Art has inspired human beings ever since the first people inhabited the planet. Even cavemen made drawings that we find in different parts of the world today. Art holds up a mirror for what's happening all around us. Whether we're art buffs or not, we all remember different paintings that impact us. We may not remember the name of the painting or the artist, but we know it when we see it. We remember the impressions they left and the feelings stirred within us.
That can happen no matter what the subject. Whether a painting is realistic or abstract, we feel something when we see it. When we see something that is familiar or that we know firsthand, that recognition is an added bonus when we see it depicted in art.
Artists paint what they know as well. in recent years, many artists have gone beyond painting beautiful countrysides to painting the cities in which they produce their art. Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro depicted ethereal scenes of Paris. Antonio Lopez Garcia painted realistic views of Madrid. When an artist paints a picture, it literally can give us a view we haven't seen before.
Answer our questions about the pictures you see, and we'll show you how deep is your knowledge of art and the places it shows.
Gustav Klimt completed this portrait called “Adele Bloch-Bauer II” in 1912. She was one of his most important patrons. She was a wealthy woman and you can see it in the richness of this painting.
Ranked by many art enthusiasts as one of the best works of the Impressionist movement, this painting depicts a garden party in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris. You can still visit this site and have a meal under the windmill.
Pablo Picasso outdid himself with "Guernica." In a career filled with famous paintings, it is one of the most famous. It was his reaction to the Nazis bombing the city and its tragic aftermath.
Although Andrew Wyeth painted "Christina's World" in 1948, the original Olson house where Anna Christina Olson (the subject of the painting) lived still stands today in Cushing, Maine, where is considered a historical site. Olson is seen crawling in the painting because she had polio.
Antonio de Pereda created "El Socorro de Génova" to memorialize the Spanish victory over France in the 1600s. At the same time, he honored the Marquis of Santa Cruz, a hero of the battle.
This painting was one of around 250 Claude Monet painted of water lilies in his gardens at Giverny. He loved flowers and found them beautiful, but he also saw them as symbols for art.
"Along the River During the Qingming Festival" by Zhang Zeduan celebrates the festive mood and ceremony at this traditional festival. It is one of the most well-known Chinese paintings.
Vincent Van Gogh painted "Cafe Terrace at Night" while he was there and not from memory, like some of his other works. It was one of the first star-filled paintings he did. The cafe is still in Arles, France, and is now called Cafe Van Gogh.
"The Last Supper" is one of the most famous and recognizable paintings in the world. Leonardo da Vinci painted this mural for a monastery in Milan between 1495 and 1498. It is truly biblical. The scene is believed to have taken place on Mount Zion, just outside the ancient city of Jerusalem.
"American Gothic" is one of the most famous paintings in the United States. The artist, Grant Wood, went to his home state of Iowa and stumbled on a farmhouse in Eldon, Iowa. The painting is what he imagined American Gothic people and homes looked like.
"The Scream" was based on a childhood memory of the artist, Edvard Munch. As he walked in what is now Oslo, Norway, he heard a scream that left such an impression on him and his friends that he painted it.
"The Arnolfini Portrait" by Jan van Eyck painting was believed to be of an Italian merchant and his wife. It was once believed it was a record of their wedding, and that she was pregnant. Neither was true.
In "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," Grant Wood illustrates the man's historic ride through Boston. Although the subject relates to history, the artist was a bit exaggerated in his images of bright and unnatural light.
Claude Monet unveiled "Impression, Sunrise" at the "Exhibition of Impressionists" in Paris in 1874. Art historians say this piece inspired the name of the art movement called Impressionism.
Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night" depicts a nighttime view of Saint-Remy-de-Provence from his room in an asylum. He never actually painted it at night. The view came from his memory.
"Luncheon of the Boating Party" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir was one of the artist's largest paintings. It was featured in the Seventh Impressionist Exhibition and was praised by the art critics of Paris.
Thomas Gainsborough painted the "Mr. and Mrs. Robert Andrews" painting after the newlywed couple commissioned him to in Sudbury, England. It is part of the "conversation piece" genre that was popular at the time.
Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer completed "The Little Street" in the mid 17th century. Of the 35 paintings of his that are still in existence today, this painting is only one of two that depicted a town.
