Matthias Schaller Reveals the Striking Palettes of Legendary Artists

The German photographer Matthias Schaller first got the idea of documenting painters palettes whilst visiting Cy Twombly’s studio in Gaeta, Italy.

Since then, he has photographed the tools of over 70 European artists, including the palettes of major painters such as Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso.

Viewing Schaller’s large-scale photo series, which is titled Das Meisterstück (The Masterpiece), on which the Daily Telegraph reports, a clear link can be seen between the palettes and each artist’s unique style. Francis Bacon’s palette features the deep earth tones and gloomy colors that characterize his work. On the other hand, Van Gogh’s paints—much like his canvasses—are vibrant and colorful.

Since 2000, Schaller has made a career of documenting the tools and studios of a host of artists, photographers, and architects. His method of indirect portraiture demonstrates how our possessions and surroundings define us as individuals.

In his series Purple Desk he captured the desks of Cardinals at the Vatican; the interiors of Venetian buildings on the Grand Canal in Controfacciata; Italian opera houses in Fratelli d’Italia; the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer in As Curves and astronaut suits in Disportraits.

Das Meisterstück is on view at the Refectory, Fondazione Cini, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice from May 8 to June 7.


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