Can You Guess the Artist?

If a famous artist like Leonardo da Vinci passed you on the street, would you recognize him? There is little doubt that you would instantly recognize his painting of the Mona Lisa, but what about the face that created the Mona Lisa? I have a feeling that most people wouldn’t recognize a majority of famous artists, but I might be wrong. Try and guess the artist depicted in each of these portraits/self-portraits. (I tried to avoid self-portraits that are too indicative of the artist’s style – I don’t want that to give the answer away!) The answers are in the comment section of this post.



How did you do?

  • M says:

    Here are the answers:

    1) Raphael (Self-Portrait, c. 1506)

    2) Vincent Van Gogh (John Russell,
    Portrait of Van Gogh, 1886)

    3) Andy Warhol (Self-Portrait, 1979)

    4) Michaelangelo (Italian school, Bronze head of Michelangelo, mid-16th century. Louvre, Paris)

    5) Mary Cassatt (Portrait of Mary Cassatt in Grasse, 1914. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian)

    6) Claude Monet (John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Claude Monet, 1889)

    7) Gian Lorenzo Bernini, (Self-Portrait, c. 1625)

    8) Pablo Picasso (Arnold Newman, Pablo Picasso, 1954)

  • LeGrand says:

    I guessed 5. And I stress the word guessed. They were based more on the clothes and media more than anything else. It’s funny because my guess for the portrait of Monet was that it was a likeness of Sargent.

    Do you like how I used the word “likeness”? What a ridiculous word. I probably used it like 73 times in my thesis.

  • joolee says:

    Fun post! You should do this more often! I was 5 for 8, and the others came somewhat close. I had NO idea with that bronze head… Love that portrait of Van Gogh!! Very dramatic & what an intense look.

  • ixoj says:

    Ooo, I’m terrible at this! I think I needed choices…which probably would have made it too easy for everyone else.

  • M says:

    Josh, you’re a true art historian since you guessed the “likeness” of Sargent (and because you used that word!).

    Yeah, Joolee, I actually decided to do this post because I came across that bronze head of Michelangelo. I didn’t recognize him either at first, since I am more familiar with this portrait. I like that portrait of Van Gogh, too.

    Sorry I didn’t give options, Ixoj! I thought about it, but I worried that it would give the answers away.

  • LeGrand says:

    I made Jaime take the quiz. She got 3. Her best answer was Plato for the Michelangelo one. I said, “First off, Plato wasn’t an artist..” And she interrupted me and said, “But they named a medium after him…”

  • M says:

    Ha! Plato = Playdough

    I never made that connection before. Jaime is way ahead of me…

  • Emilee . . . says:

    My gosh, I’m horrible. I knew THREE. THREE!

    By the way, how true to life are these self-portraits?

  • M says:

    All of these self-portraits seem like accurate representations of the artist. Raphael did another self-portrait in his famous painting “School of Athens.” You can see him in this detail of the painting – he’s the one second from the right, looking out at the viewer.

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This blog focuses on making Western art history accessible and interesting to all types of audiences: art historians, students, and anyone else who is curious about art. Alberti’s Window is maintained by Monica Bowen, an art historian and professor.