Art Historian Teaches How To Recognize Any Artist/Art Movement In Her Funny Videos (36 Pics)

The world of art can be very hard to navigate! I’ll openly admit that even though I’m an art lover, when it comes to the bit about recognizing which time period a piece is from, I end up completely befuddled. Luckily for me, there are plenty of friendly people on the internet to set the record straight, educate us, and help make us seem like art rockstars at dinner parties and art galleries alike.

One of these people is Melbourne art historian and video creator Mary McGillivray, who created a series of very informative and witty videos explaining what art movements a particular work of art is from and who the artist who painted it is. All so we can show off our great taste and in-depth knowledge in front of our friends (and learn something new while we’re at it!).

Check out Mary’s full videos below, as shared on her _theiconoclass TikTok account, and be sure to follow Mary’s social media accounts for her latest updates if you enjoyed her content.

More info: TikTok | YouTube | Instagram | Twitter | MaryMcGillvray.com.au | Patreon

This Australian art historian is helping educate millions of people

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In some of her witty videos, she explains how we can impress our friends by learning to recognize different art movements and artists

@_theiconoclass

Want a part two? ?? #arthistorytiktok #arthistorymajor #learnontiktok

♬ Rasputin (Single Version) - Boney M.

#1 "If It Looks Like You Need Your Glasses Prescription Updated, Then It's Impressionism"

"The walk" by Claude Monet

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#2 "If It Looks Like Angsty Male Ego, Then It's German Romanticism"

"Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog" by Caspar David Friedrich

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After Mary graduated from the University of Melbourne, she started on the path of making comedic and engaging video content for TikTok and YouTube about visual culture history. TikTok is a way for her to reach and educate millions of young people.

#3 "If It Looks Like A Nightmare You Once Had About Being Stranded In The Desert Then Its Surrealism"

"The Temptation of Saint Anthony" by Salvador Dalí 

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#4 "If There's At Least One Person Looking To The Camera Like They're On The Office, It's Diego Velázquez"

"Las Meninas" by Diego Velázquez

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Mary isn’t just a great art historian—she also knows that humor helps people remember her lessons better. That’s because humor activates the dopamine reward system in our brains, meaning that our long-term memory gets stimulated.

#5 "If Its Got Sad Peasants It's 19th Century Realism"

"The Gleaners" by Jean-Francois Millet

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#6 "If She's Blonde And Has This Exact Face, It's A Botticelli"

"Figure of Flora", "Portrait of Venus" and "Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci" by Sandro Botticelli

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If you want to become an art history buff, making humorous associations between art movements and artists is the best way to make things easier for yourself. So when Mary makes a quip about Cubism artworks looking like your Tupperware drawer, you’re quite likely to remember. In fact, this particular example stuck with me so much, I can’t wait to share it with my friends.

#7 "If It's Got Ugly Babies, It's Medieval"

"Madonna and Child" by Bernardo Daddi

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#8 "If Its A Portrait Of Rembrandt, It's A Rembrandt"

"Self Portrait" by Rembrant

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Pssst, that’s also one of the reasons why you’ll remember things for your exams that much better if you rephrase things to sound funny (or even a tiny bit rude). Peculiarity and weirdness also tend to stick out more in our memories.

#9 "If There's A Room With Some Nice Furniture, A Window, And Some Women Just Going About Here Everyday Business, It's A Vermeer"

"Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid" by Johannes Vermeer

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#10 "If Its Unfinished, It's Probably A Leonardo"

"The Adoration of the Magi" by Leonardo da Vinci

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#11 "If It's Got Cute Babies, It's Baroque"

"Artnet The Virgin and Child" by Ludovico Carracci

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#12 "If It Looks Like A Tupperware Drawer, Then It's Cubism"

"Girl with a Mandolin" by Pablo Picasso

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#13 "If It Looks Like A Really Satisfying Game Of Tetris It's A Mondrian"

"Composition with Red Blue and Yellow" by Piet Mondrian

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#14 "If You're Not Sure If It Is Art, Then Its Dada"

"Fountain" by Marcel Duchamp

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#15 "If It Looks Like A Cottagecore Pinup Girl, Then Its Art Nouveau"

"Moët & Chandon: Champagne White Star" by Alphonse Mucha

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#16 "If Its Got Rich People Frollicing Outdoors Then Its Rococo"

"The swing" by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

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#17 "If It Looks Like A Scene From Madaline, It's A Jean Dufy"

"Paris, La Seine" by Jean Dufy

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#18 "If It Looks Like A Really Stressful Game Of Tetris It's A George Braque"

"Bottle and Fishes" by Georges Braque

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#19 "It Looks Like A School Nativity Play Where Everyone's Made A Toga Out Of Different Colored Bedsheets It's A Giotto"

"Lamentation (The Mourning of Christ)" by Giotto di Bondone

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#20 "If The People Look Way Too Long, Then It's Mannerism"

"Madonna and Child" by Parmigianino

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#21 "If Everyone In The Painting Looks Unreasonably Jacked, Including The Women, It's A Michelangelo"

"The Creation of Adam" and "Prophets And Sibyls: Libyan Sibyl" by Michelangelo

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#22 "If It's Got A Happy Presence, It's A Dutch Genre Painting"

"The Way You Hear it is the Way You Sing it" by Jan Steen

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#23 "If It's Got More Flesh Than A Nudist Beach - It's A Rubens"

"The Feast of Venus" by Peter Paul Rubens

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#24 "If It's Got Palpable Female Rage And/Or Vengeance - It's An Artemisia"

"Judith Slaying Holofernes" by Artemisia Gentileschi

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#25 "F It Looks Like The Chaos After A Blackout Where Everyone Is Stumbling Around In The Dark Under One Solitary Emergency Light, It's A Caravaggio"

"The Taking of Christ" by Caravaggio

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#26 "If It Looks Like An Amateur Theatre Production, Then Its Neo-Classical"

"Oath of the Horatii" by Jacques-Louis David

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#27 "If It Looks Like A Low Res Jpeg Blown Up Its Pointillism"

Detail of "La Parade de Cirque" by Seurat

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#28 "If It Looks Like The First Kid At School Who Learnt How To Draw In 3D And Would Not Shut Up About It, It's A Massaccio"

"Holy Trinity" by Masaccio

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#29 "If Its Homoerotic And Painted On A Wall Or Ceiling, Then Its High Renaissance"

Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo

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#30 "If It Looks Like ... It's An O'keeffe"

"Untitled" by By Georgia O’Keeffe

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#31 "If It Looks Like The Artistic Equivalent Of A Nicotine Addiction, Its An Egon Schiele"

"Self portrait" by Egon Schiele

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#32 "If It's Just Got Nice Trees, It's A Claude Lorrain"

"Pastoral Landscape" by Claude Lorrain

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#33 "If It's Got Nice Trees But Boring Figures, It's A Poussin"

"Baptism of Christ" by Nicolas Poussin

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#34 "If It Looks Like A Gorman Puffer Jacket It's A Matisse"

"The Sheaf" by Henri Matisse

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#35 "If It Looks Like A Trendy Collage Artist's Instagram Then Its Constructivism"

Movie poster for the experimental avant-garde film "Man With A Movie Camera" by Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg

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#36 "If She's Blonde And Got Thicc Thighs, It's A Titian"

"Sacred and Profane Love" by Titian

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