Artistic Perspectives: Different Artists Painting the Same Scene

By Google Arts & Culture

Evening Snow, Kambara, from the series the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido (Hoeido edition) (ca.1833) by Utagawa HiroshigeNakagawa-machi bato hiroshige art of museum

One of the most wonderful things about art is that it's a portal to another person's viewpoint. The same idea can conjure different scenes, and the same scene can inspire different perspectives. Discover the similarities and differences below!

One Hundred Famous Views of Edo “Plum Garden in Kameido” (1857) by Utagawa HiroshigeShizuoka city Tokaido Hiroshige Museum of Art

Hiroshige's illustrious woodblock series 100 Famous Views of Edo wouldn't be complete without this 1857 depiction of a plum garden near the Kameido Katori Shrine in Tokyo.

Flowering plum orchard: after Hiroshige (October 1887 - November 1887) by Vincent van GoghVan Gogh Museum

Thousands of miles away and thirty years later, Vincent van Gogh put his own spin on the same scene. Swipe back and forth to compare the works from these two masters.

Judith and Holofernes (ca. 1612-13) by Artemisia GentileschiMuseo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte

The grisly tale of Judith and Holofernes has been told on many canvases throughout history. Artemisia Gentileschi painted this impactful piece in the early part of the seventeenth century.

Judith Cutting Off the Head of Holofernes (ca. 1640 (Baroque)) by Trophime BigotThe Walters Art Museum

Trophime Bigot, a French artist, created a similar take of the powerful scene in 1640. Here, Judith beheads the Assyrian general Holofernes, accompanied by her handmaiden who lights the room with a candle. Can you think of any other artists who have painted this subject?

The birth of Venus (1483 - 1485) by Sandro BotticelliUffizi Gallery

Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus, commissioned by the Medici family in the 1480s, is one of the better known renditions of the scene. Rich in symbolism, the image conjures Greek epics and Roman myths. You can see it in person at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

The Birth of Venus (1635 or 1636) by Nicolas Poussin, French, 1594 - 1665Philadelphia Museum of Art

Nicolas Poussin painted this more-populated take on the scene in the 1630s, though interpretations of this piece vary. Some scholars contend that the figure in the center is not in fact Venus, but a sea nymph named Galatea. What do you think?

Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851) by Emanuel Gottlieb LeutzeThe James Monroe Museum

In 1851, German American artist Emanuel Leutze exhibited one of the most persistent images of the American revolution: George Washington bravely crossing the Delaware River. Leutze created multiple versions of the painting, though the original was destroyed in WW2.

Shimomura Crossing the Delaware (2010) by Roger ShimomuraSmithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

American artist Roger Shimomura replicated Leutze's iconic piece in 2010. His vision of the crossing subverts the idyllic original, juxtaposing elements of traditional Japanese art with the recognizable image.

Sunlight on the Road, Pontoise (1874) by Camille PissarroMuseum of Fine Arts, Boston

Camille Pissarro, a leading figure in French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, painted this serene, sunny scene in Pontoise, a township in the suburbs of Paris. Many of Pissaro's contemporaries painted similar subjects, using nature and simplicity as inspiration.

Small Houses in Pontoise (c. 1873 - c. 1874) by Paul CézanneHarvard Art Museums

Paul Cézanne joined Pissarro in Pontoise and painted this sunlit green landscape in the 1870s. Scroll back and forth to compare the composition, colors, and technique.

Click to explore the quaint tree-lined streets in Pontoise today using Street View.

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