The Piano – A Common Subject in Famous Paintings

Written by Stephanie Iadanza on

Paintings

I have spent my lifetime learning and exposing myself to the arts on all levels (paintings, music, dance – any way I could really). Being exposed to so much variety was a greater gift than I knew at the time. I didn’t know how lucky I was. Lucky to have been able to have bonded with what I felt love for, appreciate the things I didn’t understand and to just be inspired and amazed by what I didn’t even know I didn’t know! As a result, I have developed quite the eclectic taste in music and art.

We all have our favorite and least favorite things – in all areas of life – right? I personally struggle with the term ‘favorite’ (I can never pick just one thing that I like the best, LOL), however, I think it’s fair to say that we all have our ‘all time favorites’ that just seem to stick around. I’m talking about those songs, smells, pictures or memories of a past experience that just send deep-rooted emotions flying – when they land, they land with such an impact that they never leave us.

You can’t always put into words what you love so much about these favorites or how they really make you feel. Because they evoke such emotion, it resonates in your soul. Music is the most obvious one of them all – who doesn’t have a favorite song that sparks great memories from their past or gives them a happy feeling!?

Music is not the only artform that can evoke such emotions. As a result to some, self expression comes out in the form of a poem or a painting or a table they built. The term art is defined as: the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. The main branches of creative activity include painting, music, literature, and dance.

By that definition, fine art (painting/illustration) is right up there with music in holding emotional power, and I couldn’t agree more! Paintings are my personal form of self expression.

In conclusion, here are some famous works of art that are undeniably inspired by a love for music and/or by the artist experiencing music in their lives in some way. Each of the following artists were impacted by music in one way or another. So much so that they felt the need to express the impact of music themselves through their own form of art – painting.

Famous Paintings:

Do any of the following paintings sing to you? What do they say to you? What do you see and hear when you look at them? Paintings are in no particular order.


La Pianista (The Lady Pianist) – Giovanni Boldini

Famous Paintings - La Pianista (The Lady Pianist)

Artist: Giovanni Boldini – 1842 1931 – Italy, Style: Impressionism – Portrait, Media: Oil on Canvas, Location: Private Collection.

 

Signora al Pianoforte (Woman at the Piano) – Giovanni Boldini

Famous Paintings - Signora al Pianoforte (Woman at the Piano)

Artist: Giovanni Boldini – 1842 1931 – Italy, Style: Realism – Portrait, Media: Oil on Panel, Location: Private Collection.

 

Girl at the Piano – 1869 – Paul Cézanne

Famous Paintings - Girl at the Piano

Artist: Paul Cézanne – 1839 1906 – France, Style: Romanticism – Dark Period, Media: Oil on Canvas, Location: Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

 

Marguerite Gachet at the Piano – 1890 – Van Gogh

Famous Paintings - Marguerite Gachet at the Piano

Artist: Van Gogh – 1853 – 1890 – France, Style: Post-Impressionism, Media: Oil on Canvas, Location: Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

 

Three Musicians – 1921 – Pablo Picasso

Famous Paintings - Three Musicians

Artist: Pablo Picasso – 1881 1973 – Spain, Style: Cubism, Media: Oil on Canvas, Location: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, NY, US.

 

Young Man Playing the Piano – 1876 – Gustave Caillebotte

Famous Paintings - Young man playing the piano

Artist: Gustave Caillebotte – 1848-1894 – France, Style: Impressionism, Media: Oil on Canvas, Location: Private Collection.

 

Schubert at the Piano II – 1899 – Gustav Klimt

Famous Paintings - Schubert at the Piano II

Artist: Gustav Klimt – 1862 – 1918 Austria, Style: Symbolism – Golden phase, Media: Oil on Canvas, Location: Destroyed.

 

Georgette at the piano – 1923 – Rene Magritte

Famous Paintings - Georgette at the Piano

Artist: Rene Magritte – 1998 – 1967 Belgium, Style: Cubism – Early Years, Media: Oil on Canvas, Location: Brachot Gallery, Brussels, Belgium.

 

Piano Keys Lake – 1905 – Frantisek Kupka

Famous Paintings - Piano Keys Lake

Artist: Frantisek Kupka – 1871-1957 Czech Republic, Style: Orphism, Media: Oil on Canvas, Location: Not listed.

 

Saint Cecilia (Invisible piano) – 1923 – Max Ernst

Famous Paintings - Saint Cecilia (Invisible piano)

Artist: Max Ernst – 1871-1957 -Germany, Style: Surrealism, Media: Oil on Canvas, Location: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany.

 

A Chemist Lifting with Extreme Precaution the Cuticle of a Grand Piano – 1936 – Salvador Dali

Famous Paintings - A Chemist Lifting with Extreme Precaution the Cuticle of a Grand Piano

Artist: Salvador Dali – 1904-1989 Spain, Style: Surrealism, Media: Oil on Canvas, Location: Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

 

Piano-forte – 2014 – Jacek Yerka

Famous Paintings - Piano-forte

Artist: Jacek Yerka – 1952- Poland, Style: Surrealism, Media: Oil on Canvas, Location: Commissioned as a CD cover for Danny Schmidt’s album “Instead the Forest Rose to Sing”.

 

There are some really great pieces shown above. I hope you enjoyed looking at these paintings as much as I enjoyed sharing them. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.


Stephanie Iadanza

About Stephanie

Hey there! Jersey born - currently livin' in Sacramento, California (US). Growing up I always had a passion for art & music, now I get to have them be a part of my life everyday! Being Simply Music's Art Director/Senior Designer and mom to my son, I live a very busy life and I just can't help it, I like to share.

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