Can You Guess Which Movies Were Inspired by These Classic Artworks?

Test your movie knowledge

By Google Arts & Culture

Some say that in a great film, every frame is a painting. Well, in some cases, the frames truly are inspired by great painted works.

Can you guess which films were inspired by the following works of art? Scroll on to test your knowledge...

Alfred Hitchcock by William VandivertLIFE Photo Collection

Relativity by M.C. Escher by Moonho LeeKorean Art Museum Association

1. The work of M. C. Escher

With his mind-bending, logic-defying sketches, M. C. Escher creates a world that’s beautiful and perception-warping. Meticulous and incredibly detailed, his works have inspired countless designers and artists, as well as filmmakers. So can you guess which famous film was inspired by Escher’s sketches? 

Jigsaw puzzle:Escher Block by PussycatThe Strong National Museum of Play

Christopher Nolan’s 'Inception'

Christopher Nolan drew heavily on Escher’s ideas and aesthetics when creating his 2010 film Inception. The geometry, never-ending staircases and bending buildings that feature heavily in Escher’s works can be seen throughout the movie and help Nolan to create his dream-like world. 

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the ElderKunsthistorisches Museum Wien

2. Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 'The Tower of Babel'

Painted in 1563, Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s The Tower of Babel depicts the building of the legendary structure. The beautiful and intricate image shows the tower inching ever higher. Over the years, it’s inspired a number of similar images as well as one of the earliest classics in the world of film. Can you guess which movie we’re talking about?    

Metropolis DVD by Kino on VideoThe Strong National Museum of Play

Fritz Lang’s 'Metropolis'

Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis remains a classic piece to this day. The vertical landscape of the city is clearly drawn from Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s painting, while the story of the Tower of Babel is used in the film to highlight the discord between intellectuals and workers.         

Ophelia by Sir John Everett MillaisTate Britain

3. John Everett Millais’ 'Ophelia'

One of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, John Everett Millais is probably best known for Ophelia. His 1851-52 work depicts the character from Hamlet just before she drowns in a river. Incredibly evocative, it’s no surprise the painting has inspired one of our best-known film makers, but who is it?    

Ophelia by Sir John Everett MillaisTate Britain

Lars von Trier’s 'Melancholia'

The poster for Lars von Trier’s 2011 film Melancholia was directly inspired by Ophelia and the theme appears a number of times in the movie. Von Trier regularly takes inspiration from the world of fine art and you can find references to classic and modern artists throughout his oeuvre. 

Haskell's House by Edward HopperNational Gallery of Art, Washington DC

4. Edward Hopper's 'House by the Railroad'

A number of Edward Hopper’s paintings have a filmic feel, with cinema-like compositions, lighting and themes. His 1925 piece, House by the Railroad is one of his most evocative and has inspired one of the 20th century’s greatest directors to make his best-known work. Can you guess who?    

Haskell's House by Edward HopperNational Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho'

Hopper’s influence can be clearly seen in the location and look of Bate’s motel in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. The lonely, quiet, isolated building is instantly evocative and makes the perfect setting for one of our greatest horror classics. 

Hitchcock Directing by Gjon MiliLIFE Photo Collection

Read more about Alfred Hitchcock, the world's most famous horror director, here.

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