Exercise 3.3 – Meta-painting

Text snippet taken from Understanding Visual Culture

Exercise 3.3
Find and collate 10 diverse examples of meta-painting from the 17th century to the present.


  1. Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez, 1656, Medium Oil on canvas, Dimensions 318 cm × 276 cm (125.2 in × 108.7 in). The painting is a meta painting as it is about painting, plays around with the viewer and the recognition of reality.



(By Diego Velázquez – The Prado in Google Earth: Home – 7th level of zoom, JPEG compression quality: Photoshop 8., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22600614)

2. Las Meninas by Pablo Picasso; year 1957, Medium Oil on canvas, Dimensions 194 cm × 260 cm (76 in × 100 in), Location Museu Picasso. It is a meta painting as it depicts the already done painting by Velázquez but in a different style.


(Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1721744)

3. Uncle Sam by Oleg Shuplyak which is more of an optical illusion painting but referencing a known image of Uncle Sam.



4. “Woman holding a balance” by Johannes Vermeer with the picture inside the picture which could be “The Last Judgment” by Backer.




5. Mona Lisa. Andy Warhol (1928-1987). Synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas. Painted in 1978. 127.3 x 101.9cm.



6. Alex Alemany self portait


7.  René Magritte 1933 Oil on canvas 100 cm × 81 cm (39 in × 32 in) National Gallery of ArtWashington DC




8. Desire Obtain Cherish: conjoined canvases pays homage to Warhol, Mondrian and Pollack.


9. PHILIP COLBERT Mondrian with Saw, 2014 MIXED MEDIA Sequins, bead embroidery and acrylic on canvas 12.20 x 14.76 in (31.0 x 37.5 cm)



10.  Escaping Criticism by Pere Borrell del Caso – 1874



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