Saturday, August 6, 2011

Unfinished Gems

Unfinished Gems

     There's an anomaly across the art world that may be often overlooked.  Unfinished works in art and music have created a mystique which has lured many an aficionado.  If the average person doesn't complete something, rest assured the item in question would most likely not be hanging in a museum for art lovers to enjoy.  However, when its creator was someone famous who did not have an opportunity to dot the i's, (complete the details), then intriguing minds become fascinated by what was left behind. 
     From Mozart to da Vinci, incredible works that either never got completed, or were finished by an apprentice, have captured the imaginations of future composers and artists.  On this note, I read an article sent in by Jena Ellis, from Online Certificate Programs, which provides some interesting facts about this intriguing phenomenon.  Here's an excerpt of the article.  You may read the rest of it here.  

10 Most Famous Unfinished Pieces of Art

 Some artists are so gifted that even their unfinished works are considered strokes of genius. As with any project that requires intense focus and a large sacrifice of time, achieving art perfection can become an arduous task, making it seemingly impossible to follow through on an ambitious plan. The following pieces are more remembered for their beauty and meaning than their unfinished states — the artists who created them are hardly considered slackers, as each poured their hearts and souls into all of their works.
  1. Adoration of the Magi, Leonardo da Vinci

    It was all or nothing for Leonardo, who was commissioned to create an altarpiece for the monastery of San Donato a Scopeto near Florence in March 1481. He essentially had two-and-a-half years to complete it — if he took any longer, he wouldn't receive any compensation. Sure enough, he was lured away from the project the following year once he was offered a steady income from the Duke of Milan. The monks then commissioned Fillipino Lippi to create their altarpiece. Since 1670, Leonardo's piece has been displayed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
  2. Leonardo's Horse, Leonardo da Vinci

    This one never left the planning stages. In 1482, Leonardo accepted the project from Duke of Milan Ludovico il Moro, who wanted it to be the largest equestrian statue in the world, dedicated to his father Francesco. It was an unrealistic goal at the time and Leonardo recognized that he probably wouldn't receive the necessary funding. French soldiers invaded Milan in 1499 and the remaining clay model was destroyed by archers who were said to have used it for target practice.
  3. Old Man Shading His Eyes With His Hand, Rembrandt

    Rembrandt forged his reputation with his etchings. The Three Crosses and The Hundred Guilder Print are two of his famous works, both were completed unlike Old Man Shading His Eyes With His Hand, which he left unsigned and undated. Unlike most of his pieces, he worked on the figure before completing the setting, focusing on the contrast around the sitter's face and hands. Nobody knows why he left it unfinished, and some have speculated that he was merely satisfied with capturing the moment.
  4. Adoration of the Shepherds, Hendrik Goltzius

    Artwork based on biblical narrative has long been popular among history's best painters, sculptors and engravers. Goltzius dramatically depicted the Adoration of the Shepherds, a scene in which the shepherds witness Jesus's birth in Bethlehem. Noticeably, he left out the manger and baby Jesus, but the exquisite depiction of the three shepherds around Mary more than makes up for it, which may be why he halted work.
  5. Unfinished Portrait, Elizabeth Shoumatoff

    Before attending the founding conference of the United Nations, FDR decided to spend some precious free time at his health and relaxation retreat in Warm Springs, Georgia. Work on his painting began at noon on April 12, 1945 when he was being served lunch, but was disrupted when he began to experience unbearable pain in the back of his head, causing him to lose consciousness and slump over in his chair. Diagnosed with a massive cerebral hemorrhage, he died three hours later. Shoumatoff later commemorated the 32nd president by finishing the portrait, which now hangs next to the original in Warm Springs.

    Be sure to stop by Online Certificate Programs Dot Org for the rest of this fine article and while you're there, feel free to peruse their website. 

    © Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. has granted Knight Chills, non-exclusive rights to display this work.


  1. Nothing of mine is on the list!


  2. My stuff didn't make the cut either. Have a good one, Blaze.

  3. This is a problem for gem cutters who need to be careful of splitting an unfinished gem. It also detracts from it durability.