The actual locations of 10 of the world’s greatest masterpieces

Great art can take you to amazing places – sometimes literally. Some of the greatest paintings of all time feature real-world locations. Some landscape masterpieces are so strong in part because of their location. But sometimes there’s more satisfaction in finding the exact spot where a world famous portrait was painted…

The entrance to the Grand Canal

Where? Venice, Italy

Let’s start with the easy ones, shall we? Canaletto produced paintings of Venice as if they were mass-produced Christmas cards. You can pick one out of dozens, but the 1730s The entrance to the Grand Canal at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts easily tells you where it is in the title. See venice-tourism.com

Grand Canal and Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice iStock image for Traveller.  Reuse allowed.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art

Photo: iStock

View of Toledo

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/436575 Image provided for Traveller.  Check reuse.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art.  The paintings are out of copyright.

Where? Toledo, Spain

Another that gives a great clue in the title is that of El Greco View of Toledo. But the artist played a few tricks, moving a few buildings around, so you’ll never be able to replicate the exact view. The best approximation, however, is by the Tagus River, looking towards the city from the east. See esmadrid.com

Toledo, Spain old town on the Tagus River.  iStock Image for Traveler.  Reuse allowed.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art

Photo: iStock

american gothic

Image provided for the traveler.  Check reuse.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art.  Paintings are out of copyright.  Grant Wood, American Gothic

Where? Eldon, Iowa

One of the most recognizable paintings of the 20th century, Grant Wood’s american gothic features a farmer and his daughter in front of their distinctive home. That house is Dibble House in Eldon, Iowa (below), and it has been preserved in the National Register of Historic Places. You can even go inside – it’s now a museum detailing the house, the models, the artist and the painting. See americangothichouse.org

Image provided for the traveler.  Check reuse.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art.  Copyright free, Wiki Commons.  American Gothic House, Iowa

The Scream

Image provided for the traveler.  Check reuse.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art.  Paintings are out of copyright. Edvard Munch, 1893, The Scream

Where? Oslo, Norway

Edvard Munch’s infamous and much copied painting was set against the backdrop of a highly stylized Oslofjord. The exact spot where the screaming figure is standing is on the hill in the Ekeberg district, east of Oslo. The view from the Ekebergutsikten lookout isn’t exactly the same today – more than a century of construction has passed since Munch painted The Scream. But there is a gourmet restaurant and a sculpture park right next door. See visitoslo.com

View from above Ekebergparken over Sorenga district towards Oslo cityscape with Oslo Harbor in late afternoon near dusk.  City of Oslo, Norway, Scandinavia, Europe iStock image for Traveller.  Reuse allowed.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art

Photo: iStock

The persistence of Memory

Image provided for the traveler.  Verify reuse.  Copyright: Salvador DaliÂ, Gala-Salvador DalÃÂFoundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York MOMA Salvador DalÃÂThe Persistence of Memory1931

Photo: Salvador Dali, Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Where? Cap de Creus, Spain

Salvador Dalí’s surreal masterpiece, discovered at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, is best known for its melting pocket watches, but the background features a beautiful beach and elegant cliffs. These come from the Cap de Creus peninsula in northern Catalonia – the easternmost point of mainland Spain. The cliffs were well known to Dalí as he lived in the village of Port Lligat. You can visit Dalí’s house – now a museum – after seeing the cliffs. See salvador-dali.org

Elevated views over Llançàand along the north coast of the Costa Brava towards Puerto de Selva.  iStock Image for Traveler.  Reuse allowed.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art

Photo: iStock

The starry Night

Image provided for the traveler.  Check reuse.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art.  The paintings are out of copyright.  Van Gogh - Starry Night

Where? Saint Remy, France

Vincent Van Gogh took the sight of his asylum in France as inspiration for The starry Night. However, the pictured village was an addition to the imagination, so don’t show up hoping it will look the same. The asylum was inside the monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole in Saint-Rémy (pictured below), just south of Avignon. A large part of the monastery has been transformed into a Van Gogh museum. See saintpauldemausole.fr

Saint-Rémy de Provence, France-06 18 2015:People enjoying taking photos in the lavender field in front of the Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole, a former psychiatric center where the painter Vincent van Gogh spent was processed in 1889–1890.  The monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole is located near Saint-Rémy in the Provence region of southern France.  iStock Image for Traveler.  Reuse allowed.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art

Photo: iStock

Cafe terrace at night

Image provided for the traveler.  Check reuse.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art.  The paintings are out of copyright.

Where? Arles, France

Van Gogh’s other great landscape in the south of France is Cafe terrace at night, which took place Place du Forum in Arles. The local authorities have made it as easy as possible to replicate the view, arranging the northeast corner of the square to resemble the time Van Gogh painted it. In a piece of shameless tourist trapping, the café in question is now called Le Café Van Gogh (below). See arlestourisme.com

Arles, France, April 28, 2019. Visitors to the city eat and drink at Café la Nuit, made famous by Vincent Van Gogh's painting

Photo: iStock

Water Lily Pond

Image provided for the traveler.  Check reuse.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art.  Paintings are out of copyright.  Japanese bridge over water lilies by Claude Monet

Where? Giverny, France

Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series depicts the water lily pond in his garden in Giverny, a town on the Seine between Paris and Rouen. He lived in the house for 43 years, happily tending the gardens when he wasn’t painting them. Monet’s house and garden are now open to visitors, which may mean herds of tour buses block the best views of the lilies. See foundation-monet.com

Monet's famous water lily pond iStock image for Traveller.  Reuse allowed.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art

Photo: iStock

The Hay Wain

Image provided for the traveler.  Check reuse.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art.  Paintings are out of copyright.  John Constable, The Hay Wain (1821)

Where? Flatford, England

John Constable’s painting of three horses pulling a wooden cart across a river was set on the River Stour. The river forms the boundary between Suffolk and Essex, although the perspective takes the scene from Flatford Mill on the Sussex side. These days the tiny hamlet of Flatford is run as a sort of constable sanctuary by the National Trust. The house in the painting, known as Willy Lott’s House, still stands. See nationaltrust.org.uk/flatford

A group of rowing boats moored in the River Stour at Flatford Mill in Suffolk, eastern England.  Flatford Mill was the scene of many works by the famous English painter John Constable.  The surroundings of the Moulin are open to the public for walks and leisure.  iStock Image for Traveler.  Reuse allowed.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art

Photo: iStock

cricketers

Image provided for the traveler.  Check reuse.  The actual sites of David Whitley's masterpieces of art.  Paintings are out of copyright.  Cricketers, Russell Drysdale

Where? Hill End, New South Wales

Russell Drysdale’s evocative painting of three boys playing cricket in a deserted town is one of the great Australian works of art of the 20th century. It was painted in Hill End, a gold rush town between Orange, Mudgee and Bathurst. The main building presented in cricketers is the Royal Hotel (pictured below) – this is the side wall on the left side of the building. See nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

Getty image for Traveler.  Disposable.  Royal Hotel, circa 1872, Hill End, NSW

Photo: Getty Images

David Whitley has been invited by the English, French, NSW and Venice tourist offices.

Comments are closed.