Making Masterpieces

Who knew that the current situation could inspire such creativity? With art museums being closed due to COVID-19, the challenge was presented: can people recreate famous paintings, and sculptures using household items? The results have been amazing, with people participating all over the world. Mrs. Nelson posed the same challenge to her art students. They took the challenge to heart, and created some amazing... art! Learn more about the artists below.

Antonio Vivaldi by Francois Morellon La Cave. Recreated by Payton R.

Francois was a French painter and engraver from the 18th century who

became active as an artist in Holland where he made engravings for Dutch translations of books such as Tragedies by renowned philosopher, Voltaire.


Oath of Horatii by Jacques-Louis David. Recreated by Jaron N. (and family)

David was a neo-classical French painter who often painted political and often confrontational subjects. This painting created in 1784 is based on a Roman legend but from the 7th century. It came to represent a Republic style government in the following years and represents patriotism and self-sacrifice as three brothers are willing to put their lives on the line for Rome. 

A Girl with a Teddy Bear by Bessie Wessel.

Recreated by Iyin A.

Bessie Wessel was an American artist in the early 1900s. She studied at the Cincinnati Art Academy in 1906, was the president of the Women's Art Club from 1917 to 1919. She is known for still lifes, landscapes, and miniatures painted on ivory. She and her husband became leading figures in the Cincinnati art world.

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. Recreated by Hailey D.

Starry Night was created in 1889 while Van Gogh was living in the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Unlike the other patients, Van Gogh was given many freedoms while living at the hospital, including having his own art studio. For awhile, his health seemed to improve, however he relapsed into hallucinations and depression, with Starry Night falling into that period. It was created from the view from his east facing window, with the prominent church spire pointing up to the swirling heavens.

A Young Girl Holding a Pet Rabbit by Frank Holl. Recreated by Karen A.

Francis Montague Holl was an English painter and royal portraitist in the mid-1800s. While he was an award winning painter of original works, and admired by Van Gogh, he was overwhelmed with royal commissions that he could not refuse, and his health rapidly declined. He died at the age of 43, a year after being named a Royal Academician.

Whistler's Mother by James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Recreated by Quintus M. (and sister)

Originally titled Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1, Whistler's Mother is considered one of the most famous works by an American artist outside of the USA. It's also known as a "Victorian Mona Lisa." While Whistler was born in the US in 1834, his father was a renowned railroad engineer who was brought to Russia to work for Tsar Nicholas I. It was in Russia where Whistler first began to hone his artistic skills. He was a huge proponent of the concept of "art for art's sake" and drew parallels between music and painting, often naming his paintings "arrangements."

Woman with a Parasol (The Stroll) by Claude Monet. Recreated by Rebecca P.

The famous "woman" in the picture is actually Mrs. Monet, along with their son while they were living in Argenteuil, France. It was Monet's largest painting in the 1870s. The artistic term "impressionism" is derived from Monet's painting Impression: soleil levant exhibited in 1874.

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich. Recreated by Caleb J.

Painted circa 1818, this piece is considered to be one of the masterpieces of the Romanticism period. Friedrich is considered the most important German artist of his generation. He is known for his paintings and his sculptures.


Tongues of Flame by Wladyslaw T. Benda. Recreated by Kaitlyn Z.

Benda was a Polish illustrator, painter and designer born in the late 1800s. He was the nephew of respected stage actress Helena Modjeska, and he remained in the USA after visiting her. He is primarily known as a graphic artist, but was also known as a mask maker and costume designer.

The Star (Dancer on Stage) by Edgar Degas. Recreated by Olivia L.

Degas was a French artist from the early to mid-1800s famous for his paintings and drawings of ballerinas. He also created sculptures of dancers. While he is considered a founder of Impressionism, he did not accept the term, preferring to be considered a realist. He also had a passion for photography.


The Son of Man by Rene Magritte. Recreated by Campbell N., Nelson L., Jaxon D., Peyton Y. Andrew D., and Sofia O.

Created by Belgian surrealist, Rene Magritte, The Son of Man is his most famous piece. The green apple appears frequently in his other works. His mother was found drowned when he was 13, with her dress obscuring her face. It is thought that this image is what influenced many of his works where the face is obscured. His art played a huge influence on the pop art, minimalist art and conceptual art movements. He was a leading member of the French surrealist group in the late 1920s that included Salvador Dali, and Pablo Picasso.


