4 Famous Paintings With Incredible Backstories

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Although it is true that pictures display a thousand words, at times, the words behind the compositions are even more impressive than what the artist chose to include in their composition. There are a lot of backstories that attract individuals to see a specific work of art – such as the “Mona Lisa”, which is a portrait so mysterious that millions of tourists choose to see it every year.

If you are interested in learning more about the backstories of the most well-known artworks, you might find this article to be quite helpful for you. The text below will feature the most amazing backstories of the most amazing compositions to date. Let’s take a closer look at the list:

“The Scream”, By Edward Munch

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Munch is the author behind one of the most valuable pictures around the globe, and yes, you have guessed it right, it is called “The Scream”. This colorful artwork has long been attracting a lot of visitors over the years, while at the same time mesmerizing some individuals, and scaring others. But, did you ever wonder how this famous composition came to existence? Well, Edward did write in his notebook that it was a part of his imagination.

The story behind this composition goes like this – one day, the painter was strolling around town when he stopped and stared up at the sky. All he could see was the red Sun, as well as dark clouds that had a blood-red color. Also, he did hear sounds coming from the town that reminded him of boards creaking.

According to the master himself, he felt like nature was shrieking at or for something. Shortly after, he returned to his home and painted a piece that is now amongst the most significant pictures around the globe. There are actually 4 versions of it, some are in galleries worldwide while the others are a part of private collections.

“American Gothic” By Grant Wood

Now, this is one of the modern paintings on this list created by an American painter called Grant Wood. First, a lot of people think that this picture features a man and his wife, however, it features a dad who manages a farm, and his child in front of their home. Although there is nothing so spectacular about the story of this composition, it is still interesting.

During late summer, Grant and his colleague went on a trip to Iowa in order to find something that would inspire Grant to make another painting. Shortly after they took off, Wood saw a smaller dwelling that had elements of Gothic architecture. That is when he decided to make a sketch of the residence on a piece of paper.

After he talked with the owner of the estate, he started thinking about who would fit perfectly into the entire composition scenario. And right then, he thought of two people that would be ideal for models. The people in the picture are not the people who lived in the house during that time, but Grant’s sibling and his dentist. At the moment, this incredible composition can be seen in a gallery in Chicago.

“Death on a Pale Horse”, By Joseph Mallord William Turner

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This picture is completely shrouded in mystery. Firstly, a lot of individuals and experts from the art world believe that this portrait is incomplete. However, if you take a look at it, you might not notice the small details missing from the painting – but if you look closer, you might notice that the bottom and left side are not complete.

The painting features a subject, often believed to be Death himself, as the last rider of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse who appear on Judgment Day. When compared to Turner’s other painting, this one is dark and full of meaning. But, it is believed that the painting was Joseph’s response to losing his father in 1829.

He did state on several occasions that he did not want to represent Death as triumphal, but, rather as a shadow emerging from the dark and gloomy mist. For a lot of people, it is considered to embody the true essence of extreme behavior. If you are interested in learning more about this artist and his work, you can check this website out.

“The Last Supper”, By Leonardo Da Vinci

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No list about famous paintings would be complete without mentioning at least one painting done by the amazing Leonardo Da Vinci. Besides the globally famous “Mona Lisa”, this artwork is also renowned for its high-quality, personas, and of course, backstory. If you wish to see this giant picture, you can visit the Convent of Santa Maria Della Grazie in Milan, Italy.

A wide range of professionals believes that this incredible mural was finished by 1489 and it was commissioned when the old cathedral and convent underwent renovation. Leonardo depicted this astonishing representation when the Duke of Milan requested him to do it. Now, I am pretty sure that everyone remembers the backstory, but it is worth mentioning.

Da Vinci aspired to depict the pure strain, confusion, and chaos the followers of Jesus displayed when Jesus himself predicted that one of his apostles would betray him. By most people, this piece of art is considered to be the most important one for Christianity and for some, even in the entire art world.


As you can see, there is more to these famous paintings that meet the eyes – their backstories are simply amazing. Not only did some major events in the painters’ lives influence them to create these amazing and truly mesmerizing pieces of art, but, they also often represented and depicted the hardships for poor and rich people faced in their life.

So, now that you have learned the backstories of some of the most famous paintings in this world, you should not waste any more time and instead, start searching for additional facts that might mesmerize you about the incredible art world that famous painters left for us.