20 Famous Paintings Your Students Should Know

1. Claude Monet, The Artist’s Garden at Vétheuil, 1881

A painting shows a figure of a small child in a garden (famous paintings)

French painter Claude Monet frequently depicted gardens, which sets him apart, especially with his young son accompanying him on the path. Monet is recognized as one of the pioneers of impressionist art.

Give it a go: Create a Monet masterpiece at KinderArt.

2. Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait, 1889

Vincent Van Gogh is painted in 3/4 view from the bust up holding a palette and paint brushes (famous paintings)

This self-portrait was the first painting completed by Van Gogh in 1889, following a significant mental breakdown. Vincent Van Gogh is perhaps best known for his 30-plus self-portraits, but his subjects varied.

Give it a try: Create a Van Gogh painting using forks at Projects with Kids.

3. Edgar Degas, The Dance Class, 1873

Ballet dancers are shown dancing in class in this painting (famous paintings)

Edgar Degas, the French impressionist, was known best for creating over 1,500 artworks dedicated to his love of ballet. He excelled in sculpting, drawing, and painting dancers, surpassing any other artistic endeavors.

4. El Greco, Christ Driving the Money Changers From the Temple, 1570

A panting crowded with figures shows Christ in the center inside an open temple (famous paintings)

Art historians regard the work of art from El Greco’s period in Venice highly. He possessed skills in architecture, sculpture, and painting. El Greco was a versatile individual.

5. Pietro Lorenzetti, Madonna and Child, With the Blessing Christ [middle panel], probably 1340

Madonna is seen holding a baby Jesus.

In Pisa, a widely recognized theme was the depiction of Christ consuming cherries, leading some to speculate that this artwork was commissioned for a church. Pietro Lorenzetti and his younger sibling Ambrogio introduced a sense of realism into the artistic style of the Sienese School.

6. Paul Cézanne, Still Life With Milk Jug and Fruit, 1900

A painting shows a close-up of oranges and a pitcher on a table.

Paul Cézanne, a notable French painter, painted many different subjects throughout his career, but he is well known for his lifelike depiction of various subjects. He paved the way for movements like Cubism in the 20th century, while breaking away from impressionism.

Give it a shot: Still Life Sketching for Children on YouTube.

7. Rembrandt van Rijn, A Polish Nobleman, 1637

A distnguished man is shown in 3/4 profile view from the waist up. He is wearing a tall black hat and a fur cape. (famous paintings)

Although this portrait currently resides in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., It previously belonged to Andrew Mellon and Catherine the Great, who were both renowned patrons of the Golden Age artist Rembrandt from Holland.

8. Amedeo Modigliani, Adrienne (Woman With Bangs), 1917

A woman with exaggerated stylized features is shown with her hand behind her head.

Give it a try: How To Sketch Similar to Modigliani at Art Projects for Kids.

9. Mary Cassatt, The Boating Party, 1893

A woman is shown in a boat facing the viewer holdng a baby. A man is seen from behind also in the boat, paddling (famous paintings)

Cassatt was an American painter and printmaker who spent much of her life in France, associating with the Impressionists. This painting is emblematic of her work, as it includes the motif of a child and mother.

10. Paolo Veronese, The Finding of Moses, 1581

Figures crowd around one woman with some standing and some kneeling around her. A kneeling woman present a newborn baby. (famoust paintings)

Veronese, an Italian painter from the Renaissance era, created various versions of the discovery of Moses in his artwork.

11. Gustav Klimt, Baby (Cradle), 1917/1918

A baby sits atop a pile of colorful blankets in this semi abstract painting.

Klimt, an Austrian painter, had a distinct and easily recognizable style because of his eclectic mix of influences. His paintings, swirling with mass and draped in baby blankets, certainly represent a symbolic and representative style.

Famous Paintings Not in the Public Domain

12. Lucian Freud, Girl With a Kitten, 1947

Lucian Freud, a renowned painter, expressed his dissatisfaction with one of his completed paintings, stating that the subject closely resembled his first wife Kathleen. He wanted the person in the painting to be more like his friends and lovers, as he knew well how to capture their essence in his portraits.

13. Roy Lichtenstein, M-Maybe, 1970

Despite being relatively unknown to the general public, Roy Lichtenstein, the artist, frequently chose to depict individual panels from comic books in his artwork, desiring a mechanical aesthetic for his pieces. He played a prominent role in the American pop art movement and was primarily known as a painter. Iconic paintings such as M-Maybe are often easily identifiable.

Give it a try: Lichtenstein Art Projects for Children at Artsy Craftsy Mom.

14. Georgia O’Keeffe, Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue, 1931

No complete list would be without the famous paintings of O’Keeffe. She was also a key contributor to the modern art movement, focusing earlier in her career on the skyscrapers and natural elements of the Southwest before later turning her attention to New York City. She was one of the most successful painters of the 20th century.

Give it a try: Engage in Georgia O’Keeffe Art Activities at Jenny Knappenberger’s.

15. Amy Sherald, First Lady Michelle Obama, 2018

In 2018, the official presidential portraits of Barack Obama and Michelle were created by African American artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively. These paintings became the first African American presidential portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, drawing record numbers of visitors to Sherald’s portrait of Obama.

16. Gu Kaizhi, The Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies, approximately 344-406

Gu Kaizhi was also a renowned Chinese painter and writer. This hand-painted scroll depicts a political satire, showcasing the indulgence of an Empress.

17. Christine Ay Tjoe, Hyaluronic Pledge #05, 2022

#05 Pledge Hyaluronic is a significant component of a larger series, which is listed as one of our famous paintings. It is the recent masterpiece that delves into the exploration of an imaginary organism. Tjoe Ay Christine, an Indonesian artist, explores the themes of human condition through her abstract and layered dramatic paintings.

18. Jasper Johns, Flag, 1954/1955

Jasper Johns was mainly known for his style of painting, which was expressionistic and abstract. He used large, free gestures to paint everyday objects in order to truly disturb the viewer when they saw them.

Give it a try: Jasper Johns Flag Art for the Fourth of July at Art History Kids.

19. Hannah Höch, In Front of a Red Evening Sun, n.d

Höch, the founder of Dadaism in Berlin, highlighted painting in particular with her experimentation in abstract art, including photomontage. Eventually, the Nazi regime would ban this anti-art movement in the 1930s.

20. Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893

Edvard Munch, a Norwegian painter and one of the most prominent figures of the modern art movement, based his autobiographical painting “The Scream” on an experience but painted it in a nondescript manner. “The Scream” might be more famous and easily recognizable than even the Mona Lisa.

Did we miss your favorite paintings? Share them in the comments below.

Also, check out 20 Famous Artists Your Students Should Know.

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