View Full Version : Mystery Masterpiece 1000

10-29-2005, 07:01 AM

Wayne Thiebaud, "Around the Cake", 1962
Oil on canvas. 22 1/8 x 28 1/16 in (56.2 x 71.2 cm) Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas
Mystery Masterpiece 1000!

The Mystery Masterpiece (MM) game on the Art History forum is approaching a significant milestone: the 1000th episode! The game, which started more than two years ago, involves someone posting a mystery work of art that can be viewed on the internet. People then have to find the name of the piece, the artist and the date of completion. The first person to do so gets to choose the next mystery.

While the game is mainly played for fun, it has also lead to the creation of a very useful resource. Every few weeks, one of the Art History moderators updates the cumulative index of all the mystery masterpieces, including a link to the image on the web. So, we now have an index of nearly 1000 works of art ranging from Riza-i Abbasi (a Persian artist from the 16th century, MM number 256) to Francisco de Zurbarán (a 17th century Spanish artist, MMs 183 and 388). The earliest work in the list dates from around 1000AD (by the Chinese artist Fan Kuan, MM 19). All the major Western movements since then are represented, right up to contemporary artists like current Turner Prize nominee Gillian Carnegie (MM 982).

Even the most knowledgeable person will learn something from participating in this game. How many people know about a nude painted by Mark Rothko in 1937 (MM 889)? Incidentally, Rothko is the most popular artist in the game with five appearances so far. There are six artists who have been used four times each: Francis Bacon, Louis-Léopold Boilly, Francisco de Goya, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso and Camille Pissarro.

So, come along to the Art History Forum and join in. You might have the honour of proposing MM 1000!

The Art History Forum, Moderators & Guides :)