Can You Identify the Religious Figures in These Famous Artworks?

By: Heather Cahill
Image: Pixabay

About This Quiz

I think that's the Virgin Mary... or is it Mary Magdalene? Make sure you keep your religious figures straight in this quiz! You'll have to look at the masterpieces of the greats such as paintings from Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Many of their paintings dealt with the subject of religion and stories from the Bible. All that is left to do is identify who they are!

You'll have to tap into different artistic styles and look for clues to decipher who it may be. Maybe you'll notice a woman with a baby and realize that it is the Virgin Mary. Or maybe you'll spot a platter and realize that St. John the Baptist is in the painting. If you can't find a clue, then look for others or places you might recognize in the paintings!

This quiz will put your knowledge and your eye to the test! You know their names and their story, but how well do you really know their faces? This is your time to find out!

So, you think you're an art expert? What about an expert in religious figures? If you can put them both together, you can probably ace this quiz. Take it to find out your score!

You'll find Moses at the top of this painting, the "Transfiguration," alongside Jesus. This painting's artist was Raphael, and other religious figures in the painting are Elijah and John.

Saint Jerome is depicted in this painting by Leonardo da Vinci, also titled, "St. Jerome." It is currently located at the Vatican after changing through various famous hands since its creation.

St. Luke appears in this painting along with Mary and Jesus. The painting is called "St. Luke Painting the Virgin" by Derick Baegert which was completed in the 1400s. There are many paintings that depict the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus, but where is Joseph?

Saint Sixtus II, who was also a Pope at one time, is shown in this painting called "Sistine Madonna" by Raphael. There are a few other religious figures depicted as well, such as Madonna, better known as Mary, and John the Baptist.

You'll find Peter in the painting, "The Calling of St. Matthew," by Caravaggio, along with Matthew. Did you know that the painting is a capture of Matthew when he was writing one part of the Bible? The painting was created in the late 1500s, so it came much after the actual writings!

The Prodigal Son is definitely present in the painting, "The Return of the Prodigal Son," by Rembrandt. If you want to see the painting in person, it is currently at the Hermitage Museum.

You'll see Bartholomew along with the other apostles of Jesus in "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci. Just like one of his other most famous paintings, the "Mona Lisa," this painting is said to have some hidden treasures in it as well.

Christ is on the cross in Peter Paul Rubens' painting, "The Elevation of the Cross." It was painted in the early 1600s and it is laid out along t​hree panels found in the Cathedral of Our Lady.

Saint Joseph is one of the subjects of this painting called "Merode Altarpiece," which is thought to be created by Robert Campin. The three-panel​ painting is located in New York City, and also has the Virgin Mary depicted in it.

The Three Wise Men who came to visit baby Jesus are shown in the "Adoration of the Magi" by Leonardo da Vinci. The painting is one of many which have the same title, and depict the same scenes but in different styles and techniques.

Gabriel is delivering some exciting news to Mary in Leonardo da Vinci's painting, "Annunciation." This painting was created in the 1400s and is currently located in Italy.

The main subject of this painting is Belshazzar who is hosting a grand dinner here. The painting is called "Belshazzar's Feast" by Rembrandt, which hangs in the National Gallery of London.

Jesus has risen from the dead in the painting, "The Resurrection," by Piero della Francesca. The painting was almost destroyed in World War II but was saved by a cease-fire​ by an admirer of art.

The Archangel Gabriel sits with the Virgin, baby Jesus and baby John the Baptist in "The Virgin of the Rocks" by Leonardo da Vinci. It is one of two versions of the painting. This version is hung in the Louvre.

The Virgin Mary makes an appearance in this painting as she enters Heaven's doors in "Coronation of the Virgin" by Diego Velazquez. As you probably know, she became the Queen of Heaven.

The Holy Trinity is present in this painting called "The Trinity" by Andrei Rublev. Andrei Rublev was a Russian artist who created this work in the early 1400s in Moscow where it remains today.

Mary and Jesus are depicted in this painting called "Madonna in Glory with Seraphim" by Sandro Botticelli. It is currently in Florence, Italy, and was​ painted in the 1400s.

Mary is shown in another painting which also shows her son, Jesus. The painting is called "Our Lady of Confidence" which was painted by Carlo Marratta in the mid-1800s.

You'll find Christ nailed to the cross in this painting called "Christ of Saint John of the Cross." The story behind the painting is that Salvador Dali had a dream that inspired the creation of the piece.

The Virgin Mary is shown in a different way in "L'Innocence" by William Adolphe-Bouguereau. Did you notice the lamb that Mary holds along with baby Jesus in her arms?

Jesus is shown laying in the arms of his mother, Mary, after his death in this sculpture known as "Pieta" by Michelangelo. Like many of Michelangelo's works, the sculpture is located in Vatican City.

Joseph and Mary are in this painting called "The Adoration of the Shepherds" by Giorgione. The painting is from the Renaissance era and shows a calmer scene than many others of the time.

Saint John the Baptist is shown as a child with Jesus in this painting called the "Panciatichi Holy Family" by Bronzino. The painting was commissioned by the Panciatichi family in the 1500s.

St. Sebastien is the subject of this painting called "San Sebastien" by Andrea Mantegna. In this painting, St. Sebastien has just been shot with arrows after attending to those who were affected by the plague and Mantegna was thought to have suffered from the disease as well.

Mary and baby Jesus are the subjects of "The Virgin Enthroned in Angels" by Cimabue. This was an earlier work of art being painted in the 1200s, and is currently in display at the Louvre.

You may recall from the Bible that Salome was the one who requested St. John the Baptist's head on a platter. The painting called "The Beheading of St. John the Baptist" by Caravaggio depicts the killing of St. John the Baptist.

The three biblical Marys are depicted in this painting called "The Dead Christ Mourned" by Annibale Carracci. This painting is in the National Gallery of London and was painted in the early 1600s.

St. Augustine is pictured in this painting, called "The Burial of the Count of Orgaz" by El Greco. This is a famous painting that depicts heaven and the Earth and stands at 15 feet tall.

St. Catherine is the star of this painting called "St. Catherine of Alexandria" by Raphael. Did you know that this piece was painted during the Italian Renaissance?

St. John is present in this painting called "The Entombment" by Michelangelo. The painting is about the subject of putting Jesus to rest after his crucifixion. It is currently in the National Gallery of London.

Christ is depicted after his death in this painting called "Lamentation for Christ" by Andrea Mantegna.

You may not have recognized him, but that's because he is in disguise! Jesus is here with a few disciples in this painting called "The Supper at Emmaus" by Caravaggio.

Abraham is shown here as he prepares to sacrifice his son in this painting called "The Sacrifice of Isaac" by Caravaggio. This is one of two versions of the painting. This one hangs in New Jersey, while the other is in Florence.

Saint Peter is filled with sorrow in this painting called "The Tears of Saint Peter" by El Greco. The dark background helps to convey the terrible mood and regret he is feeling in this Renaissance-era​ painting.

The Virgin Mary becomes blessed with the Holy Child Jesus Christ in this painting called "The Immaculate Conception" by Bartolome Esteban Murillo. This painting dealt with Mary's conception of the Holy Child​.

Adam is found in this painting called "The Disputation Over the Most Holy Sacrament" by Raphael. He is among many other important figures, including God, Jesus, Mary, and St. John the Baptist.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes