After a pretty solid research through some of the most famous paintings in existence, it has now become clear that the fine art grandmasters from the bygone centuries for some reason weren’t too fond of perpetuating cozy Christmas sceneries featuring all of our beloved Noel clichés. Maybe because it still was a couple of decades till the Coca-Cola generation, or maybe because back then the nature of the winter solstice simply had an entirely different, less commercially-driven character. Nevertheless, thanks to some enthusiastic folks on the web, the world finally sees Christmas literally invading whatever classic painting there is to invade. And, frankly, the results are quite hilarious.
The American Disappointment
This interpretation of American Gothic by Grant Wood, though maintaining the deadpan stoic tone of the original, delivers a surprisingly neatly decorated Christmas greeting. With that said, the “Jingle Bells” tone invoked by the colorful props is completely at odds with the “fourth wall-breaking” gaze of Dr. Byron Mckeeby and the concerned look on Nan Wood Graham’s face. The only explanation for a scene like this would be the disappointment right after the jury didn’t manage to show up to evaluate their property for the annual “Best Decorated Neighbourhood Award”. The candy cane is Mckeeby’s weapon of choice.
What’s up with You People?
Ed Wheeler with his “Invading Santa Claus” series has truly made planet Earth a funnier place to inhabit (therefore earning a repeated appearance on this). Featuring good old St. Nick in places and situations that absolutely did not require his presence, Wheeler incorporates contemporary Christmas into classic imageries with incredible skill and wit, as is evident with Santa going off limits and breaking the party envisioned by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in his At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance. Here he’s the one everyone’s looking away from to avoid direct eye contact while simultaneously whispering to each other “who invited this guy?”
Now this one is actually quite cute with Father Christmas having a blast with his loyal animal companions, presumably right after the mission of worldwide present distribution is finally accomplished. The bleak mood of Matisse’s La Danse is completely wiped away in favour of a PG13 jig, which comes off as a quirky and original homage to an all-time classic. No reason to not have this.
“So He Said to Me…”
As we promised, here’s another one by Ed Wheeler, this time imagining Santa having a lovely lunch-time chit chat in the setting of Manet’s The Luncheon on the Grass. After all, Santa is the original everyman, the one who knows how to keep up a quality conversation even when there are obvious elements to be distracted by.
Napoleon’s Christmas Campaign
Taking things too literally has never helped anybody. It’s safe to say that Napoleon Bonaparte did not pressure his men to disguise themselves as the inhabitants of Whoville while crossing the Alps riding on the back of a deer. Surely, one could argue that a strategy like that would have left great confusion on the enemy’s side, while it’s totally clear that it would definitely make the original Bonaparte Crossing the Alps by Paul Delaroche a lot less ceremonial. On a side note, the sad expression of Napoleon and the hat matches perfectly.
Follow the Brush Strokes!
Now, Vincent van Gogh might be the one artist whose paintings are the most prone to Christmas transformations (judging by what can be found on the web). Just add some lights and a caravan of deers and you have yourself a market-ready The Starry Night with a Passing Santa. A wonderful impression of the man in action!
“Just Another Toss and It’ll Be Perfect”
And another one by Ed Wheeler, this time with Santa perfecting Monet’s composition of The Japanese Footbridge at the Water Lily Pool with a string of Christmas lights. Adding a welcomed touch of splendor to the genius, yet a bit dim, visuals, Saint Nick goes through the Wheeler’s series like an uninvited superhero who dances with bears, stands at the front of the boat of American independence and gives Plato the historic goblet of poison.
Mona’s Christmas Break
Now, about parodies of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, there are many, and some of them truly reach new heights of creativity and hilarity. This cute Christmas nod to the one of the most famous paintings in existence shows a happy Joconda right after she has finally received her share from Santa’s gift bag. With the Christmas goods in her hands, there actually seems to be more of that smile than ever before!
Of course, besides these few examples of famous paintings in christmas garnish, there’re a ton of Christmassy fine-art jewels waiting for you. To add to the period a bit of comic flair, consider utilizing these as your wall art decorations!