Did you major in Art History? Do you love museums? Do you dream of traveling the world to see beautiful works of art? This quiz features some of the most famous paintings ever created, by some of the best artists who ever lived. Can you identify each artist? Prove it and challenge your art-loving friends!
Hilaire Germain Edgar Degas was raised mainly by his father, as his mother died when he was 13. Born on 19 July 1834 in Paris, France, Edgar Degas was the eldest of five children. His father encouraged his artistic whims and, by 18, Edgar had turned his room at his house into an artist’s studio.
Claude Monet wanted to become an artist, but his father wanted him to go into the family grocery business. In 1872 Monet painted Impression, Sunrise, which depicted a Le Havre port landscape. Jacques-François Ochard gave Claude Monet his first drawing lessons.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir made many friends in the artistic, political, and upper-class societies. He met other famous painters, including Claude Monet. There are several paintings of Renoir and Monet that are similar. They would often paint the same location from different angles and discuss how they painted light and shadow.
Raffaello Sanzio Raphael was an Italian artist who is considered one of the three great masters of High Renaissance, along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Raphael’s first documented work is the Baronci Altarpiece. His early works were influenced by his master, Pietro Perugino.
Peter Paul Rubens is known for his astonishing compositions, bursting with energy and power. He was also multilingual. Rubens wrote in five languages: Italian, Flemish, French, Latin, and English. Rubens was also an amateur architect. He rebuilt his own house, which you can now visit.
Sandro Botticelli is one of the most admired Italian painters of all time. He’s the Florentine who created some of the most famous works of art in the world. The earliest work attributed to Botticelli is a Madonna and Child (about 1465), at the Ospitale degli Innocenti in Florence.
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio had a violent temper which frequently got him into fights. He was also orphaned at a young age. In 1606 he fled Rome after he killed Ranuccio Tomassoni in a brawl. At one point Caravaggio had a death warrant issued for him by the Pope. Don't confuse Caravaggio with a more famous painter named Michelangelo.
Bruegel the Elder was a Dutch Renaissance painter and printmaker, most famous for his work in peasant scenes and landscapes. To research his subjects he often disguised himself, which earned him the nickname Peasant Bruegel. He was considered the greatest Flemish painter of the 16th century.
William-Adolphe Bouguereau was a French academic painter and traditionalist. In his realistic paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of classical subjects, emphasizing the female human body. He received numerous honors, and earned top prices for his work
Jacques-Louis David was the leader of the Neoclassic movement. His style set the artistic standards for many of his contemporaries and determined the direction of numerous 19th-century painters. David studied the ancient architectural monuments, marble reliefs, and freestanding statues.
Louis-Jean-Francois Lagrenée was a French Rococo painter and student of Carle Van Loo. He won the Grand Prix de Rome for painting in 1749 and was elected a member of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture in 1755. His younger brother, Jean-Jacques Lagrenée, was a painter as well.
Rembrandt van Rijn is a Dutch master, known for his self-portraits. He is also famously known for his expressive use of light and shadow (also called chiaroscuro) in his many portraits. Raised in Leiden, he studied with Pieter Lastman (1583-1633) in Amsterdam.
Gustav Klimt was a symbolist painter from Austria. He was one of the prominent members of Vienna Secession movement. He was noted for his paintings, sketches, murals, and other works. His primary subject was the female body, and, because of this, his work was marked by a frank eroticism.
John Singer Sargent was America's most technically brilliant portrait painter. His work profoundly influenced his generation. He spent the greater part of his life in Europe, but made frequent short visits to the United States. After an early period of realism, he went through an impressionist phase, as seen in the two versions of Luxembourg Gardens at Twilight (1879).
When Leonardo da Vinci died in 1519, he left behind more than 6,000 journal pages filled with his personal musings, grocery lists, and arrogant jokes. He also wrote about his sources of inspiration, his desire for lasting fame, and his deeply felt heartaches. He was unschooled.
Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch artist during the Golden age. He and his wife had eleven children, but much of his life is a mystery. He is best known for the luminous Girl with a Pearl Earring.
Edouard Manet was born to a wealthy family living in Paris, France. His father wanted his son to become a lawyer. However, he refused because his passion was art. To study the classical works of art, he traveled to many places, including the Netherlands, Florence, Germany, and Rome.
Vincent van Gogh had an older brother who died at birth. His name was also Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh was supposed to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a pastor. Van Gogh was 27 years old when he painted his first piece. Before that, he was failing as an art dealer and engaging in missionary work.
Jean-Leon Gerome was a French painter, sculptor, and teacher. His best-known works are scenes inspired by his travels in Egypt. His particular style is now known as Academicism. His work was influenced by European academies or universities, specifically the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
Georgia O'Keeffe was an American artist, the leading figure of the artistic and cultural movement American Modernism, which started at the turn of the twentieth century. She is known for painting enlarged flowers and for changing the gender balance in the art scene of the United States.
Paul Cezanne was a French Post-Impressionist painter. His work is said to have formed the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the dominant style in the early 20th century, Cubism. He was from a wealthy family, unlike his contemporaries.
El Greco was a painter, sculptor, and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. The name “El Greco” was a nickname, reference to his national Greek origin. He normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek - Domenikos Theotokopoulos.
Joseph Wright of Derby was an English landscape and portrait painter, commonly called Wright of Derby, because he lived in Derby, England. Wright was the first artist to capture the awe and wonder inspired by inventions and technology of the Industrial Revolution.
