Quiz: Do You Know What Color These Items Are in Popular Masterpieces: HowStuffWorks
Do You Know What Color These Items Are in Popular Masterpieces
By: Jacqueline Samaroo
6 Min Quiz
Image: Getty Images
About This Quiz
In the mood for some eye-popping fun? These world-famous masterpieces in black and white are a mind-bending experience you don't want to miss!
Edvard Munch's The Scream and Grant Wood's American Gothic are two fitting examples of works of art that are truly food for your soul. Their lines, textures, and colors all work together to make them unforgettable. We behold their beauty and muse over their interpretations, but are we only looking at the big picture and missing out on the intricate details the artists placed there for us?
Take that iconic self-portrait with the artist's face partially covered by a fruit, for example. We're sure you know it well but can you remember the color of the fruit? Or what about, that much talked about series of paintings showing poker-playing canines? These works of art are full of detail and rich in color but can you recall the colors of the particular items in them? Put your memory to the test. Start the quiz!
The thing with true masterpieces is that while everyone can appreciate them, only avid art scholars know them inside out. If you're one of them. then you should be able to recognize elements in these classics whether they're in black and white or in living color. Put your love and appreciation of beaux arts to the ultimate test. Take the quiz!
What is the color of the main figure’s shirt in The Scream by Edvard Munch?
The original German title for this well-known work of art is “Der Schrei der Natur” or “The Scream of Nature.” Edvard Munch has explained his inspiration for the painting as “an infinite scream passing through nature,” which he sensed while out on a walk with friends one day.
Do you know the color of the horses in Blue Horses by Franz Marc?
Franz Marc was noted for his use of the primary colors: red, yellow and particularly blue, throughout much of his career. He related blue to masculinity and spirituality, both of which have been suggested by art scholars as being very evident in Blue Horses.
In A Bar at the Folies-Bergère by Édouard Manet, what color are the oranges?
Édouard Manet painted A Bar at the Folies-Bergère in 1882. The model in the painting is an actual worker from the famed cabaret music hall. It has been suggested that the inclusion of the oranges is Manet’s subtle indication that the young lady is a prostitute.
What is the color of the young lady’s headband in Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer?
Johannes Vermeer was well-known for his deeply detailed paintings of women in well-lit domestic settings. His Girl with a Pearl Earring is considered to be one of the most iconic images by a Dutch painter.
Can you recall the color of the sun in Impression, Sunrise by Claude Monet?
The location depicted in this painting is a harbor port in Monet's hometown, Le Havre, in northwestern France. He painted the harbor many times but Impression, Sunrise is the most famous of them all.
Jan van Eyck
Do you know the color of the lady’s dress in The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck?
The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck goes by several other names, including The Arnolfini Wedding, The Arnolfini Marriage, and Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife. The artist’s amazing attention to even minor details is continually a focus of those critiquing the painting.
Can you recall the color of the dog in Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez?
The painting’s Spanish title translates to “The Ladies-in-Waiting.” It has served as an inspiration for many other painters since Velazquez first painted it in 1656. Most notably, perhaps, is Pablo Picasso’s set of 58 paintings, also titled Las Meninas, which are all interpretations of the original.
What is the color of the tablecloth in Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir?
The models in the painting are friends and associates of the artist. The young woman who sits playing with the small dog, for example, is actually Renoir’s future wife, Aline Charigot.
In The Kiss by Francesco Hayez what is the color of the young lady’s dress?
The Kiss, titled “Il bacio” in Italian, was painted by Hayez in 1859. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the Italian Romanticism movement and is the work for which Hayez is best remembered.
Do you know the color of the sombrero worn by the peasant in The Flower Carrier by Diego Rivera?
The Flower Carrier, Diego Rivera’s depiction of a peasant struggling under the weight of a basket of flowers, is often praised for its vivid colors. To achieve the effect, the artist rubbed oil and tempera into hardboard Masonite.
Do you know the color of the apple in The Son of Man by René Magritte?
Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte painted his famous self-portrait, The Son of Man, in 1964. In speaking about the painting, Magritte noted “we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.”
What is the color of the young lady’s dress in The Happy Accidents of the Swing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard?
Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s use of color comes in for high praise whenever his 1767 painting, The Happy Accidents of the Swing, is analyzed. It is considered a masterpiece, representing the rococo style of the 18th century which emphasized the use of whites and pastels, as well as intricate and ornate designs.
Can you recall the color of the flag in Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix?
The flag depicted in Eugene Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People is the Tricolor of France. The flag is a symbol of revolution and the woman personifies Liberty. The outline of Paris can be seen in the background, partly hidden by the battle scene in the foreground.
Do you know the color of the horse in Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David?
Jacques-Louis David did five versions of this painting – four requested by Napoleon Bonaparte and one for his personal collection. Throughout the series, the horse’s color changes from black and white piebald to chestnut to dappled gray. The horse is most often believed to be Marengo, a famous warhorse belonging to Napoleon.
Can you remember the color of the man’s jacket in American Gothic by Grant Wood?
Grant Wood has explained that his iconic painting, American Gothic, was inspired by an actual house he saw while visiting Eldon, a small town in his native Iowa. The models for the farmer and his wife (or daughter) are Wood’s sister and his dentist.
Jan van Eyck
In The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck, what is the color of the dog?
The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck includes an ornamental mirror on the wall behind the couple. The details the artist shows in the reflection, as well as the detail in the border of the mirror, frequently draw praise from art critics.
Can you remember the color of the moon in The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau?
Henri Rousseau describes the moonlight effect in his 1897 painting, The Sleeping Gypsy, as “very poetic.” Similarly, art scholars often note an eeriness and meditative beauty in the painting.
Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
What is the color of the tabletop in A Friend in Need by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge?
The painting gets its name from the bulldog that is handing an ace under the table to the dog seated beside him. His “friend” is “in need” of the ace in order to have all four aces.
Can you recall the color of the horse in Saint George and the Dragon by Paolo Uccello?
In St. George and the Dragon by Paolo Uccello, the knight’s lance lines up with the “eye of the storm” above his shoulder. This is often interpreted as Uccello’s way of representing divine intervention helping Saint George to defeat the beast.
Do you know the color of the lady’s dress in Mr. and Mrs. Andrews by Thomas Gainsborough?
At the time of the painting, the Andrews were newlyweds and had no children. It is often suggested that the unpainted area (brown instead of blue) in Mrs. Andrews’ lap was reserved for the addition of a child later on when the couple had one. They had their first child about one year after the painting was done but the change was never made.
Can you remember the color of the blanket in The Kiss by Gustav Klimt?
This 1907 – 1908 oil painting has both gold and silver leaf added into it. It was actually put on display and purchased before it was completed, at a price that was record-breaking at the time. The painting is almost a 6-foot by 6-foot square but most reproductions show it as a rectangle by cropping the sides.
In The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals what is the color of the man’s hat?
Dutch painter Frans Hals painted The Laughing Cavalier in 1624. The subject of the painting remains a mystery but some art scholars have deduced that it was commissioned as a betrothal portrait.
James McNeill Whistler
What is the color of the lady in Whistler’s Mother (Arrangement in Grey And Black, No. 1) by James Abbott McNeill Whistler?
Formally titled Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1, this portrait James Abbott McNeill Whistler painted of his mother has become famously known as Whistler’s Mother. Her name was Anna McNeill Whistler and she was living with her son in London in 1871 when he did the painting.
In Flaming June by Frederic Leighton, what is the color of the young lady’s dress?
Flaming June is Frederic Leighton’s most revered work. It was painted in 1895 and placed on loan at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, in the early 1900s. It was then lost for roughly 30 years before resurfacing in the 1960s.
Do you remember the color of the balloon in Red Balloon by Paul Klee?
Paul Klee’s Red Balloon is now at The Guggenheim Museum in New York. Klee, who was Swiss, painted in it 1922.
