Art and Emotion

Many artists express their emotions through their art-making, and the finished art will reflect that emotion. Other artists may make an image with the hope of creating an emotional response in the viewer. In looking at several famous paintings below, which emotions do you feel? Decide for yourself first, and then scroll down to the bottom to see if you read these paintings the same way Artsology does.

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Paintings by Henri Matisse and Roy Lichtenstein which show emotion in art

Above left: Henri Matisse, "Dance II" (1909-1910); above right: Roy Lichtenstein, "Frighten Girl" (1966).

Paintings by Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall which show emotion in art

Above left: Pablo Picasso, "The Weeping Woman" (1937); above right: Marc Chagall, "Birthday" (1915).

Paintings by Roy Lichtenstein and Francis Bacon which show emotion in art

Above left: Roy Lichtenstein, "Grrrrrrrrrrr!!" (1965); above right: Francis Bacon, "Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X" (1953).

Paintings by Marc Chagall and Grant Wood which show emotion in art

Above left: Marc Chagall, "The Promenade" (1917); above right: Grant Wood, "American Gothic" (1930).

So, what did you think? Here's how Artsology reads these emotions, although this is the beauty of art - there is no "right" answer, you may respond in a completely different way.

Matisse: joy

Lichtenstein #1: fear

Picasso: sadness

Chagall #1: love

Lichtenstein #2: anger, creating fear

Bacon: anger, or pain

Chagall #2: happiness

Wood: serious, grim

For more on this subject, check out our additional feature on Emotion in Art here.

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