Here’s a roundup of the top 17 paint by numbers famous paintings you’ll normally find for sale, and they also happened to be my personal favorites!
There’s comfort in familiarity. For instance, we don’t make an effort in understanding the Mona Lisa, we just look at it closely and admire its beauty. And if you think about why it became so well known worldwide, the answer is simple. It’s an outstanding work of art that stood the test of time.
The paintings of Van Gogh, Monet, Klimt, and Matisse are easily recognizable. And we easily follow the lines, colors, and stories inherent in each painting. It’s not surprising that we’d want to recreate them ourselves. And there’s nothing easier than using a paint by number canvas.
- 1 Paint by Numbers Famous Paintings Canvas
- 1.1 1. Starry Night – Van Gogh
- 1.2 2. Poppy Fields near Argenteuil – Claude Monet
- 1.3 3. The Sonata – Irving Ramsey Wiles
- 1.4 4. Irises – Van Gogh
- 1.5 5. Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies – Claude Monet
- 1.6 6. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer – Gustav Klimt
- 1.7 7. Flowers in a Vase – Paulus Theodorus
- 1.8 8. Flowers in a Terracotta Vase – Jan Van Huysum
- 1.9 9. Bouquet of Chrysanthemums – Pierre-Auguste Renoir
- 1.10 10. Forest Scene – Thomas Moran
- 1.11 11. Composition IV – Wassily Kandinsky
- 1.12 12. Mona Lisa – Da Vinci
- 1.13 13. Girl with a Pearl Earring – Johannes Vermeer
- 1.14 14. The Dessert: Harmony in Red – Henri Matisse
- 1.15 15. The Great Wave off Kanagawa – Katsushika Hokusai
- 1.16 16. A Friend in Need – Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
- 1.17 17. The Kiss – Gustav Klimt – Paint by Numbers Famous Paintings
- 2 Paint by Numbers Famous Paintings – Conclusion
Paint by Numbers Famous Paintings Canvas
I cherry-picked this assortment with the clear intent of including as many art schools as possible. These paint by numbers famous paintings represent different styles, historical eras, and the brushes of widely different artists.
To make this visual experience even more interesting, I made sure that the color palettes and details range from the bold to the intricate. There are sharp contrasts between mellow landscapes, expressive portraits, thought-provoking abstract work, and flower arrangements popping with vivid colors.
As you recreate these works, you’ll learn about these artworks, their makers, and how to paint in a similar manner. Once you finish a canvas, you can frame it, and decorate your walls with this stunning art.
1. Starry Night – Van Gogh
He was a prolific artist who produced more than 2000 paintings, many of them easily recognizable to people worldwide. His style was often wild with color, motion, emotion, and unpredictable brush strokes.
He painted Starry Night around 1889, only a couple of years before he passed. It comes as a sharp contrast to his previous works in its colors and premise. The heaviness of his soul at the time comes through the dark blue that dominates the page. Yet, he sprinkled it with hopeful whites and sparking yellows.
2. Poppy Fields near Argenteuil – Claude Monet
The French artist Claude Monet was known for painting the same landscape over and over again. Reveling in the changes that came over places and subjects as the light changed. And the way time left its mark as the years went by.
He painted these Poppy Fields in the summer of 1875, two years after he did the first painting in the same plain of Gennevilliers, which was close to Argenteuil . A few years later, he came back again to Argenteuil and painted two more landscapes.
All in all, four paintings make this breathtaking collection of the serene Poppy Fields near Argenteuil.
3. The Sonata – Irving Ramsey Wiles
He lived through the turbulent times spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, as he was born in 1861 and passed in 1948. That’s probably why he understands the human soul so well and paints its deepest reflections.
He studied art with his father, who was a landscape painter, then proceeded further in New York. He had brief mentoring in Paris with Carolus-Duran, who was also John Singer Sargent’s teacher.
Irving Ramsey Wiles worked as an illustrator in some reputed magazines such as Harper’s and Scribner’s. This polished his craft and workmanship incredibly, and he kept that vocation long after his status as an artist was established.
