The Top 10 Most Colorful Paintings in History
The beauty of art is that it is versatile and expressive. Artists from across the world produce unique works of art from traditional to modern with a variety of media, patterns, brush strokes, subjects, textures, styles, themes, and color schemes implemented into their final products.
Focusing on color, this is one of the first things we notice about a painting. Whether it is mute, monochromatic, pastel, or vibrant, color has a way of speaking to us. The use of cool or neutral colors tends to draw towards our calm or pessimistic side while warm, vibrant hues bring out energy and excitement.
With the latter in mind, let’s delve into some of the most colorful paintings to have ever existed:
1. The Bridges of Amsterdam by Leonid Afremov
When looking for a colorful work of art, Leonid Afremov never lets one down. His impressionist works are composed of dozens of colors that contrast with splotches of darker hues. Afremov draws towards several bright colors as a way to reflect his emotions. His paintings mainly gravitate towards landscapes and cityscapes, such as his The Bridges of Amsterdam, where he uses warmer hues to demonstrate illumination in a darker scene. The use of yellow and white almost literally light up this painting. Generally looking at Afremov’s works of art is like peering into an optimistic soul due to the many hues used.
2. Bella Ragazza by Patrice Murciano
Patrice Murciano is a French-based artist known for his rainbow-colored, modern works of art that essentially pop off the canvas. Made of acrylic and mixed media, Murciano’s Bella Ragazza, features a close-up of Miss Ragazza herself made up of several colors. This work has a bit of a hip-hop vibe as paint essentially appears to be dripping or splattered in some parts of the piece. Generally, through Murciano’s art, color is a major component that helps guide his creativity and general intent through his work: to provide lively works.
3.The Red Vineyard by Vincent van Gogh
As many are aware, the world-famous Vincent van Gogh produced a plethora of works throughout his lifespan typically characterized by minimal, gentle, cool colors. However, in his The Red Vineyard, van Gogh beautifully presents a mainly warm-toned piece with bright reds, oranges, and yellows of a group harvesting grapes under a beaming sun. Through the use of such intense color, one can almost feel the heat of the sunshine just through looking at the painting.
4.Supernumerary by Joshua Petker
Artist Joshua Petker offers a plethora of profound, vivacious colors in his paintings to depict a bold and mysterious theme. Petker’s Supernumerary features two gothic-like females surrounded by flying birds among a multi-colored sky. With the contrast of the black hair, clothing, and birds shown in this piece among clouds of color, there is a bit of hesitation or suspicion viewers feel. The latter work was featured in Petker’s project, “Between Butterflies.” The rest of the work in Petker’s collection provide similar intense color themes.
5. The Nun by Andy Warhol
When thinking of Andy Warhol, the thing that usually comes to mind is his work, Campbell’s Soup Cans. However, when viewing the rest of his works, Warhol truly puts the ‘pop’ in pop art. In his painting, The Nun, vibrant colors from bubblegum pink to cyan are displayed on an expressionless face. This colorful piece offers a one-of-a-kind color scheme among black to provide beautiful contrast. With a variety of both bright and dull colors used with a blank nun’s expression, one receives an enigmatic vibe from this work of art. The color alone adds a unique addition to the vagueness already presented.
6. Love Is Following the Flow Together by Jane Small
If you’re looking for a more mystical work of art, Jane Small provides colorful works that look as if they’re right out of a fairytale with the playful hues she opts for. In her Love is Following the Flow Together, instead of opting for green trees and blue skies, she adds some blue to purple-trunked trees and lime green to the sky. She offers purple mountains, which sing in one’s head, “purple mountain majesties,” as they view it. Small’s perception of color is one-of-a-kind.
7. Heloise by Francoise Nielly
French artist Francoise Nielly presents close-up portraits offer layered, contrasting colors. Making her art more special, Nielly paints purely with oil and palette knives to provide thick, heavy, harsh strokes with no use of technology in her creations. Neilly’s perfectionist qualities through her art came about in part by her strict father who wouldn’t accept mistakes. She provides a quite dramatic approach in her painting, Heloise, thanks to deep, bold colors of mostly pinks, blues, and yellows which provide a slight daunting and serious expression.
8. Break Time by Ivey Hayes
Ivey Hayes produces abstract paintings like no other with his playful use of shapes, lines, and colors that almost come to life as they tell a story. Break Time features a fisherman playing a banjo for a woman on a dock under a multi-colored, cloudy sky among a colorful basket of fish. The rich hues provide an intense vibe of happiness and comfort that accurately embark what break time feels and looks like. The hues add sufficiently to the story depicted by viewers of his painting, and not to mention, the colors fit in with the jazziness provided by the figures and shapes the piece offers.
9. Girl Before a Mirror by Pablo Picasso
Offering cubanist and surrealist art, Spain-born Pablo Picasso has a heavy selection of wacky and colorful pieces. His unique use of basic and abstract shapes and fun color schemes play with the eyes. His Girl Before a Mirror is no exceptional to the latter. Through the use of both warm and cool tones, Picasso presents a variety of colors that are both bright and dull in the same work. The woman depicted in the painting looking through the mirror is composed of several types of shapes and lines, making it a piece like no other. Different contrast and new colors appear as we view the woman in the mirror at angles we were not originally exposed of her.
10. Dreams of Elysium by Ann Marie Bone
Ann Marie Bone is a highly-talented, freelance abstract artist from Derbyshire, United Kingdom who is chiefly recognized for her use of vibrant color via oil and acrylic canvas. Her Dreams of Elysium primarily makes use of dreamy shades of pink, green, purple to create a flamboyant, spring landscape to draw eyes throughout the entire piece. Her use of bright colors provides a cheery, bright, and relaxing scene perfect to place in a bedroom or sitting room to help one wind down after a long day.
The intense color used through each of the paintings provided in this article prove that color can make us feel some type of way. Most importantly is noting that what is deemed as ‘colorful’ can vary from one to another. For example, something colorful can be something that is bright and cheerful. Something considered colorful can also be depicted in a mysterious, relaxing, or playful type of way as well. The actual colors and the shades and tones used provide a different expression. Color is a powerful element whether through fashion, a garden, home decoration, or as we discovered, through a piece of artwork.
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