12 Art Description Examples

Art descriptions are written text used to describe works of art, usually for an exhibit, gallery web page, or catalogue. An effective description should not only provide information about the work depicted, but also help readers engage with the artwork, throughout a combination of well-crafted language and descriptive elements. Check out these Art Description Examples to get an idea on how to write your own for future projects.

Art Description Examples

Art Description Examples

  • One example of an art description is of Monet’s Water Lilies. In this painting, Monet captures the mirrored reflections of his garden through his distinctive brushstrokes and vibrant colors. Gentle strokes of emerald, azure, and amethyst caress the serene pond, creating a sense of tranquility. The sheer size of the canvas ensures the viewer can fully experience the beauty of the idyllic setting.
  • Another example is of Alexander Calder’s abstract painting, Circles. This dynamic composition features geometric shapes composed of flowing angular lines and circular forms in a vivid spectrum of colors. The dizzying interplay between moving forms is the perfect representation of movement and flux, a hallmark theme of modern art.

Art descriptions provide an avenue for viewers to engage with works of art. By utilizing descriptive elements that evoke emotion, viewers will be able to more accurately experience the artwork as the artist intended it to be seen. While there are many specific artistic styles and artwork styles, the two art descriptions provided above offer a glimpse at some of the elements that should be included for a meaningful description.

More Art Description Examples

1. Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon features a jubilant composition of primitive figures in simplified and angular postures. The intense color palette creates a sense of energy and vivaciousness while the recognizable brushstrokes and unique figures show the profound impact of Picasso’s cubism.

2. Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night is one of the most famous artworks of all time. The wildly swirling stars and the reflective beauty of the night sky create an overwhelming feeling of power and awesomeness, quite possibly the most stunning night sky painting to ever be produced.

3. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s painting, The Calling of St. Matthew, takes you to a Renaissance-era church where St. Matthew is selected and appointed by Christ. His intense gaze creates a sense of foreboding as the figures in the painting kneel in awe.

4. Rembrandt van Rijn painted numerous self-portraits during his lifetime, and his most famous, Self Portrait in Slightly Open Vest, captivates the viewer with its sense of depth and humanity. The monochromatic color palette and the serious frowning face project a deep sense of loneliness.

5. Marc Chagall’s La Tour Eiffel captures the romantic ambiance of the famous landmark with bright primary colors and ethereal strokes of paint. The vibrancy of the painting captures the beauty of the monument and its surroundings.

6. Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks is a masterpiece of realism. The painting captures the inescapable feeling of urban loneliness with a panoramic view of a late-night diner and its mysterious occupants.

7. Jackson Pollock’s One: Number 31 is an example of abstract expressionism. The painting features an intricate composition of various lines, shapes, and colors, forming a complex representation of the artist’s creativity and emotions.

8. Frida Kahlo’s The Two Fridas paints a surreal image of the legendary artist in her iconic double self-portrait. The painting embodies her strength, resilience, and soul with its dreamy setting and vibrant colors.

9. Grant Wood’s American Gothic is a celebrated painting of a rural Iowa couple, surrounded by a rolling landscape of lush green fields. The painting’s unique mix of realism, detail and subtle expressions creates a timeless image that speaks to the American Dream.

10. Zanele Muholi’s Somnyama Ngonyama Self-Portraits explore the complex identity of LGBTQ+ individuals with its powerful representations of the lived experiences of Muholi and other members of the community. Every portrait depicted strikes an emotionally powerful chord, creating a powerful statement of resilience.

More Art Description Examples are coming soon…