Top 10 works of art that are wrong

Art is not a field where many can claim to have knowledge. Whether it’s artistic currents, paintings or painters, we retain vague notions and it’s never the theme we choose at Trivial Pursuit. That explains the mistakes we make on well-known paintings, but that’s no reason to stay wrong. It’s about to change.

1. One of Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portraits depicts not him, but his brother, Theo Van Gogh (and they look a lot alike)

The difference is very subtle but in 2011 two Van Gogh specialists compared two paintings painted the same year and realized that one of the two did not represent Van Gogh but his brother. This painting, baptized self-portrait, has therefore been renamed “Self-portrait or portrait of Theo Van Gogh”. We don’t really know if Van Gogh did it on purpose or not. If so, it’s a hell of a joke (too bad he cut his ear off).

On the left the painting representing Theo Van Gogh, on the right the REAL Van Gogh.

2. The characters in Grant Wood’s painting American Gothic do not represent a couple but a father and his daughter

Does this allow us to better understand the credits of Desperate Housewives? No, but that’s still good to know.

3. Les demoiselles d’Avignon by Picasso does not represent, as its name might indicate, girls from the city of Avignon in France but prostitutes from the rue d’Avignon in Barcelona

A street near which Picasso lived in his youth. And for the spectators of the time it was not so much the subject that shocked but its realization. Picasso would have liked to oppose the aesthetic ideal of Ingres or Matisse by presenting a provocative, shocking and deliberately unfinished work.

4. Despite its great popularity Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci is a tiny painting (77 cm x 53 cm)

It’s the big disappointment when you go to the Louvre. We expect to see a gigantic masterpiece, to move with fanfare to see if Mona Lisa is watching us, except that there are 50 people between us and the painting, smartphones in all directions that spoil our field of vision and Mona Lisa’s eyes are the size of a pea.

5. Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix does not represent the French Revolution of 1789 but the Three Glorious Revolution of 1830

We are all fooled because Marianne, a French flag, revolted people. Yes but no. 1830, protest against Charles X, second restoration, nothing to do. And for the little anecdote the painting inspired the scene of the barricades in Wretched of Victor Hugo and the boy who holds the two pistols the character of Gavroche.

6. Munch’s Scream character doesn’t scream

In fact he reacts to the cry of nature, according to the painter himself, but he does not shout. A little perched I know, I too took time to understand. But to get an idea it’s exactly like the shocked emoji holding his head in his hands. He reacts to what he hears but in itself he does not shout, in short he is shocked. Besides, it is indeed this painting by Munch that inspired him. And since I wonder if this painting also inspired the Monster Munch, it’s part of my big existential questions.

7. All the characters in Monet’s Women in the Garden have the same face, that of Camille, Monet’s wife

Why bother painting different heads when you make dresses that take up half the painting and you put a tree in the middle that eats up all the space? No one is going to look at the faces so you might as well ask your wife to strike a pose and decline her face ad infinitum. Good wanker logic.

8. The woman depicted in Jan van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Spouses is not pregnant

We always believed it and once again Desperate Housewives did not help because as a reminder in the credits, the woman rubs her hand on her stomach and passes the broom after her husband has thrown a banana peel. It was therefore OBVIOUS that this woman was a representation of Lynette since in the series she has the most children and has to pick up her husband’s dirty socks while he works. Except that no she is not pregnant Madame Arnolfini. In fact, she’s just holding her long dress in her hand, hence the big belly effect, but it’s only fabric.

9. No, Georgia O’Keeffe’s Black Painting does not represent a vagina but a black iris (even if it doesn’t look like it)

For once it is not us who are mistaken but she who is not aware that she is mistaken. #inspiringquote

10. Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam is not just a meme but a work of art

I specify because by force we forget. And it’s true that we hijacked it quite a bit… We even made a top of these best hijackings, that is to say.

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