Whenever I visit art museums, I’m always fascinated by artist signatures and collect pictures of them on my phone. These are a sampling of some of the better known names from my visits to the Legion of Honor and de Young museums in San Francisco.

In order of appearance:

  1. Hans Cranach c. 1503-37
  2. John Singer Sargent
  3. Jean-Léon Gérôme
  4. William Adolphe Bouguereau
  5. Albert Bierstadt
  6. Thomas Moran
  7. Odilon Redon
  8. Pablo Picasso
  9. Auguste Rodin
  10. Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  11. Claude Monet
  12. Aaron Douglas
  13. Salvador Dalí

Bashi-Bazouk by Jean-Leon Gerome


This arresting picture was made after Gérôme returned to Paris from a twelve-week journey to the Near East in early 1868. He was at the height of his career when he dressed a model in his studio with textiles he had acquired during the expedition. The artist’s Turkish title for this picture—which translates as “headless"—evokes the unpaid irregular soldiers who fought ferociously for plunder under Ottoman leadership, although it is difficult to imagine this man charging into battle wearing such an exquisite silk tunic. Gérôme’s virtuosic treatment of textures provides a sumptuous counterpoint to the figure’s dignified bearing. (MET)