Fascinating Stories Behind Popular Art

Top 10 interesting backstories of well known paintings.
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When it comes to art, it can speak to people in many different ways. Because the human mind is not universal, we do not interpret art in the same way. What most people don’t realize is that some of the most iconic paintings to have been created have the most fascinating stories behind them. Sometimes the stories are more interesting than the paintings themselves. Each color choice and brush stroke represent a narrative in the paintings birth story, and eventually become a masterpiece that impact people generations to come long after the artist has passed away.
Art has the ability to invoke emotions and awaken our senses. From looking at a painting of a forest, we are taken back to our own experiences among the trees. We might be able to smell the wood, feel the breeze blowing by, and visually see the animals and plant life around us. Because of this kind of reaction, artists have a powerful tool in sending messages and making us feel certain things from looking at their work. There is no question that art is one of the most powerful devices for inspiration and manipulation.
In this video, you will see paintings from a variety of different time periods and artists. From Vincent van Gogh to Andy Warhol, the artists here each had unique experiences that motivated them to pick up the paint brush. Whether they were trying to recreate a life experience, like what Edvard Munch did in his painting “The Scream” or what van Gogh created with “Starry Night” as he recreated his window view from his room at a mental hospital, or they were trying to send a message like Grant Wood with “American Gothic” or Salvador Dali with “The Persistence of Memory”.
Some of the most famous paintings today have assumed stories and origins, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” where people assume the female subject can’t be identified. While she remains a mystery, by looking at historical records, art historians believe that they are closer than ever to finding out the truth about the woman behind the smile. Learning about the stories behind these popular paintings can be both fun and educational. If you look at the origin story of “The Raft of Medusa”, many people are shocked to find out that the painting is based on actual events that include shipwrecks, cannibalism, descents into madness, and death. The painting is the second most popular painting at the Louvre Museum (after the Mona Lisa), and was able to draw a crowd on its own without the historical information.
Situations such as these speak volumes about our history and the evolution of mankind. As we grow and develop the world of art, we are finding that we have more in common with the people of the past than ever before. For more information on the fascinating stories behind the world’s most popular paintings, check out the video below. Don’t worry, you didn’t need to take a class in art history in order to appreciate these works of art.

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The Creation of Adam
The Raft of the Medusa
American Gothic
Campbell’s Soup Cans
Mona Lisa
Whistler’s Mother
The Persistence of Memory
Starry Night
The Scream

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