Five Famous Black Paintings

Famous Black Paintings

Black as the central theme of a painting seems a stretch, but expressing something does not always need bright colors. Sometimes, a black square on a white background can tell more stories than a painting filled with all sorts of characters. Famous Black Paintings-

The art world doesn’t need to normalize using black in their works because black is on the same level as other shades like red, blue, green, etc. So with this out there, we have got a list of the famous black paintings and try to understand the importance of black in the same.

In some paintings, you will find black is used with a dark theme, while in others, it is applied to add an effect to the painting. In every case, the color black has a meaning, giving the painting a better outlook.

Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber – Juan Sanchez Cotan

Juan Sanchez Cotan was known for his detailing and ability to paint complex objects from daily lives. His paintings are mostly set against a black background, from geometric shapes to fruits, vegetables, etc.

This painting is no different, and it also has a black background to show for. Like other works of the painter, this painting is inspired by the school of realism. And the painter has done justice to the attributes of the same.

No doubt that the Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber are considered one of the greatest works in Still Life painting for their attention to detail and playing on the notion of naturalism.

The manner used to portray and place the objects couldn’t have been better, and the painter has approached a modern painting style while aligning the work with the dominant painting style at that time.

Saturn Devouring His Son – Francisco Goya

Francisco Goya’s Saturn Devouring, His Son, is dark, and a grotesque painting shows the gruesome act of Saturn eating his son alive to prevent a prophecy from coming true.

Right from the moment it came out, some people have disgusted the scene, but no one can ignore the detailing and use of dark colors in the painting, predominantly black and its hues.

Even though the scene shown here is not beautiful, this painting has never failed to catch the attention of the spectators. Although, at the time of its making, the painting became an instant hit with the audience.

Not many artists could explore a dark theme with black colors the way Francisco Goya has done. The immaculate brush strokes and use of black paintings have been observed and admired by painters of every movement and era.

Black Square – Kazimir Malevich

Only an artist can express something with nothing but a square painted with black. This painting came out in 1913, and it has had its fair share of criticism and applause. 

The painting is said to have a zero form, which translates to the time when the movement of our being begins. Some have said that it expresses non-objectivity and the white emptiness of a liberated nothing.

One would think that what’s the use of identifying the brushstrokes in an utterly black painting. But, that is not the case here. Instead, such paintings become famous not because of the artist’s ability to use a brush but how much they can express with it. That is why it is hard to tell whether oil painting reproductions of this style are easier or harder than the others.

Black Square follows a mix of cubism and futurism. Moreover, it is one of the most famous paintings in the art movement of suprematism.

The Nightmare – Henry Fuseli

The Nightmare is a painting that came during the Romanticism era, but its theme and representation were utterly different from other paintings that went in this era. Henry Fuseli produced a dreading and horror-laden painting, which could leave the spectators having nightmares. And this painting is also majorly black, which makes it even more mysterious.

The Nightmare is a mystery for many as the painter has shown a demon standing on a beautiful woman. However, she seems to be sleeping, and a dark horse is protruding his snout as if it is waiting to take the girl along. 

The painting’s inspiration comes from an era when people used to have dreams and nightmares about a demonic presence, and Henry Fuseli has created the artwork to show the superstitious culture.

Skull With A Burning Cigarette – Van Gogh

Van Gogh’s paintings represented a mix of emotions, and most of the time, he produced works related to this state of mind. Similarly, the Skull with a Burning Cigarette is a strange painting where the overall scenery is dreadful, but the skull is calm and relaxed.

Of course, this painting has a black background, which highlights the skull amazingly well. This painting is from a time when the painter is going through a depressed and manic stage.

Conclusion- Famous Black Paintings

Using black as a dominant color in a painting is easier said than done. Yet, we have these five remarkable examples of some of the greatest painters creating masterpieces with the color black and their incredible imagination.

The painters have expressed their emotions, reality, and a superstitious story by using black makes us believe that colors speak a lot more than words. You can secure your favorite black painting from 1st Art Gallery to better understand the importance of black. 


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