The Painter on the Road to Tarascon by Vincent Van Gogh. Recreated by Alex P.

This is one of six paintings of Van Gogh's that was destroyed during World War II during the Allied bombings in Germany. It is on the Monuments Men's list of "Most Wanted: Works of Art." The painting was a self portrait done in Arles, France, and is a step away from his usual self portraits that feature his head and shoulders. The post-impressionist painting is also known as The Painter on His Way to Work.



The Scream by Edvard Munch. Recreated by Andrei P. and Marino G.

Created in 1893 by Norwegian Expressionist, Munch, the original German title of the painting was Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature). Inspired by an unnaturally orange sky at sunset when out for a walk in Oslo, Norway, there have been many theories on the moment including a nearby volcanic eruption, and Munch's general emotional state at the time (his sister had just been committed to an asylum). There are five versions of The Scream: two in paint, two in pastel, and one lithograph.


The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. Recreated by Michaella P. (and sister)

Created in the late 15th century as a wall mural, this famous work covers the end wall of the dining hall in the Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie in Milan, Italy. It is considered one of the most recognizable paintings of the Western world. While many restoration attempts have been made over the years, very little of the original painting still exists.

Da Vinci's intention was to capture the expression on all the disciples' faces after Jesus announced that he would be betrayed by one of them.


The Nobleman with his Hand on his Chest by El Greco. Recreated by Nicholas T.

Painted in Toledo, Spain in around 1580 by Domenikos Theotokopoulos (known by his nickname "El Greco" or "The Greek" based on his Greek origins), there are speculations that it is a portrait of Juan de Silva y Ribera, 3rd Marquis of Montemayor, or that it could be a self portrait.


The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo. Created by Adam S. (and family)

Part of the fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, this iconic painting is fourth in a series of panels dedicated to the Book of Genesis. Originally, Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the twelve apostles on the triangular ceiling pendentives, however he convinced the Pope to go with a more complex interpretation of the Creation, the Fall of Man, the promise of Salvation and finally, of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Lady in a Fur Wrap by Alonso Sanchez Coello. Recreated by Kamila G.

Unsigned, this particular painting dated back to the mid/late 1500s has been claimed to be the work of other artists including El Greco and Sofonisba Anguissola. After an investigation, it was finally attributed to Coello. Coello was an Iberian portrait painter connected to the Spanish/Portuguese Renaissance at the time.


Suspense by Charles Burton Barber. Recreated by Angelica B-F.

Barber was an English painter in the mid/late 1800s known for charming paintings of children with their pets. Known for his amazing details painting animals, he was commissioned by Queen Victoria to do paintings of her dogs (and her grandchildren). Many of his paintings remain in the Royal Collection to this day.


Shoeshine Boy with His Dog by John George Brown. Recreated by Leon V R.

An American painter who was known for his genre scenes, Brown was a glass cutter before becoming an artist. He became known for his paintings idealizing New York's street urchins (news boys, flower sellers, musicians). He was the president of the Water Colour Society from 1887 to 1904.


Self Portrait with a Straw Hat by Vincent Van Gogh. Recreated by Ben S.

Painted in 1887, this portrait is one of over 20 self portraits Van Gogh painted in his lifetime. Using a Neo-Impressionist technique, Van Gogh deliberately bought himself a good mirror so he would be able to hone his portrait skills using himself as a model.


Self Portrait, Yawning by Joseph Ducreaux. Recreated by Christine S.

Ducreaux was a French nobleman, painter, engraver and miniaturist during the dawn of the French Revolution. He was known for creating the last portrait of King Louis XVI before he was executed. His interest in physiognomy inspired him to move past classic portraiture and experiment with unconventional facial expressions.


Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird by Frida Kahlo. Recreation by Kirah A.

The majority of Kahlo's paintings are self-portraits, reflecting her emotional state. This one was created after her divorce from artist Diego Rivera. She began painting after a bus accident left her bedridden for a time.


Saint Paul Writing his Epistles by Valetin de Boulonge. Recreated by Jonathan W.

While the painting has been attributed to 15th century artist, Boulonge, there is speculation it could also be the work of Andre Tournier. Both were French Baroque artists who moved to Rome. Influenced by the artist Caravaggio, many of Boulonge's works feature a group around a table all with their own agenda/actions to drive them.


Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World) by Leonardo da Vinci. Recreated by Alex K.

Da Vinci's painting depicts Jesus making the sign of the cross with his right hand, and holding a "celestial sphere" with his right. It is the only da Vinci painting to remain in a private collection to this day.


Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear by Vincent Van Gogh. Recreated by Jerry C.

This famous portrait depicts the result of the famous story regarding the self mutilation of Van Gogh's ear. While living in Arles and holding a razor, Van Gogh severed part of his own ear when he was suddenly hit with a seizure.


Self Portrait, Dedicated to Dr. Eloesser by Frida Kahlo. Recreated by Ava B.

There are many elements of imagery in this particular portrait created in 1940, including the "hand" earrings given to her by Picasso. Dr. Eloesser was the doctor who treated the pain in her right foot when she was in San Francisco.


Princess Adetutu Ademiluyi by Ben Enwonwu. Recreated by Chidimma C.

There is mystery shrouded in this 1974 painting by Nigerian artist, Enwonwu, namely, is the princess still alive and if so, where is she now? A member of the Ife royal family, is said she is still alive, but her whereabouts remain unknown. Enwonwu is considered the most influential African artist of the 20th century, and has a crater on the planet Mercury named after him.


Self Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh. Recreated by Jude R. and Sam C.

Lacking the finances to hire models, Van Gogh continued to paint self portraits. There is debate as to whether this particular portrait, or Self Portrait without a Beard is his last one. Van Gogh's younger brother Theo was an art dealer, and he often sent him letters with his paintings. In the one connected to this piece, Van Gogh referenced that while his facial expression seemed calmer, his eyes still revealed his insecurities.


Self Portrait by Frida Kahlo. Recreated by Emeline H.

This 1948 painting was the only self portrait Kahlo made that year due to declining health. The tears on her cheeks show her struggle with chronic pain. Commissioned by her friend and dentist, Kahlo started using her paintings to pay for her many expenses in her later years.


Portrait of José Nicolás de Azara by Anton Raphael Mengs. Recreated by Chibuikem C.

This 1774 portrait was painted by German painter, Mengs. Originally following the Rococo style of painting, Mengs became a precursor of the Neoclassical style. He became the director of the Vatican painting school in Rome in 1754.


Portrait of a Lady of the Court with Dog by Lavinia Fontana. Recreated by Ally G.

Considered the first female career artist in Western Europe, 16th century Italian artist Fontana began her commercial painting on copper, and in time was appointed as the Portraitist in Ordinary at the Vatican. She was also mother to 11 children.


Portrait of a Young Girl Holding a Kitten by Édouard Cabane. Recreated by Annika J.

An award winning French painter who lived from 1857 to 1942, Cabane's paintings are found at the Museum of Fine Arts in Bordeaux, France. He also created the Stations of the Cross in the La Rochelle Cathedral. The vast majority of his works are of women.






Portrait of a Halberdier by Jacopo Pontormo. Recreated by Andrew Z. and Nathan N.

Pontormo was the Court Painter for Duke Cosimo de' Medici in the 16th century. There is speculation that the young man in the portrait is Francesco Guardi, a young nobleman at the time dressed as a soldier. An Italian Mannerist painter, Pontormo studied under various artists including Leonardo da Vinci.


Pious Man and the Devil (The Old Fisherman) by Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka. Recreated by Jaiden C.

A Hungarian painter who did the majority of his works from 1903 to 1909, Kosztka was part of the avant-guarde movement. In 2016, an article revealed a secret to the unsuspecting painting that suddenly gave the title a very literal meaning!


Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Recreated by Izzy B., Abby J., Akeelah K., Jesse C. and Lauren M.

Quite possibly the most famous portrait of all time, the Mona Lisa comes with its own mysteries. Created during the Italian Renaissance, the belief is that it is a portrait of noblewoman Lisa Gherardini, however the exact date of when the painting was made is up for debate. Property of the French Republic, this masterpiece holds the Guinness World Record for being the most highly insured painting of all time. It is said that the theft of the Mona Lisa in 1911 from the Louvre, following its return was what brought this painting to gain the global attention that it now has.


