Art World Cup 2014: Round of Sixteen (A)

  • 1 July 2014

Can Turner defeat Greece's Mannerist master El Greco to keep England's hopes alive? And who'll triumph in the clash of the self-portraits? It's the first four knockout battles of the Art World Cup!

Head to the bottom of the page to choose your favourite from each match, and to be entered into a prize draw to win an Apple iPad mini! Please read the terms and conditions before entering.

Frida Kahlo (Mexico) vs Rembrandt van Rijn (Netherlands)

Old Master, modernist. Realist, surrealist. Old world, new world. On the surface Rembrandt van Rijn and Frida Kahlo seem to be polar opposites, but dig deeper and the two painters can seem like kindred spirits. Separated by three centuries, Rembrandt and Kahlo each stood out among their contemporaries for their mastery of the self-portrait – unflinching, autobiographical and revealing unparalleled psychological depth. Can the Dutch master win out for the Netherlands, or can the Mexican modernist progress to the quarter finals?

Hokusai (Japan) vs Michelangelo (Italy)

It's no exaggeration to say that Hokusai and Michelangelo are the most iconic artists in East Asian and Western art respectively. Hokusai's Great Wave off Kanagawa is the most famous piece of Japanese art ever created, an image so prolific that it was included in the 'emoji' pictographic alphabet. In the Italian corner, Michelangelo's Creation of Adam is the most replicated religious painting of all time and – along with the Mona Lisa – is a visual shorthand for Renaissance art. Who will progress to the final eight in this cross-continent clash of the titans?

Pablo Picasso (Spain) vs Cildo Meireles (Brazil)

Brazil's Cildo Meireles is one of the most politically active artists in the world. Based in Rio de Janeiro, he was spurred into activism following Brazil's 1964 coup d'état; his Insertions into Ideological Circuits project utilised widely circulated objects, from banknotes to Coca-Cola bottles, to avoid censorship. But facing the might of Spain's Pablo Picasso, the only artist born after the 16th century to merit inclusion on Brian Sewell's list of the 10 greatest painters, is the great Brazilian's tournament coming to an end?

JMW Turner (England) vs El Greco (Greece)

The fourth match in the knockout stages is a battle of the mavericks. England's JMW Turner took landscape painting and watercolours – a genre and medium that his peers considered to be second rate – and elevated them to the status of high art. Centuries before, Doménikos Theotokópoulos – better known as El Greco (The Greek) for his Cretan origins – introduced a unique expressionistic style to Renaissance painting that wouldn't be fully appreciated until the 20th century. Can Turner triumph for English Romanticism, or will Greece's enigmatic Old Master pull through for Crete?

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