The Art of Friendship

The Art of Friendship

We wanted to explore how friendship has been depicted in art... from the twelve apostles to the Dadaists, read on to find out more. 

What to watch


Michelangelo is famous for his ceiling fresco 'The Creation of Adam', but he is not the only artist to have decorated The Sistine Chapel, in the Papal Palace in Rome. Before Michelangelo, Italian Renaissance artist Ghirlandaio created a series of frescos on the life of Christ which runs across the length of the north wall. Perhaps the most famous work from this cycle is 'The Vocation of the Apostles', which represents the calling of Peter and Andrew to join Jesus. What is special about this painting is the fact that Ghirlandaio represents each of the figures with individual features, adding to the emotional drama of the scene as Peter and Andrew kneel before Christ, as the first of the twelve apostles. Watch our presenter Jack discuss the other techniques Ghirlandaio uses to convey the story of the scene in our new film. 

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Did You Know?


The legendary Pop artist Andy Warhol had an unlikely friendship with Jean Michel Basquiat, who was 32 years his junior. In fact they created over 160 artworks together! Their collobaration and friendship is currently being celebrated at an exhibition at the Foundation Louis Vuitton'Basqiuat x Warhol: Painting Four Hands' features 80 canvases jointly signed by the artists. Keith Haring said of their friendship that is was a “conversation occurring through painting, instead of words". To learn more about the art of Basquiat, watch our film by presenter Skai, who discusses the iconic painting 'Hollywood Africans'. 

Don't Miss!

'Friendships: Collaborative Works from Dada to Now' opened last weekend at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Germany. It looks at artworks through the collaboration of friendship, starting with the Dadaists and working up to the present day. For the Dada artists, it was the process of collaboration which was important to their art rather than the object itself. They created a nightclub in Zurich called The Cabaret Voltaire, which would host theatre, poetry readings and art exhibitions. Here artists like Hugo Ball, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Jean Arp, would play off each other to invent something completely new.

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