Art in Pair: Four World Famous Paintings and their Siblings

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You must have heard the saying – most of the good things in the world come in twos and threes.  To support this saying, we present you with some of the world famous art paintings and their siblings.

Some of these paintings have more than one sibling.  For instance, the famous Mona Lisa has a twin and The Scream is a quadruplet.  Surprised?  This article has more such surprises for you and to know more, keep reading.

Siblings of Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa Twins

Siblings of Monalisa

Let us start with that lady with the famous smile, Mona Lisa. This Leonardo da Vinci painting is the most famous work of art in today’s world. Everybody seems to be familiar with this smiling lady and the speculations surrounding this painting.

One of them is the twin version of Mona Lisa called Isleworth Mona Lisa. Compared to the ‘real’ one, the twin is wider but, the details in the background are lesser.  The character in this painting also looks a bit younger than the actual Mona Lisa. According to experts, DaVinci drew only the hands and face of Isleworth Mona Lisa and someone else took up the job of completing the painting.

Today, the original Mona Lisa is on display at Musée du Louvre, Paris. In 2012, after 40 long years of hiding inside a vault, Isleworth Mona Lisa was unveiled in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Virgins of the Rocks

After the smiling lady, comes the virgin lady. The Virgin of the Rocks is yet another painting by the legend, Leonardo da Vinci. There are two versions of this painting.

Virgin of the Rocks

The Virgin of the Rocks

In these paintings, you will find Madonna, Child Jesus, an angel and John the Baptist sitting around in a rocky area. A slight difference you can easily notice between the two versions is the way the hand of the angel is painted. Another noticeable difference is the differences in lighting, colors used and the plant life depicted.

Although we know these paintings were completed in the 15th century, there is no real evidence to prove which one is the elder of the two.

If you want to see one of these masterpiece paintings by the master artist, you have to travel either to London or to Paris. One version is on display at Louvre, Paris and the other at National Gallery, London.

Supper at Emmaus

From one legendary artist to another, Supper at Emmaus is a work by Michelangelo Caravaggio. This art painting depicts the situation where Jesus reveals his identity to his disciples.


Supper at Emmaus

There are two versions of this painting; one was completed in the year 1601 and other in 1606. There are considerable differences between the two and they are not exactly identical twins either. The later version has an additional character in the painting and is darker compared to the earlier version. Faces of people also appear different, including that of Jesus. Of the two versions, the former one is displayed at the National Gallery, London and the later at Brera Art Gallery, Milan.

The Scream Quadruplet

Here comes the quadruplet we talked about earlier. This famous Edward Munch painting has four different versions and all of them are different for their own reasons.

The Different Versions of The Scream

Which is the best Scream?

The story of The Scream started in the year 1893, when Munch brought two of the four versions to life.  The first one is tempera on cardboard and the second one, crayon on cardboard.  The former is on display at the National Gallery, Oslo and is perhaps the most popular version of the four.  The second one is on display at the Munch Museum, Oslo.

The third version of this famous painting, a pastel on cardboard version, came out in the year 1895. According to Sotheby’s, this is the most ‘colorful’ of the four versions. This version also set a record in 2012 for being the most expensive painting, by fetching $120 million at an auction.

The fourth and final version of The Scream is a tempera on cardboard painting and was completed in 1910.  This version became famous when it was stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo.

Well, there you go! The twins and quadruplets in the world of art paintings. There could be more out there, but these are the most famous ones of all.

Do you know any other paintings with similar siblings?  Are there any Indian paintings?  Why are artists making different versions of same painting?  Share your view with us.

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About Harikrishnan G

Harikrishnan is the Chief Content Writer at He loves to hang out on the internet and make friends on Facebook. You can connect with him on Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.

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