8 Fascinating Unfinished Art Masterpieces

Piet Mondriaan Victory Boogie Woogie
Piet Mondrian's 'Victory Boogie Woogie' - Credit: Wikipedia 2009S0948

An AI-altered and completed painting of Keith Haring sparked controversies and social media agitations after some referred to the act as disrespectful to the dead. Social media users also argued that Keith Haring’s “Unfinished Painting” was a reminder of his short life due to AIDS complications on February 16, 1990.

Keith Haring, however, is not the only artist with an unfinished work before his demise. We are here to serve you with 8 incredible art pieces that are still unfinished.

Victory Woogie Boogie by Piet Mondrian

Known as one of the greatest painters of the 20th century, Piet Mondrian lived a life of colourful art. He was famous for his vast presentation of art in beautiful primary colours. He, unfortunately, died in 1944 due to pneumonia and couldn’t complete “Victory Woogie Boogie“, a painting that communicated the New York musical scene. Mondrian’s unfinished painting is part of the collection of the Kunstmuseum in The Hague, Netherlands.

Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo da Vinci

Art master Leonardo da Vinci also has an art piece he could not complete in his lifetime. He was contracted and given a commission by the monks of Augustinia in 1481 to paint the “Adoration of the Magi” but being a slacker as he is historically called, he painted a portion and had to travel to Milan the next year. He, however, never returned to Florence to complete the painting for the church of San Donato.

The Entombment by Michelangelo

“The Entombment” was a painting that depicted the burial of Jesus Christ started by unparalleled artist Michelangelo in 1501. The unfinished state of the 1.62 m by 1.5 m dimensioned painting is not clear but experts deduced that the missing parts which include the cloak of the Virgin Mary required expensive lapis lazuli blue. The shortage of the expensive colour could have been the cause of the delay in finishing “The Entombment” painting.

The Interrupted Portrait of Oscar Pistorius by Natalie Holland

Oscar Pistorius is a South African murder convict and a former sprinter. Oscar was deemed a hero who beat all others to win six gold medals at the Paralympics. In anticipation of his victory in the 2012 Olympics, Russian artiste Natalie Holland was tasked to create portraits of Oscar. She had created two portraits of Oscar and was on her third one when news broke that the latter had shot and killed his girlfriend. Holland who quickly deduced that a hero had become a murderer just couldn’t get herself to finish the artwork. Oscar was, however, released from prison on parole last week.

Unfinished Portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by  Elizabeth Shoumatoff

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States of America and was the only statesman to serve more than two terms (12 years). Unkrainian-born Elizabeth Shoumatoff gave her first shot at painting the head of state at the time in 1943 but didn’t like it. She returned in 1945 and was told Franklin was ill but the president didn’t mind being painted again. FDR as he was affectionately called, unfortunately, slumped and suffered a stroke after he had complained about a headache during the painting. He died on the same day and his portrait has since been left incomplete.

Manchester Madonna by Michelangelo

The “Manchester Madonna” is another name given to the “Madonna and Child with St John and Angels” painting. The painting was started by Michelangelo in his early years in Rome. Unfortunately, it is unknown why the famous painter couldn’t complete the painting that lasted seven decades (from 1494) before he died in 1564. It derived the “Manchester Madonna” name when it was first made to the public at the Art Treasures Exhibition in Manchester in 1857.

Unfinished Painting by Keith Haring

In 1989, American artist Keith Haring painted the “Unfinished Painting”. This was after he was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987. The artist explained that the artwork was the representation of the several lives and dreams that were unfairly being cut short by the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Unfortunately, a social media user, Donnel used AI to ‘complete’ the “Unfinished Painting” and that stoked controversies last week. Many argued that the AI-altered version disregarded the message Keith wanted to pass on with the artwork.

Unfinished George Washington Portrait by Gilbert Stuart

Gilbert Stuart, the portrait artist indeed displayed skills and flare in all of his paintings. Gilbert created portraits of members of high society including, presidents, and royal families among others. One painting, however, stands out and that is the unfinished portrait of George Washington, the first president of the United States of America. The unfinished nature of the Washington portrait was intentional as Gilbert had already painted one in 1795. It is this painting that is replicated on the 1 dollar bill.

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