Mater Dolorosa (Sorrowing Virgin) by Dieric Bouts. Recreated by Makaio P.

A 15th century Netherlandish artist, Bouts is known for being one of the first northern painters to utilize the "vanishing point" in his art. This painting is one of a pair of panels, with the second depicting a weeping Christ with the thorn of crowns on his head.


Madonna of the Harpies by Andrea del Sarto. Recreated by Samantha T. (and family)

Considered a major painter during the high Renaissance period, Sarto's 1517 painting was created for the church of the convent and hospital of San Francesco dei Macci in Florence. He was also known for his frescos and altar-pieces, and was contemporaries with da Vinci and Michelangelo.


Me and My Parrots by Frida Kahlo. Recreated by Anelia M. and Addison T.

In 1941, when this painting was created, Kahlo had reunited with her ex-husband, Diego Rivera, however she had just lost her father. Her pets brought her great comfort and it shows in her expression.


Madonnina (Madonna of the Streets) by Roberto Ferruzzi. Recreated by Averi B.

The fame of this painting comes from it winning the second Venice Biennale in 1897. The models of this painting are actually brother and sister, with the girl being only 11 years old. This is Ferruzzi's most famous painting - he is a self-taught Italian painter.



Marilyn Diptych by Andy Warhol. Recreated by Ali J.

This famous silk screen portrait series is one of Warhol's most famous works of 'pop' art. Created soon after Monroe's death, the image of Marilyn was taken from a still publicity shot from her film, Niagara. There are a total of 50 images in the piece, with half being in colour, and the other half in black and white. His other iconic piece would be his print of the Campbell soup cans.


Madame Vigée Le Brun and her Daughter, Jeanne-Lucie-Louise known as Julie by Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. Recreated by Alexis P. (and family)

18th century French portrait painter, Le Brun gained her fame and reputation by being the portrait painter for Marie Antoinette. In her career, she is credited for painting over 600 portraits and over 200 landscapes.


Long Distance Message by Wilhelm Heinrich Detlev Körner. Recreated by Eilidh S. (and family)

Known for his works illustrating the "American West" at the turn of the 20th century, Körner started his career as an illustrator for the Chicago Tribune. From 1922 on, he illustrated over 250 stories with "Western" themes, with many of his pieces for these books actually inspiring movies such as Sunset Pass. His magazine illustration work was highly prolific, and was in everything from The Saturday Evening Post to Cosmopolitan.


The Princesse de Broglie by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Recreated by Yevedzo M.

Ingres, a French Neoclassical artist was commissioned to paint the profoundly shy princess. She died of tuberculosis at age 35. Ingres' distortion of forms later came to influence artists such as Picasso and Matisse.


Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci. Recreated by Joanne S., Maddie K., Abby R. and Sandra A-L.

Considered one of Poland's national treasures, this painting from around 1489/90 is of Cecilia Gallerani at age 16, commissioned by the Duke of Milan. It is one of the only four portraits painted by da Vinci. Painted on a wooden panel, when the use of oil paint was still relatively new, with the ermine symbolizing "purity."


Jeanne (Spring) by Édouard Manet. Recreated by Sofia S.

While it was created in 1881 by the French modernist artist, its debut at the Paris Salon in 1882 made it the greatest success of Manet's career. Featuring actress Jeanne DeMarsy, it was intended to be one of four portraits of women depicting the four seasons. Manet died before finishing the second: Autumn.


Jove Decadent (After the Ball) by Ramón Casas i Carbó. Recreation by Avary N.

Casas was a Catalan (Spanish) portraitist known for his paintings of crowd scenes and Spanish culture during the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries. He financed the creation of Els Quatre Gats after the famous Parisian establishment, Le Chat Noir, featuring art exhibits. The painting was used as an exhibition poster in Barcelona and depicts model Madeleine Boisguillaume as a young woman who has danced too much!


Image Inspired by Picasso. Recreation by Peyton K.

While the photo is not a Picasso portrait, Pablo Picasso was famous for co-founding the Cubist movement. Cubism is considered the most influential art movement of the 20th century.


How Like Grandma by George Burton Barber. Recreated by Julia M.

