10 art facts to impress your friends


Lisa Stutz



Personen betrachten eine abstrakte Skulptur

Have you so far maintained an embarrassed silence when the conversation turned to art? Ten facts that will make you look cool at the next party:


1) What is Op-Art?

Art that uses optical illusions is called op art.

2) The oldest stone

One of the oldest witnesses of human creativity is a stone in which a pattern was incised with another stone – around 70,000 years ago. It was discovered in a cave in South Africa.


3) The Statue of Liberty in New York

The Statue of Liberty in New York was designed by the French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi. It is as high as a 22-storey building.

4) The Louvre in Paris

The Louvre in Paris is the largest art museum in the world. It houses more than 35,000 works of art.


5) Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel

The Italian painter and sculptor Michelangelo took four years to complete the ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Some of the figures in the frescoes are three times the size of a real person.


6) «Starry Night» by Vincent van Gogh

The famous painting Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh is in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The artist painted it in June 1889 during his stay in a sanatorium.

7) What is conceptual art?

Artworks come in various genres: drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures and ceramics. Even everyday objects can become works of art, this is known as concept art. 


8) «The Thinker» by Auguste Rodin

The famous sculpture The Thinker is made of bronze. It is by Auguste Rodin, a French sculptor. He began by making a small plaster model and then cast a larger figure in bronze. Several copies of it exist.

9) Painting with egg yolk

Artists used to paint with egg yolk. Powdered pigments were mixed with egg yolk and water or vinegar to improve the paint’s adherence. The technique went out of fashion around 600 years ago when oil paint was invented.


10)The «Mona Lisa» by Leonardo da Vinci 

The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci shows a woman called Lisa del Giocondo who lived in Florence around 500 years ago. It is known as the Mona Lisa because Mona means lady.

More art facts for children and grown-ups:

Alles über Kunst, Katie Daynes, 15.90 Swiss Frances at exlibris.ch

How about going to the museum?

The Migros Museum of Modern Art offers public guided tours of all its exhibitions. Everyone is welcome to come along. No prior knowledge is necessary. The group explores ways of looking at art and what it has to do with our daily lives. Revealing insights are also provided on how the exhibitions originated.

  • Length: 1 hour
  • Cost: normal museum admission, the guided tours are free
  • Registration: not necessary

More info: www.migrosmuseum.ch

Photos: Getty Images