Leonardo da Vinci painted the favorite mistress of Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan. He called the portrait "Lady with an Ermine." The duke's nickname was "the white ermine," hence the "extra" in the piece.
This oil painting, "The Potato Eaters," hangs in the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. In this work, he painted peasants sharing a simple meal. He often painted peasants as he had compassion for them.
Neo-Impressionist artist Paul Signac had a summer home in Saint-Tropez. He painted several paintings depicting port cities during his career. He completed "The Port of Saint-Tropez" in 1901.
Henry Moore took shelter from an air raid in an underground station in 1940. Later, he drew pictures from memory. This one is titled "Grey Tube Shelter." After the chairman of the War Artists Advisory Committee saw his drawings, he made Moore an official war artist.
American artist, Thomas Cole completed "View of Florence from San Miniato" in 1837. He sketched the city after a visit in 1831. Six years later, he turned the drawing into an oil painting.
Ernst Karl Eugen Koerner was inspired by a G.K. Chesterton poem when he painted "View Across the Golden Horn, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque Beyond Constantinople." The Bosphorus and the most famous monuments in Istanbul can be seen here.
Paul Signac was highly influenced by the work of Claude Monet. Like Monet, he painted many landscapes. The artist created "The Port of Rotterdam" a year after his visit to the coastal city in the Netherlands in 1906.
After spending a summer with Claude Monet, Edouard Manet painted "The Grand Canal of Venice." The Impressionist style of this painting was a clear departure from his more realistic paintings.
Colin Campbell Cooper painted the landscapes of New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago. This painting, "Fifth Avenue, New York," was purchased by the French government, which was rare for the work of an American artist.
El Greco was a Greek artist who was prominent in the Spanish Renaissance during the 15th and 16th centuries. His 16th-century piece, "View of Toledo" was the first Spanish landscape of the time. It is considered a masterpiece.
Louis Comfort Tiffany painted "On the Way between and Old and New Cairo, Citadel Mosque of Mohammed Ali, and Tombs of the Mamelukes" to give audiences a taste of the exotic. This piece was based on photographs he took in 1871.
Caspar Andriaans Van Wittel made the oil painting, "The Tiberian Island in Rome," in 1865. The island itself is boot-shaped, like Italy, and is the only Island on the Rome side of the Tiber River.
Bernardo Bellatto Canaletto became the official court painter of the King of Poland around 1766. He depicted the Royal Castle a few times, and "View on Warsaw from Royal Castle Fragment" was one of them.
Childe Hassam was an Impressionist painter who painted "Cat Boats, Newport" in 1901. He is considered one of the leaders of American Impressionism. This painting is clearly an Impressionist painting with flecks of color showing sunlight.
James Abbott Whistler is the artist behind "Nocturne in Grey and Gold: Chelsea Snow." Whistler's art career began to thrive when he arrived in England in 1859. From then until his passing, he lived in Chelsea and painted the city more than once.
Aleksander Gierymski created "Bridge in Munich." He was born in Warsaw but traveled to Germany and France for his artwork. In those countries, he painted landscapes and at night, which produced this painting.
Utagawa Hiroshige, also known as Ando, painted "Night View of Saruwaka-machi" in the mid 19th century. At the time, the city of Tokyo was called Edo. The artist depicted the theater district.
This painting by Thomas Cole is known as "The Oxbow." Its full name, however, is "View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm." It illustrates a sweeping view of the Connecticut River Valley.
Samuel Colman was an American painter who mostly painted the Hudson River, such as "Storm King on the Hudson." Since he traveled to Granada, Spain, however, he was able to produce "The Hill of the Alhambra, Granada."
"Madonna of Chancellor Rolin" was painted in 1435. The chancellor for the Duke of Burgundy, Nicolas Rollin, commissioned Jan van Eyck to paint him with the Virgin Mary. The scene is above Autun, Rollin's birthplace.
"The Bridge at Narni" was an important piece for Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. It launched him into the art world and got him to the Paris Salon in 1827. It is now on display in the Louvre.
"Liverpool from Wapping" was painted by John Atkinson Grimshaw, a painter known for his urban landscapes. But he is most known for his townscapes. He was also one of the best-known painters of the Victorian era.