Color Inspiration from the Masters of Painting

Color Inspiration from the Masters of Painting


The world has seen thousands of artists and millions of great pieces of art, but we chose just a handful of pieces of art from some of greatest masters of painting to show a little of how they were inspired by color... or perhaps, how they inspire us with color.

The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

The Mona LisaMona Lisa
Painted between 1503 and 1506 in Florence, Italy. It is painted using the sfumato method, a term coined by Leonardo referring to a painting technique in which translucent layers of paint are applied so subtly that there is no perceptible transition. Her enigmatic smile has been both evocative and cause of speculation as to whom she might be.

Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso

Three MusiciansThree Musicians
Painted in the summer of 1921 in a great constrast to his monumental sculptures that year. The seemingly cut-out paper painting evokes a bohemian period in life that was enjoyed even by Picasso, who is the diamond-covered figure in the centre.

Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí

Persistence of Memory by Salvador DalíPersistanceOfMemory
Painted in 1931, the surrealistic painting has also been popularly known as Soft Watches, Droopy Watches, or Melting Clocks, and the theme of the painting was later revisited by Dali in 1954 with 'The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory.

The Water Lily Pond by Claude Pierre Monet

The Water Lily Pond by Claude Pierre MonetLily Pond
The Water Lily Pond was in the collection of the Havemeyers, who considered Monet the greatest impresssionist landscape painter.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Monet became the most popular impressionist painter in the United States, as well as the one best-represented in American collections.

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

Starry Night by Vincent van GoghStarry Night
Painted in 1889 and embodies an inner, subjective expression of van Gogh's response to nature. In thick sweeping brushstrokes, a flamelike cypress unites the churning sky and the quiet village below. The village was partly invented, and the church spire evokes van Gogh's native land, the Netherlands.

The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli

The Birth of Venus by Sandro BotticelliThe Birth of Venus
The Birth of Venus depicts the goddess Venus, having emerged from the sea as a full grown woman, arriving at the sea-shore. It is suggested that the painting may have been created in 1483 for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco. The inspirations Botticelli used where of second century art and history.

Harmony in Red by Henri Matisse

Harmony in Red by Henri MatisseHarmony in Red
One of Mattise's most unusual color creations, with a history just as fascinating and complex. Created in 1908, the piece originally started out as Harmony in Green, and then Harmony in Blue. The predominantly blue canvas was then painted over in the bold red seen now.

Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol

Marilyn Monroe by Andy WarholMarilyn
Warhol created several "mass-produced" images from photographs. Gracing his creative flair with things in heavily in the public eye, Warhol created prints during the 1960s featuring Jackie Onassis, and Elvis Presley. His most popular images during this time are of Marilyn Monroe and Cambell's Tomato Soup.

La Promenade by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

La Promenade by Pierre-Auguste RenoirLa Promenade
La Promenade depicts a young man helping a woman up a sloping path into the wood. In doing so, he backs into the trees and bushes and becomes a "green man." He gestures into the trees; she looks away, as if wondering whether she really wants to surrender to the trees and his green embrace, to be tumbled and cradled beneath the dress the trees, soiling her radiant white dress.

The Scream by Edvard Munch

The Scream by Edvard MunchThe Scream
Part of a seminal series of expressionist paintings by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. It is said by some to symbolize the human species taken by an attack of existential angst. The landscape in the background is Oslofjord, viewed from the hill of Ekeberg.

Les Amants by René Magritte

Les Amants by René Magritteles amants
Painted in 1928, This is one of a small group of pictures painted by Magritte in Paris, in which the identity of the figures is mysteriously shrouded in white cloth. The origin of this disturbing image has been attributed to various sources, including... Magritte's fascination by 'Fantômas', the shadowy hero of the thriller series which first appeared in novel form in 1913. And another source has been suggested as the memory of his mother's apparent suicide. In 1912, when Magritte was only thirteen years of age, his mother was found drowned in the river Sambre; when her body was recovered from the river, her nightdress was supposedly wrapped around her head.

No. 5 by Jackson Pollock

No. 5 by Jackson PollockNo. 5 1948
No. 5, 1948 is an abstract painting by Jackson Pollock, an American painter known for
his contributions to the abstract expressionist movement. The painting was done on a 8 x
4 feet sheet of fiberboard, with thick amounts of brown and yellow paint drizzled on top
of it, forming a nest-like appearance. It has become one of the most controversial
paintings because of its sale to David Martinez for $140 million.

What colors inspire you? Check out Creative Market to find your color palette now.


36 Comments
Showing 31 - 36 of 36 Comments

laura trevey

This is SO interesting!!! I love the blue and green palette of Water Lily Pond.

Arandano

thanks very much for sharing it is an amazing technique!

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