experimenting with metaball graphical software to create digital designs. Blob architecture is unthinkable without computer-aided design programs. Architects derive the forms by manipulating the algorithms of the computer modeling platform.
Le Bateau ("The Boat"), a paper-cut by Henri Matisse, caused a minor stir in 1961 when the Museum of Modern Art in New York hung the work upside-down. It remained that way until the 47th day of the exhibit when Genevieve Habert, a stockbroker, noticed the mistake and notified a guard.