That was when an unexpected portrait commision with the actress Julia Marlowe shot him to artistic stardom. Eventually, he was asked to do a portrait of Theodore Roosevelt.
4. Irises – Van Gogh
Van Gogh’s paintings are known for the jaw-dropping prices at which they’re sold. The Irises, which he painted in 1889, is among the highest faring paintings in art history. And in 1987 it held the record for being the most expensive.
It changed hands for the huge sum of around 40 million dollars, which is equivalent to around a 100 million in our current times. It was resold years later in 1990 to the Getty Museum for an amount that remains undisclosed.
There are many aspects worth noting in this painting. The one I like best is the way that these flowers are unique and unbounded. Van Gough draws this subject across the frame, and as you look at it you get immersed in the field of irises. Knowing that the artist looked at each day for a very long time.
5. Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies – Claude Monet
Claude Monet was extremely taken by the beauty of that place, that he took on a mega undertaking of doing a series of eighteen paintings for that landscape. In the summer of 1899 he finished twelve of them, including this one.
It’s not a random spot that he discovered one morning though. This scene was actually constructed carefully. Monet had purchased that land in 1893, and annexed it to his property in Giverny.
He filled the pond with water-lilies, and built that scenic bridge over it. Thus, creating true beauty in the world as well as on a canvas.
6. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer – Gustav Klimt
Like Van Gough’s Irises, Gustave Klimt’s 1907 portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer is also a precious work of art. In 2006 it grossed about 138 million dollars, after an incredible history of changing many hands, in addition to being confiscated by the Nazis. It’s currently displayed in the Neue Galerie, New York.
The subject of this painting, Adele Bauer, is the only woman to ever appear twice in Kilimt’s work, which raised many questions back then. However, The Kiss eclipsed that buzz by its overwhelming effect on the artistic scene at the time.
7. Flowers in a Vase – Paulus Theodorus
Paulus Theodorus van Brussel who was born in 1754 in a little village, lived most of his adult life in Amsterdam. The early influence of the countryside remained in the floral paintings he excelled at.
He passed in 1795 in an unfortunate skiing accident. But in his 41 years he managed to produce immortal works that lived in private collections, as well as in imprints we’re all familiar with.
8. Flowers in a Terracotta Vase – Jan Van Huysum
This one is also a floral bouquet created by another Dutch artist. It’s interesting to see how painters in the same place, living around the same time, look at a specific subject matter.
Van Brussel was bold in his selection of flowers, and used textures extensively. He even opted for using oils on mahogany in his paintings, instead of the commonly used canvas. On the other hand, Jan Van Huysum celebrates abundance, variety, and vivacity in his delicate bouquets and vase flowers.
9. Bouquet of Chrysanthemums – Pierre-Auguste Renoir
The French artist Pierre Auguste Renoir is among the great masters. He lived from 1841 to 1919, mostly in his native land. Known for complex compositions and elaborate portraits, the sudden move to floral arrangements took the artistic scene of 1881 by surprise.
Renoir explained the transformation later on by saying:
“When I paint flowers, I feel free to try out tones and values and worry less about destroying the canvas. I would not do this with a figure painting since there I would care about destroying the work.”
The Bouquet of Chrysanthemums differs substantially from contemporary florals. Mainly, in the way it contains a single type of flower, and also in the simplicity of the vase. This comes in sharp contrast with the elaborate arrangements of lush flowers and ripe fruits, coming out of ornate vases.
10. Forest Scene – Thomas Moran
The 1870 Forest Scene is a true depiction of a Romanticist landscape. Yet, it holds some unique features in its workmanship, composition, details, and technique.
Thomas Moran was born in the United Kingdom in 1837, then he moved to the United States, and stayed there till he passed in 1926. He was an accomplished landscape painter, and a gifted illustrator. He also excelled as a printmaker, engraver, and etcher.
