It’s your turn now. My virtual museum is open. I’m going to show you five paintings by some artists we’ve discussed so far, and you have to pick out who painted them. Ready to start?
Here we go!
Painting no. 1
Painting no. 2
Painting no. 3
Painting no. 4
Painting no. 5
Okay, let’s see how you did. Here are the answers:
Painting no. 1: French. Orientalist. Bold, dense color. Dynamic, almost photographic composition. It’s our old friend Jean-Léon Gérôme!
Carpet Merchant in Cairo (c. 1887) by Jean-Léon Gérôme. Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis, MN).
Painting no. 2: British. Dramatically lit by one main artificial source of light. Neoclassical pseudo-scientist on the verge of discovery. Romantic moon in the background. It’s an early Joseph Wright of Derby behind door number 2!
The Alchymist, in Search of the Philosopher’s Stone, Discovers Phosphorus, and Prays for the Successful Conclusion of his Operation, as was the Custom of the Ancient Chymical Astrologers (1771) by Joseph Wright of Derby. Derby Museum and Art Gallery (Derby, UK).
Painting no. 3: British. Firmly Romantic. Pond in the foreground, with small figures and oxen. Salisbury Cathedral in the background. Could it be? Yes, It’s a Constable!
Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Garden (1826) by John Constable. Frick Collection (New York, NY).
Painting no. 4: French Rococo landscape. Sun-drenched Italianate ruins. Capriccio. It’s definitely “about” the architecture. We eliminate Guardi because he’s Baroque and this is clearly newer. So… Hubert Robert, come on down!
Ancient Ruins Used as Public Baths (1798) by Hubert Robert. The Hermitage Museum (Saint Petersburg, Russia).
Painting no. 5: Landscape/cityscape of Venice. Impossibly precise architectural “postcard” of the Piazza San Marco in Venice, viewed from the canals. Crystal-clear paint job. Canaletto!
Return of the Bucentoro to the Molo on Ascension Day (c. 1733) by Canaletto. Royal Collection (Windsor, UK).