Guessing Game with Art and Film Stills

It’s Friday and I think we should play another fun guessing game. I got the idea for this post after coming across a blog which points out an “art history shout-out” in a TV show. There are a lot of references to art in pop culture (I’m specifically thinking of television and movies, but it extends beyond that). Can you name the famous works of art that are referenced in these film stills? (The answers are in the comments section of this post.)

LOST, “Fire + Water,” Season 2

Home Alone (1990)

Alfred Hitchcock’s, “Psycho” (1960).
This one is a little tricky. Don’t pay attention to the scene, but the architecture of the house.

Tideland (2005)

And I couldn’t find a film still for my last one, so I’ll just give you the answer. A scene from Forrest Gump (1994) is directly inspired by Norman Rockwell. Here’s the painting:

Girl with Black Eye (1953)

To see the film scene inspired by the painting, scroll to 0:33 on this clip:


Can you think of any other movies or films inspired by art? (Note: I purposefully did not mention the Thomas Kinkade painting which inspired a movie last year.) Also, if you’re interested, I found a webpage called Art History in the Movies, which lists films about art and some films inspired by art.

And can you think of any paintings that should be turned into movie scenes? Tyler Green suggested five. I think that Renoir’s Le Moulin de la Galette (1876) would make a good scene in a film. And if it was a murder mystery, then perhaps one of Gentileschi’s versions of Judith Slaying Holofernes (the one linked is from the Uffizi Gallery and dated 1614-20)?

  • M says:

    1 Verrocchio, Baptism of Christ, (c. 1472-75). Click here to see image.

    2 Edvard Munch, The Scream, (several versions were made by Munch, but the one linked below is from 1893). Click here to see image.

    3 Edward Hopper, House by the Railroad, (1925). Click here to see image.

    4 Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World, (1945). Click here to see image.

    How did you do?

  • heidenkind says:

    Who knew the guys on Lost would be Verrocchio fans!

    I really want La Fornarina to show up in a movie some day. I would really start geeking out. People in the theater would be like, "Why is that woman squeeeeeing?"

  • A Super Dilettante says:

    There is a film by French new wave cinema director called Eric Rohmer (I love his films). His period film (so beautiful and detailed) titled The Marquis Of O. In the film, the scene where a young Italian widow dreaming, Rohmer recreated a painting by Fuseli called Nightmare.

    Another movie, Love & Death on Long Island, the scene where the actor, Jason Priestley lying on the table come from the pose of famous painting, The Death of Chatterton by Henry Wallis.

    There are always more of course…especially Derek Jarman's films. Jarman's St. Sebastian is another good example of Jarman's interest in Renaissance paintings.

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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.