Later on, he also practiced photography and lithography on a professional level. The multi-talented artist clearly sees the world differently, and his works demonstrate that uniqueness perfectly.
11. Composition IV – Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky was an innovative, fearless, and influential artist. He was born in Russia in 1866, but he soon left it and moved around Europe. Eventually he settled in France, became a citizen, and died there at the age of 77 in 1944.
He was among the creators of the abstract school of painting, lived the Bauhaus Period fully, and taught people how to experience art in a radically different way.
His unorthodox manner of naming his paintings as a category and a number resonated with many of the artists who looked up to him. Among them was Jackson Pollock, who sponged his thoughts, techniques, and writings.
12. Mona Lisa – Da Vinci
The Mona Lisa is probably the most famous painting in the history of art. It’s used extensively in prints, pop art, illustrations, cartoons, commercial products, and even in movies. It’s also used heavily in social media memes, which attests to its importance as a cultural symbol. The Mona Lisa actually gets fan mail.
Leonardo Da Vinci painted this incredible portrait in 1503, and since then it was a masterpiece highly acclaimed by the people. This painting can’t be sold as it’s considered a heritage of the French people.
Da Vinci was a larger than life personality, who redefined art, science, and excellence.
13. Girl with a Pearl Earring – Johannes Vermeer
Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring was nicknamed the “Mona Lisa of the North” as soon as it came out in 1665. The Dutch artist had created an immortal portrait in that painting.
It comes as a surprise to many people that this mysterious girl with an odd dress and large pearls isn’t real. This portrait is claimed to be a figment of Vermeer imagination, rather than a flesh and blood young lady.
14. The Dessert: Harmony in Red – Henri Matisse
What started as a decorative panel for a dining room, soon turned out to be one of Henri Matisse’s best works. The Dessert, with its unusual design and vast splashes of red color, marked a new era in impressionism.
Matisse was shamelessly affected by the Fauves Gaugin, Cezanne, and Van Gogh. But he was also able to separate his work from theirs, and maintain the originality and integrity of his style.
15. The Great Wave off Kanagawa – Katsushika Hokusai
Under the Wave off Kanagawa, which is also known as The Great Wave, is an iconic image. And it’s recognized as the most famous Japanese artwork. It’s part of a larger series titled the “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji”.
This imposing and highly dynamic painting came out in 1831, together with the rest of the woodblock illustrations of mount Fuji. The commission was given casually to the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai but turned out to be a landmark in Japanese art history.
Born in 1760, Hokusai was an outstanding woodblock printmaker and book illustrator, and it showed in his iconic painting. He passed in 1849 leaving behind him a treasure of masterpieces.
16. A Friend in Need – Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
Cassius Marcellus Coolidge had painted a series of 18 drawings depicting hilarious dogs playing poker in 1894. It was often met with a mixture of awe, fascination, amusement, and condescension.
Coolidge was hugely successful as an illustrator for children’s books and commercial artist. His lighthearted works stole the hearts of viewers, but he somehow remained hidden behind the curtains.
This gifted American artist didn’t receive formal art education, and mostly played by ear. His name rarely was mentioned in artistic circles, but his drawings were gaining popularity with each new day.
His iconic painting; A Friend in Need is still controversial among the museum curators and goers, but it’s recognized worldwide for its progressiveness and down-to-earth charm.
17. The Kiss – Gustav Klimt – Paint by Numbers Famous Paintings
The show-stopper for this roundup is aptly Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss. The popular painting came out in 1907, and was met by instant success. The Goldleaf series of four paintings had all left their mark with art enthusiasts everywhere.
The Kiss is a large panel of 72 x 72 inches. Which lets the embracing figures stand in their real sizes, sharing an intimate moment of intense passion. Even as it’s printed on a much smaller scale, the immersive experience remains.
Paint by Numbers Famous Paintings – Conclusion
That was my list of the Top 17 paint by numbers famous paintings you’ll normally find for sale. I hope they gave you some inspiration to recreate one of them, and enjoy its details at a much deeper level.
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