Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Infinite Art Tournament Championship Match

Here it is!  Back in April, Bruegel and Van Gogh met in Round 8.  The older artist won the match, then beat John Singer Sargent in the provisional championship. To keep his hopes alive, Van Gogh had to beat Vermeer, then Caillebotte, and then Sargent, to make it back for one last shot at glory.

To defend the provisional championship, Bruegel needs a win or a tie.  To complete his comeback, van Gogh has to win outright -- a tie would count as a Tournament-sealing victory for Bruegel under the Grudge Match rule.

Thanks to everyone who has voted regularly or sporadically over the last eight years.  It isn't the kind of project that you would expect to see through to conclusion.

Vincent van Gogh
1853 - 1890
Dutch; worked in France
Over the course of his decade-long career (1880–90), he produced nearly 900 paintings and more than 1,100 works on paper. Ironically, in 1890, he modestly assessed his artistic legacy as of “very secondary” importance.... By the outbreak of World War I, with the discovery of his genius by the Fauves and German Expressionists, Vincent van Gogh had already come to be regarded as a vanguard figure in the history of modern art.
- The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

Pieter Bruegel (the Elder)
c.1525 - 1569
A number of Bruegel’s paintings focus on the lives of Flemish commoners.... But while these works demonstrate the artist’s attentive eye for detail and attest to his direct observation of village settings, they are far from simple re-creations of everyday life. The powerful compositions, brilliantly organized and controlled, reflect a sophisticated artistic design.... Bruegel’s use of landscape also defies easy interpretation, and demonstrates perhaps the artist’s greatest innovation.... These panoramic compositions suggest an insightful and universal vision of the world — a vision that distinguishes all the work of their remarkable creator.
- The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
  • Trounced his own son, Jan Bruegel the Elder, in Round 1.
  • Won easily against living artist Daniel Buren in Round 2.
  • Scorched respectable Victorian Ford Maddox Brown in Round 3.
  • Made it past Botticelli in Round 4.
  • Beat Gianlorenzo Bernini in Round 5 by a single vote. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!
  • Beat Albrecht Altdorfer easily in Round 6.
  • Pulled away from Degas eventually in Round 7.
  • Surprised Vincent van Gogh in Round 8
  • Beat John Singer Sargent in the Provisional Final Match.


Candida said...


Morgan said...

Van Gogh. Thanks for the tournament!

Alexandra Shields said...

Pieter Bruegel. Nice tournament!

Nichim said...

Someday I would like you to tell me the percentage of contests in this tournament in which I have cast a vote. I think I have done pretty well. But for now, I cast my vote for Bruegel the elder and his painting of people carrying pies as the greatest artwork of all time according to this tournament. I do like Van Gogh though.

UnwiseOwl said...

I was dubious about the tournament when we started out, but it's been a lot of fun, well done for seeing it through and thanks for trying to educate my uncivilised self about the arts. Bring back college football, that's what I say!

I;m going to cast my vote for Bruegel. I dunno how it's come to this, but it has. If he wins I'm dressing up as 'mischievous child in an armilliary sphere' at the next chance I get.

mrs.5000 said...

Bruegel for me. I have a memory of voting for him early in the tournament, and thinking that as far as I was concerned he could just keep going. Well, I'll be, that doesn't mean I expected it!

DrSchnell said...


Michael5000 said...

Becca texted in at some point to say "Van Gogh."

Chuckdaddy said...

Thank you so much for creating the best blog ever (a major accomplishment, even if the competition has been reducing at exponentially decaying speeds). This being the final match is very bitter sweet. I am excited that we made it to the end, but it also feels a little hollow. Is this really the end? I hope not. I have learned so much about art following this. Like, for example, that van Gogh is much much better than Bruegel.

Michael5000 said...

Mariah and Rebel both vote van Gogh on Facebook; whereas, Susan sent a van Gogh postcard with a vote for Bruegel on it...

Michael5000 said...

Sven and Gretchen get down off the fence, on Breugel's side.

Michael5000 said...

Eric votes for Van Gogh.

Michael5000 said...

Dear Readers, the final vote is: Breugel 9, van Gogh 6.

1107424005 said...

Cezanne would eat all these artists for breakfast. So much for representative democracy.

Michael5000 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael5000 said...

Hi, 110. Cezanne, who is indeed often held up as a real breakfast-eater, only managed exactly 100th place in the Tournament. The result doesn't really discredit representative democracy, though. It's direct democracy in which we've lain bare the inherent flaws.