Are you ready for a journey into the depths of Art History? After reviewing this content, we can already say that you will definitely include these places in your travel plan during your travels abroad.
Throughout history, artists have been inspired by their surroundings and have produced many works of art with their magical hands. Artists started to paint their surroundings, including in the classical period, but especially with the Impressionism movement. Some were impressed by a bridge, some by a cafe, and some by a farmhouse. But the common feature in all of their works is that even though decades have passed, the magic of those places still fascinates us when we look at the paintings.
Do not think that it is not possible to see these places live, now we offer you the opportunity to visit these places, albeit in a two-dimensional way. If you are ready with the content of ‘10 Places from Famous Paintings That You Can Visit in Real Life‘, we would like to take you on a virtual trip.
10 Real-Life Locations That Inspired Famous Paintings.
1- American Gothic – Grant Wood, 1930
Where can you see the painting?: Art Institute of Chicago
This painting featuring a farmer and his daughter is one of the most parodied works of art of all time. It has inspired everything from advertisements to magazine covers to cartoons.
American Gothic was created in 1930 by Grant Wood from Eldon, Iowa. The white building in the background of the composition was built by Catherine and Charles Dibble in the early 1880s in the Carpenter Gothic style, an American architectural movement in which traditional Gothic design elements were applied to wooden houses.
Wood features his sisters Nan and Cedar Rapids dentist Byron McKeeby as models, while the figures in clothes inspired by Wood’s old family photos are meant to represent typical small-town Americans.
Wood chose the house not because it was beautiful, but because he was fascinated by the strange combination of flamboyant details and simple materials. Today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as an event space for the American Gothic Home Center, a museum on the property.
Recommended For You: The 10 Best Art Museums in the World.
2- The Hay Wain – John Constable, 1821
Where can you see the painting?: National Gallery
British painter John Constable was a key figure in the Romantic movement of the early 19th century and painted a number of landscape paintings, including The Hay Wain in 1821.
Voted the second most popular work in the UK in a 2005 poll by BBC Radio 4, the painting depicts a farmer and his horses pulling a hay wain, or cart across a river. On the far left is a farmhouse known as Willy Lott’s House, which still stands today in Suffolk, England.
Lott was a farmer on Constable’s father’s estate and has lived in this house all his life. Currently protected by the United Kingdom’s National Trust, it was originally built in the 16th century. However, in the following years, additions were made to create the building seen in the painting.
Although the painting was slightly altered after it was completed, the house was transformed into the shape seen in The Hay Wain with a restoration in the 1920s.
3- The Little Street – Johannes Vermeer, 1657-1658
Where can you see the painting?: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Although less than 40 paintings by 17th-century Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer are known to exist today, the artist is widely regarded as one of the greatest painters of all time. He is even the artist who painted The Girl with a Pearl Earring, which is considered the Mona Lisa of the north.
Recommended For You: 15 Facts You Might Not Know About The Mona Lisa
One of the two surviving townscapes, The Little Street in 1658, was located in real life by researchers in 2015.
Frans Grijzenhout, a professor at the University of Amsterdam, consulted old tax records in Vermeer’s hometown of Delft and found that the buildings and streets depicted in the painting were one spot in the entire city that met the proportions correctly: The present-day site of 40–42 Vlamingstraat.
While the buildings in the painting were demolished and new structures were built in their place, the gate on the right in the painting still exists. Furthering the professor’s claim is research showing that the red brick house depicted on the right of the painting belongs to Vermeer’s aunt.
Recommended For You: Johannes Vermeer (Jan Vermeer) – Paintings, Artworks, and Biography
4- Café Terrace at Night – Vincent van Gogh, 1888
Where can you see the painting?: Kröller-Müller Museum
Although Vincent van Gogh never achieved fame or money during his short life, he is one of the most popular and prolific artists of all time. Although Vincent van Gogh completed more than 2,000 works of art, including oil paintings, drawings, sketches, and watercolors, he only sold one painting in his lifetime.
One of his more famous paintings, completed in Post-Impressionist style, is Cafe Terrace at Night, 1888, which depicts a brightly lit cafe against a starry sky.
Today, Van Gogh enthusiasts can head out to eat and drink at Le Café La Nuit, the exact location that inspired Café Terrace at Night. Located in Arles, a city in southern France, the restaurant offers its visitors a full menu. But given the venue’s affiliation with Van Gogh, it’s often too crowded, which isn’t surprising, making it difficult to find a seat.
The richly colored painting is famous for being one of the first works he completed during his stay in Arles, France, a particularly fruitful period in the Dutch artist’s life.