Francisco de Zurbaran was a Spanish Baroque painter who mastered a naturalistic style. The majority of his work followed religious themes. In 1627, he painted Christ on a Cross for a Dominican monastery. This masterpiece secured Zurbaran's standing as a respected, sought-after painter.
Tiziano Vecellio Titian was a 16th-century Italian Renaissance painter, born in Pieve di Cadore, Veneto. When Titian was 12 he was sent to Venice and his uncle, a minor painter named Sebastian Zuccato, helped him to go to work under Gentile Bellini. One of Titian's earliest works was Christ Carrying the Cross.
Francois Boucher was a leading painter of the eloquent and frivolous Rococo tradition. He was perhaps the greatest decorative artist of the 18th century. Recognizing his artistic potential, his father placed Boucher in the studio of François Lemoyne, a decorator-painter who worked in the manner of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
John Constable was an English Romantic painter and landscape painter. His most famous work is The Hay Wain, painted in 1851. During his lifetime, he only sold 20 paintings in Britain, but sold the same amount in just a few years, in France.
Gustave Caillebotte was born in 1848 to an upper-class Parisian family. Caillebotte earned a law degree in 1868 and a license to practice law in 1870. He was also drafted to fight in the Franco-Prussian war. In 1873, Caillebotte entered into the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, but didn't spend much time there.
Camille Jacob Pissarro was a Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas, which is now in the US Virgin Islands, but was then in the Danish West Indies. Pissarro studied from great forerunners, including Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.
Domenico Ghirlandaio was the leading fresco painter in Florence in the late 15th century. Ghirlandaio had nine children, one of whom, Ridolfo, was also a painter. Ghirlandaio died of the plague in Florence in 1494. Ghirlandaio painted sweeping, well-filled but uncrowded compositions .
Jean-Honore Fragonard was a French painter of the Rococo period. He spent a great deal of time sketching the gardens of Tivoli and the Villa d'Este, often alongside Hubert Robert. His drawings of this period are marked by their virtuoso execution and strength of viewpoint.
Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky was a Russian Romantic painter. He is considered one of the greatest marine artists in history. Aivazovsky was born into an Armenian family in the Black Sea port of Feodosia and was mostly based in his native Crimea.
Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez was a 17th-century Spanish painter who produced Las Meninas and many renowned portraits as a member of King Philip IV's royal court. At the age of 11, he began a six-year apprenticeship with local painter Francisco Pacheco.
Thomas Cole was the founder of the Hudson River school of romantic American landscape painting. He treated the idyllic as well as the formidable aspects of nature in impressive detail. He took drawing lessons at the Pennsylvania Academy and exhibited there for the first time in 1824.
Caspar David Friedrich was one of the most important German artists of his generation. He was a son of a candle-maker and soap boiler. His mother, Sophie, died when Friedrich was just seven. A year later, his sister Elisabeth died, while a second sister, Maria, died of typhus in 1791, so, needless to say, his life was filled with tragedy.
Jacopo Robusti Tintoretto is considered one of the greatest Venetian painters of 16th-century Italy. His career as a professional artist ran from the 1530s until his death in 1594. Some of Tintoretto's best-known works are The Last Supper of 1594 and Saint Mark Rescuing the Slave.
Sir Edward Burne-Jones was a British artist and designer, closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Burne-Jones helped to rejuvenate the tradition of stained glass art in Britain.
Giovanni Antonio Canaletto is known for his scenes of 18th-century Venice, executed with accuracy, precision, and luminosity. He was trained by his father, Bernardo Canal, as a designer of stage sets. Canaletto most often painted St. Mark's Square, the Ducal Palace, and the Grand Canal.
Anders Zorn was one of Sweden's foremost artists. He obtained international success as a painter, sculptor, and etcher. From 1875 to 1880 Zorn studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm, where he amazed his teachers with his talent.
Pablo Picasso full name has 23 words! His real name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso. Picasso was born extremely small. In fact, he was so tiny that the nurse thought he was stillborn.
Giovanni Battista Moroni was an Italian Renaissance painter, notable for his sober and dignified portraits. especially his elegantly realistic portraits of the local nobility and clergy. He is considered one of the great portrait painters of sixteenth-century Italy.
Joseph Mallord William Turner was one of the greatest romantic interpreters of nature in the history of Western art and is still unrivaled in the virtuosity of his painting of light. His father is said to have sold Turner's boyhood drawings and copies of engravings.
Edmund Blair Leighton was an English painter of historical genre scenes, specializing in Regency and medieval subjects. Leighton was a fastidious craftsman, producing highly finished, decorative pictures, displaying romanticized scenes with a popular appeal.
Samuel van Hoogstraten was a Dutch painter of the Golden Age, who was also a poet and author on art theory. Hoogstraten trained with his father, Dirk van Hoogstraten, and stayed in Dordrecht until about 1640. After his father died, he moved to Amsterdam where he entered the workshop of Rembrandt.
Jean-Marc Nattier was a French Rococo painter, noted for his portraits of the ladies of King Louis XV’s court in classical mythological attire. Nattier aspired to be a history painter, but the French financial crisis of 1720 all but ruined him.
Jacopo Carlucci Pontormo was a Florentine painter who broke away from High Renaissance classicism to create a more personal, expressive style that is sometimes classified as early Mannerism. Pontormo was primarily a religious painter, but he painted a number of sensitive portraits. In 1521 he was employed by the Medici family to decorate their villa.