Songs about paintings are a unique and special way to express the beauty of art and its connection to the world. From classic compositions to modern masterpieces, this selection of songs celebrates the paintings, artists and stories behind the artwork.
From Impressionism to Pop Art, from Renaissance frescoes to abstract expressionism, each song unlocks a piece of history and is an audio–visual experience. So let’s get started and explore the music behind some of the most stunning visual art!
Top Songs About Paintings
1. War’s “Paint It Black”
First on our list of songs about paintings is War’s “Paint It Black”, initially made in the year 1970. The lyrics of the song do an excellent job of capturing the feelings of despondency, hopelessness, and loss of innocence that are common among combat veterans after returning from war.
The song has a quick tempo, and it draws inspiration from music that is popular in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and India.
2. Incredible String Band’s “Painting Box”
Next on our list of songs about paintings is this lovely song perfect for dedicating to your painting supplies. The song “Painting Box” was released by the Incredible String Band in 1967 and can be found on their album titled “The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion.”
This song is about the many different emotions that we have for the people in our lives, and it compares those emotions to different colors.
3. Bread’s song “If”
BREAD If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these lyrics are worth a million.
Bread, a band from the United States, first released their song “If” in 1971. The lyrics of the song are about a man who is having suicidal thoughts and how his life would be different if he had never been born.
The lyrics are gloomy and depressing, but they also contain a glimmer of hope and a sense of fortitude. It’s just that the phrase “If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can’t I paint you?” hits you in a different way.
4. The Band’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece”
One of the most iconic songs about paintings is “When I Paint My Masterpiece” by The Band. The song, which was released in 1971, is about the time that Bob Dylan spent painting in Europe.
Even though he wasn’t very successful at it, he managed to connect with a few fascinating people along the way. The song is humorous and enjoyable, and it conveys a positive message about the importance of working hard to achieve one’s goals.
5. “Paint It Black” by U2
One of the most well-known songs about paintings is “Paint It Black,” by U2. 1991 saw the release of “Paint It Black,” which almost immediately established itself as a fan favorite.
The song is about the hopelessness and gloom that sometimes comes with the art of painting. Over the years, it has been covered by a wide variety of artists, including The Rolling Stones and Ciara, amongst others.
6. Don McLean’s “Vincent”
Don McLean is best known for his hit single “American Pie,” which he released in 1971. However, he is also the author of a lovely ballad titled “Vincent Van Gogh,” which is about one of the most well-known painters in history.
The biopic “Vincent” pays homage to the painter and his body of work while also depicting Vincent’s life and the challenges he faced due to his mental illness.
7. “Run Paint Run Run”
This song is an upbeat and psychedelic tune that is guaranteed to get you moving. It was released as a single in 1980 under the title Doc at the Radar Station.
The lyrics discuss how it seems as though paint possesses a mind of its own, as well as how it can be used to create something that is both beautiful and meaningful.
8. Mission of Burma’s “Max Ernst”
“Max Ernst” is a tribute to the Dadaist painter of the same name. Mission of Burma released the song in 1981, and you can find it on their album titled Signals, Calls, and Marches.
Burma made it abundantly clear, in the band’s very first single released to the public, the kind of artistic work that they wanted to produce: avant-garde, high culture, creative, different from standard norms, and surrealist. Both Ernst and the band can be accurately characterized using these words.
9. Eurythmics’ “Paint a Rumor”.
Here is a song by the British duo Eurythmics that discusses the influence that rumors and gossip can have.
The song “Paint a Rumor,” which can be found on their album Touch from 1983, is a catchy piece of synth-pop music that has a sinister undertone.
The lyrics tell the story of a small town in which everyone knows the business of everyone else and how a seemingly insignificant rumor can result in a significant amount of harm.
10. Jay-“Picasso Z’s Baby
Jay-Z, an American hip-hop artist, is responsible for the song “Picasso Baby,” which can be found on his album Magna Carta… Holy Grail.
This song is about Jay z’s -passion for the arts and how he views himself as a contemporary version of Picasso. In addition to this, he makes frequent references to well-known painters such as Warhol and Jean Michel and compares himself to these artists.