Do you know the color of the gentleman’s hat in The Skater (Portrait of William Grant) by Gilbert Stuart?
Gilbert Stuart’s 1782 painting is most often referred to simply as The Skater but is also popularly known as Portrait of a Gentleman Skating. It measures just over 8 feet high and just under 5 feet wide.
Can you remember the color of the man’s hat in The Kiss by Francesco Hayez?
The Kiss (1859) is considered to be the greatest work by Italian painter Francesco Hayez. Its two kissing figures are the center of the painting but they are unrecognizable as the focus is placed on the kiss and not the kissers.
William Holman Hunt
Do you know the color of the young lady’s skirt in The Hireling Shepherd by William Holman Hunt?
The Hireling Shepherd by William Holman Hunt has been taken to have a Biblical reference. The hireling shepherd, who is distracted from his duty of taking care of the sheep, is seen as a contrast to The Good Shepherd (often taken to mean Jesus) who is mentioned in the Bible.
Jan van Eyck
Do you know the color of the man’s hat in The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck?
The gentleman in the painting is most often thought to be the 15th century Italian merchant Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini. Other possibilities are Giovanni’s cousin (also named Giovanni) and either of his two younger brothers.
Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
Can you remember the color of the lampshade in A Friend in Need by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge?
By the clock on the wall, the seven dogs sit playing poker at ten minutes past one. The time is generally assumed to be the wee hours of the morning instead of early afternoon.
Do you know the color of the vase in The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau?
Henri Rousseau wrote a description for his The Sleeping Gypsy in which he explains that the jar is “a vase with drinking water.” He also tells viewers the person in the painting is “a wandering Negress, a mandolin player … overcome by fatigue in a deep sleep.”
In The Son of Man by René Magritte, what color is the man’s tie?
Belgian painter René Magritte did several other paintings similar to The Son of Man. In one of them, the apple completely hides the man's face, in another, the man’s face is hidden behind a bird. In a third painting, the subject is a woman in the same setting with her face concealed by flowers.
What is the color of the cape in Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David?
One interesting fact about Napoleon Crossing the Alps (1801) by Jacques-Louis David is that when the French general actually led his troops through the Alps, it was on a mule, not a horse. In 1850, another French artist, Paul Delaroche, did a version of the painting called Bonaparte Crossing the Alps in which he placed Napoleon on a mule.
Can you remember the color of the flowers in The Flower Carrier by Diego Rivera?
The Flower Carrier is a 1935 oil and tempera piece made on Masonite (a type of hardboard). Art scholars tend to note that the beauty of the flowers appears to be of no significance to the peasant whose only interest is getting his heavy load to market for a much-needed sale.
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
Can you recall the color of the curtain in The Grand Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres?
The reclining pose of the nude model in Ingres’ The Grand Odalisque (1814) is directly inspired by a painting done a few years earlier by fellow Frenchman Jacques-Louis David: Portrait of Madame Récamier (1809).
Can you recall the color of the feather in Vanitas with Violin and Glass Ball by Pieter Claesz?
Vanitas with Violin and Glass Ball by Pieter Claesz does not bear the artist’s signature. This is because his picture is in the painting, making it a self-portrait. Thanks to his reflection in the glass ball, we can see him at his easel creating the painting.
In American Gothic by Grant Wood, what is the color of the lady’s dress?
After creating American Gothic in 1930, Grant Wood entered it in a competition at the Art Institute of Chicago. It won the artist a bronze medal for third place and $300.
Jan van Eyck
What is the color of the shoes by the man’s feet in The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck?
The room in The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck is often interpreted as being a sacred place. Art scholars see evidence of this in the fact that both the gentleman and the lady have removed their shoes (her red shoes are tucked under the bed).
How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!
Get smarter every day! Subscribe & get 1 quiz every week.
Playing quizzes is free! We send trivia questions and personality tests every week to your inbox. By clicking "Sign Up" you are agreeing to our
and confirming that you are 13 years old or over.