The artist had moved from Paris to Arles for new inspiration and a break from city life. He intended to establish an artists’ colony there and invite his close friend Paul Gauguin to stay, but their friendship fell apart after an argument resulted in van Gogh cutting off his own ear. Suffering from deep depression, Van Gogh was admitted to a mental institution in Saint-Rémy after the event, and his life ended with suicide in 1890.
Recommended For You: 16 Secrets of Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh
5- The Scream – Edvard Munch, 1893
Where can you see the painting?: Norway’s National Museum
Norwegian painter Edvard Munch is the artist behind one of the most iconic pieces of modern art in the world: ‘The Scream.’
In a diary of January 1892, Munch described his source of inspiration as follows.
“I was walking along the road with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.”
Luckily for fans of ‘The Scream’, it’s easy to discover where Munch was inspired to paint his masterpiece: an overlook on the side of Valhallveien Road on a hill above Oslo.
Recommended For You: 8 Things You Need To Know About Munch‘s The Scream.
6- Water Lilies Series – Claude Monet, 1920-26
Where can you see the painting?: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Where: Giverny, Paris, France.
The famous painter produced works on all kinds of subjects, from the Thames in London to the Rouen Cathedral in France, to haystacks in the countryside, but one of the motifs he used in his most famous works was the water lily.
As an Impressionist painter, Claude Monet reconsidered subjects in different light and weather conditions, capturing his ‘impressions’ with loose brushstrokes and bold colors.
When Monet moved to the French village of Giverny in 1883, he designed his own gardens, including a water garden covered by a green Japanese bridge. Even though his eyesight started to deteriorate, the artist transferred his gardens to his canvas for the rest of his life.
Monet’s house and gardens are open to the public and are navigable.
Recommended For You: The Life of Claude Monet and His Paintings.
7- A Sunday on La Grande Jatte – Georges Seurat, 1844
Where can you see the painting?: The Art Institute of Chicago
Georges Seurat’s magnificent work, known by almost everyone around the world, depicts stylish Parisians enjoying a sunny day along the banks of the Seine.
Although the scenes in the work seem quite simple, we can say that it is more fun than it seems at the beginning. For example, you can see the woman on the right walking a monkey on a leash. The painting is also the beginning of an era. The use of small lines of color to create an image helped him pioneer the technique of pointillism.
The painting depicts Île de la Jatte (Jatte Island), an idyllic island where you can take a quiet stroll along the Seine. The island contains reproductions of several notable works of art found in the spots where they were painted, including ‘A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.‘
8- Impression Sunrise – Claude Monet, 1872
Where can you see the painting?: Musée Marmottan Monet
Claude Monet has many outstanding works, but perhaps none has attracted more attention than the depiction of an idyllic French port on a misty morning.
After the artist exhibited his work at an exhibition in Paris, a critic used the term ‘Impressionist’ based on the title of his work. It is believed that the Impressionist movement got its name from here.
Recommended For You: 8 Famous Impressionist Painters and Their Masterpieces.
Monet’s inspiration was the Port of Le Havre, which is today France’s second-largest commercial port. It is also a common port of entry for cruise ships arriving in Paris, so you have a good chance of seeing this port if you book a cruise through the City of Light.
9- The Beach at Fécamp – Albert Marquet, 1906
Where can you see the painting?: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Born in Bordeaux in 1875, Albert Marquet traveled with his close friend and famous painter Henri Matisse to Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, and North Africa, painting picturesque beaches and landscapes.
But Marquet’s greatest inspiration was the ports and beaches of Normandy, a region of Northern France about a three-hour drive from Paris.
In 1906 Marquet painted The Beach at Fécamp, a vivid oil painting of the seashore with towering white cliffs, synonymous with Fécamp’s historic fishing port and beach.
After exploring Fécamp’s several restaurants, churches, and museums, you can stroll the stone beach or promenade and marvel at the stunning white cliffs along its coastline. And you definitely don’t want to miss visiting the Benedictine Palace. A museum, art gallery, and distillery, the Palace is the birthplace of the world-famous herbal liqueur Benedictine in the late 19th century.
10- Bal du moulin de la Galette – Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1876
Where can you see the painting?: Musée d’Orsay
The Montmartre region, the highest altitude in Paris, has long been regarded as a paradise for artistic endeavors, and for centuries painters have featured one of their most famous landmarks, the Moulin de la Galette, a windmill.
This area was long used as a gathering place for entertainment and captured the spirit of a party there in Bal du moulin de la Galette, which he made in 1876 and exhibited in Pierre-Auguste Renoir‘s 1877 Impressionist exhibition.
Today, in this place, which has an important place in the history of art, you can dine at a restaurant under the windmill, feeling the spirit of art in the depths of your emotions. Other artists using this scene include Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
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- Wikimedia Commons ve Getty Images.