From the Last Supper to the Thinker, the advertising world loves to borrow from the art world. So, enter the wondrously free-from-doctrine world of creative advertisement, where artists get to play around with some of the greats of art history. Here are 8 examples of famous art in advertisements.
1. Da Vinci’s Last Supper reimagined as a gambler’s table
This familiar advert for an online casino is as blasphemous as it is well executed – the only thing missing is that touch of sublimity Da Vinci had a knack for. Interested in seeing the real thing for yourself? Da Vinci’s famous painting resides inside the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, which you can visit as part of this Best of Milan tour.
2. Van Gogh’s Self Portrait to catch the eye
If there’s one thing we can learn from this French optician’s advertisement, it’s that a bit of blur makes a great portrait. And using van Gogh’s self portrait to illustrate (see what we did there?) that point makes for a good advert. You can find the van Gogh portrait that this advert is based on in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
3. A Picasso lookalike to promote yoga
This advert for a fitness center could almost be seen as a forgery, if it weren’t such a well executed compliment. Not only does it imitate Picasso, it’s paired with a phrase that would not have looked out of place on one of Picasso’s own paintings. The best way to enjoy some of the artist’s original works? The Picasso Birthplace Museum, of course.
4. Mondrian in rubbles
This advert by an art logistics company isn’t just recognisable, it’s clever too. For who doesn’t recognise the primary colours, blocks and lines that Piet Mondriaan was famous for – even if they are in a pile in the corner as opposed to neatly stacked in the middle? After all, nobody would want their shipped-and-delivered Mondrian to turn up on their doorstep in a pile of rubble. You can see the original (in tact) at the Kunstmuseum in the Hague. And if you’re an art, history or adventure lover, here are some more things to do in the Hague while you’re there.
5. This is not a Magritte
We love this Allianz insurance advert because it resembles Magritte’s famous work both in form and in meaning. It tells us to look past the hammer we think we see and understand that it’s really something else – a common finger squasher. Think you might like more of Magritte’s work? Then a visit to MoMA is in order.
This witty German advert for brain-nutrient vitamins is a perfectly good (and funny) nod to Rodin’s famous statue. This little genius has already learned that there’s no better place for contemplation than the bathroom. If you’d prefer to gaze upon the real Thinker as well as some other Rodin masterpieces, visit the Musée Rodin and gaze to your heart’s content.
7. Dali and the weird world of investments
This rendition of Dalí’s Temptation of St. Anthony depicts the business world today. While we couldn’t say for certain, we’re pretty sure Dalí would approve this message. If these leggy creatures have piqued your interest in Dalí’s work, you’ll appreciate a visit to Dalí Paris, the only place in France entirely dedicated to Salvador Dalí.
8. Another take on Picasso
Sometimes all it takes to make a great ad is to link two seemingly unconnected things and create the link with a simple phrase. Et voilà, art, err, we mean advertising. Whether or not Picasso would see it that way is another topic entirely. If you’re interested in seeing more things Picasso’s way, a Picasso walking tour and a visit to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona will be right up your street.