Movies, like paintings, are about emotions and stories. By blending iconic paintings into their frames, filmmakers pay homage to the creative achievements that have come before them.

However, with 24 frames passing every second, sometimes it’s easy for these moments to go noticed. That’s why we have crawled the internet to find the best examples of these amazing references and laid them out below for you to enjoy.

But why stop there? Next time you’re at the cinema, watch for these subtle nods to art history – they might inspire you to explore both the canvas and the big screen with a new perspective.

Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse (2019) x Sascha Schneider’s Hypnosis (1904)

David Fincher’s Alien 3 (1922) x Rex John Whistler’s GIRL’S HEAD BESIDE A SKULL (1905–1944)

Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element (1997) x Frida Kahlo’s The Broken Column (1944)

George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) x Alexandre Cabanel’s The Fallen Angel (1847)

Alexander Payne’s About Schmidt (2002) x Jacques-Louis David’s The Death Of Marat (1793)

Gustav Deutsch’s Shirley: Visions of Reality (2013) x Edward Hopper’s Rooms by the Sea (1951)

Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1972) x Vincent van Gogh’s Prisoners Exercising (1890)

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s El Regreso (2003) x Andrea Mantegna’s Lamentación sobre Cristo muerto (1475-1478)

Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) x Francisco Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son (1819–1823)

Bob Fosse’s Cabaret (1972) x Otto Dix’s Bildnis der Journalistin Sylvia von Harden (1926)

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth (1986) x MC Escher’s Relativity (1953)

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927 film) x Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s The “Little” Tower of Babel (1565)

Vicent van Gogh’s Le Café de nuit (1888) x Vincente Minnelli’s Lust for Life (1956)

Ken Russell’s Gothic (1986) x Heinrich Füssli’s The Nightmare (1781)

Bigas Luna’s Jamón (1992) x Francisco de Goya’s Duelo a Garrotazos (~1819)

Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island (2010) x Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss (1907-1908)

Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008) x Francis Bacon’s Head VI (1949)

Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (2014) x Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy (1770)

Herbert Ross’ Pennies from Heaven (1981) x Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (1942)

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