11. Paint Her Face by The Records
The Records, who are a rock band from the United Kingdom, have a song called “Paint Her Face.” It’s a catchy tune with a fantastic guitar riff, and it’s about a woman who is attempting to hide her true self behind a mask of makeup.
The lyrics are fairly depressing, and they provide hints at some underlying problems relating to mental health and self-esteem. You can find it on their self-titled album.
12. Song by Peter Bjorn and John “Blue Period Picasso”
Up next is “Blue Period Picasso” by Peter Bjorn and John. This song is about a relationship ending and how it can make you feel as though you are living in one of Picasso’s blue-period paintings.
The lyrics are really heartbreaking and relatable, and the song will undoubtedly cause you to experience an overwhelming range of emotions.
13. Paul McCartney and Wings’ rendition of “Picasso’s Last Words”
The song is about Picasso’s passing away. It’s a sad song, but it’s also beautiful, and you should definitely give it a listen.
In 1973, at the age of 91, the world lost the great Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. Paul McCartney heard of the passing of the legendary Spaniard while he was in Jamaica.
Dustin Hoffman recounted the tragic circumstances surrounding Pablo Picasso’s death and the artist’s immortal last words while dining with Paul McCartney “Health to you, drink to me.
You are aware that I can no longer drink.” Luckily, Paul had brought his guitar, so he began strumming an impromptu chord progression and singing the words.
As a result, the song “Picasso’s Last Words” was written and eventually included on Band On The Run. Among the most creative and productive artists of the 20th century was Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).
Picasso passed away in Mougins, France, while hosting dinner guests with his wife Jacqueline.
Because Picasso did not leave a will, his family fought amongst themselves after his death for control of his billion dollar estate, leaving a legacy of bitterness and confusion.
14. “Paint Me a Birmingham” song by Tracy Lawrence.
The next song on the list is “Paint Me a Birmingham,” which was written by Tracy Lawrence. This song is about how love can transform a person, as well as how there are times when starting over is the best thing that one can do.
The lyrics are very moving, and you will undoubtedly find that they provoke reflection on your own life and the relationships in your life.
15. Honolulu Mountain Daffodils song “I feel Like a Francis Bacon painting.”
The song “I feel Like a Francis Bacon painting” performed by Honolulu Mountain Daffodils is the final selection on the list. This song is about how life can be difficult and baffling at times, but also beautiful in its own unique way.
The lyrics are extremely profound and will cause you to reflect on your own life and the things that are important to you as a result of both their depth and their ability to provoke thought. You’ll be able to find it on the album titled Guitars of the Oceanic Undergrowth / Tequila Dementia.
16. “Rene And Georgette Magritte” by Paul Simon
This song was written by the legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon, and it can be found on his album titled “Hearts and Bones.”
The Belgian surrealist painter Rene Magritte and his wife Georgette are the subjects of the biography titled “Rene And Georgette Magritte.” The lyrics are written in the style of a letter and tell the story of how the couple first met and fell in love.
17. Peter Hammill’s “Painting by Numbers”
Peter Hammill, a singer-songwriter from the United Kingdom, is the artist behind the song “Painting by Numbers.” This song is taken from his album Skin, and it discusses how we attempt to organize our lives into neat little boxes.
The lyrics are fairly cryptic, but the overall message is that we should not worry about conforming to the standards set by society and instead focus on being authentic versions of ourselves.
18. “Painting Pictures” by Adele
“Painting Pictures” by Adele The song “Painting Pictures” is about the end of a relationship and how the memories of it continue to torment her even now.
The lyrics are very moving, and it is inevitable that they will elicit some sort of reaction from you.
19. Gruff Rhys’s “Painting People Blue,”
The emotion of sadness has long been associated with the color blue, which is fitting considering the subject matter of this song. Gruff Rhys, a Welsh singer-songwriter, is responsible for the song “Painting People Blue.”
It’s a sad and wistful track about love and loss, and it’s on his album Candylion, so you can find it there.
20. Deb Talan, Steve Tannen, and The Weepies “Painting by Chagall.”
The following track was written by Deb Talan, Steve Tannen, and The Weepies as a collaborative effort.
The song is titled “Painting by Chagall,” and it is about two people who are deeply in love with one another but will never be able to be together.
Chagall is known for painting gorgeous depictions of the village in which he was raised, in addition to depicting his fantasies of love and freedom.