As noted above, Barber was known for his pictures of children with their pets. Aside from his commissions from Queen Victoria, Barber also painted for the Prince of Wales (soon to be Edward VII). He was invited to be a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1883.



The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger. Recreated by Rosie B. (and family)

This painting, created in the historic Tudor period, features Jean de Dinteville, a French diplomat, and George de Selve, also a diplomat and a scholar. One of the key elements that makes this painting unique is the use of anamorphism: distorted perspective of an image. The image between the men on the floor is of a skull, however the meaning of the image there, and the decision for the distortion is still up for debate.


Rage, the Flower Thrower (Love is in the Air) by Banksy. Recreated by Jefferson L.

A modern-day street artist and political activist, Banksy is known for his dark humour in street graffiti work, often in a stencil style. In 2010, he debuted his documentary, Exit through the Gift Shop at the Sundance Film Festival. The image depicts a masked Palestinian throwing flowers.


Two Boys by Frank W. Benson. Recreated by Andy and Josh D.

The two boys in the painting are Benson's grandsons, Frank Jr. and Ralph along with Buddy, their spaniel. Benson, an American painter, was known for his realistic portraits, however Two Boys, painted in 1926 was done so in an Impressionistic style. The image was later used in a children's magazine. He was known for painting portraits of distinguished families for the Library of Congress, and his most famous works include his daughters at their summer home in Maine.


Etruscan Girl with Turtle by Elihu Vedder. Recreated by Jana Z.

An American-born illustrator, symbolist painter and poet born in 1836, Vedder's greatest influence came from Renaissance paintings from his time studying in Italy. When his father cut off his financing during the American civil war, he returned to the United States and befriended famous literary figures Walt Whitman and Herman Melville. Literary figures of the time influenced his artistic works.


Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer. Recreated by Taylor K., Jite E., Helen H., Alina K., Alex M., Ava P., Keziah L., Priya G., Stephanie Y., Abi A., Summer B., Taylor L., Ella P., Justine H., Virginia H., Hannah K., Melissa O., Ellie N. and Vivien S.

Painted circa 1665 by Dutch "Golden Age" painter, Vermeer, the painting's title has changed over the years, finally settling on the pearl earring that punctuates the painting. The headdress is meant to be an "oriental" turban, and there is debate that the earring itself is not a pearl (based on size) but made of tin. When restored, it became clear that the darker background was originally a deep green in colour. Part of the Baroque period, Vermeer specialized in scenes that depicted the life of the middle class at that time.


Honeysuckle Bower by Peter Paul Rubens. Recreated by Joseph A. (and sister)

This 1609 self portrait of the Flemish Baroque artist with his wife is titled as such as they are seated in a "bower" of the honeysuckle plant. He was one of the last artists to use wood panels as a medium.


Dorelia in a Black Dress by Gwen John. Recreated by Isadora F.

Part of the "bohemian" group of the 20th century, John was a Welsh artist who worked in France creating portraits of anonymous women. While her works are now gaining more recognition, at the time she was overshadowed by her boyfriend, famous sculptor, Auguste Rodin.


Boy with a Dog by Serguei Zlenko. Recreated by Micah J.

Zlenko is a contemporary Georgian artist born in 1960. His focus is on ballet dancers, children and landscapes. He is connected to traditional Russian painting using oil, watercolours and pastels.


The Daughter of Soviet Kyrghystan by Semyon Chuikov. Recreated by Julia X.

Created in 1948.

Artist Chuikov was the recipient of Stalin prizes in 1949 and 1951. This image became symbolic of the triumph of socialism in Central Adia, however the painting is of a schoolgirl in rural Kygryzstan.


American Gothic by Grant Wood. Recreation by Tristan W. (and family) and Micah and Evan E.

This 1930 painting by Wood is actually supposed to be a farmer and his daughter, not his wife. The inspiration for the characters was Wood's sister, Nan, and his dentist, Dr. McKeeby. Considered one of the most iconic images of 20th century art, it is regularly parodied in various mediums. Wood grew up in Iowa, with a WWII Liberty Ship named in his honour.


Before the Dance by Andrew Atroshenko. Recreated by Lauren M.

Atroshenko is a current Russian Romantic Impressionist painter. His focus is on dancers,

primarily, and is a graduate of the highly respected St. Petersburg Academy of the Arts.







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