Six Famous Black and White Paintings

Artists creating monochromatic paintings in black and white do so to use the absence of color for maximum impact. In many cultures, white represents light and purity, while black symbolizes darkness and a more ominous nature. Both are also known for elegance, style and sophistication. They are extreme opposites which can help an artist to create a striking, dynamic image or a softer more tranquil effect.

Here are six famous black and white paintings by world-renowned artists:


Guernica (1937) by Pablo Picasso – Oil on canvas – 349.3 cm x 776.6 cm


Horse Skull with White Rose (1931) by Georgia O’Keefe – Oil on canvas – 76.3 cm x 40.9 cm


Cart with Black Ox (1884) by Vincent van Gogh – Oil on canvas – 60.0 cm x 80.3 cm


Chief (1950) by Franz Kline – Oil on canvas – 148.3 cm x 184.7 cm


Zebra (1937) by Victor Vasarely – Oil on canvas – 52.0 cm x 60 cm


Movement in Squares (1961) by Bridget Riley – Tempera on hardboard – 123.2 cm x 121.2 cm


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