1. Of all the writing and drawing materials, paper is the most widely used around the world. Its name derives from papyrus, the material used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. It is believed that in 105AD, the Chinese court official, Ts’ai Lun, invented paper-making from textile waste using rags. This can be considered as the birth of paper as we know it today.
2. On the morning of Aug. 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre. The theft wasn’t noticed until the next day. Once discovered, the Louvre was shut down for nine days, the French border was sealed, and departing ships and trains searched. Thousands of people lined up at the Louvre just to see the empty spot where the painting once hung. Over two years later, the thief was found – Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian house painter and carpenter living in France who had once worked at the Louvre.
3. A student of Eastern religions and Rosicrucianism, Klein’s quest for pure color led him to paint in monochrome. He worked with a chemist to develop his “International Klein Blue” which was made from pure colour pigment and a binding medium. Klein considered monochrome painting to be an “open window to freedom, and the possibility of being immersed in the immeasurable existence of color.”
4. Adobe Photoshop, considered to be one of the greatest image manipulation and editing software programs, was first introduced in 1987 with the Mac application called Display, created by Thomas Knoll. In 1988, Display was renamed ImagePro and then finally Adobe licensed it as Photoshop. The origin of the name Photoshop is uncertain, but legend has it that it was suggested by a potential publisher during a demo, and it stuck.
5. Pocket art is not a new idea. Miniature portraits were popular from the 16th to the early 19th centuries where small paintings were carried as remembrances of loved ones, and paintings on personal items such as jewelry and snuff box covers. With the invention of early photography in the 19th century, however, miniature paintings fell out of popularity.
The Art Lover’s Almanac : Serious Trivia for the Novice and the Connoisseur
Facts On File Encyclopedia Of Art ( 5 vol. set)