If we're being honest, classical art is not exactly the most enthralling subject there is. The religious iconography, pastoral rural scenes, and rosy-cheeked aristocrats with their tall wigs and their high-heeled buckle shoes - it's all a bit dull. But some genius people out there found the perfect way of bringing classical art into the 21st century using the magic of memes. For the absolute funniest ones, read on!
So That's Why Skirts Used to Be so Puffy
History buffs know that Maria Luisa of Parma was Queen consort of Spain from 1788 to 1808, but most normal people have never heard of this lady, and they are definitely not familiar with her face. Through the magic of memes, however, we will forever remember Maria Luisa of Parma as the woman who went to a fancy party and tried to sneak out with a 50'' HD TV under her skirt.
In this portrait done by Francisco Goya, she looks a bit uncomfortable, like she's thinking, "Finish this painting already!" But in the context of the meme, it seems like she's thinking, "I should have gone for the 40'' TV instead."
An Interesting Source of Inspiration for Creating Art
One of the reasons why art can be a bit daunting is because oftentimes, it is not really straightforward. People don't always understand what the artist meant or wanted to convey during the creation of a particular piece, so they end up not connecting to the art, and they even feel frustrated by it. Luckily, that's not the case here. This person is sure they understood what was the inspiration behind this painting.
We don't know that much about art, but we're having a time believing that that was indeed the inspiration for this painting. However, this is one of those "once you see it you can't unsee it" situations, so we're gonna go with the flow.
Not Touching, Can't Get Mad! Not Touching, Can't Get Mad
This is obviously just a joke, and we're sure whoever made this meme had no intentions of offending any believers out there. They do make a funny argument though, don't they? We tend to think of this famous character as treacherous, cowardly, and up to no good, but if you only look at how he's depicted in paintings, it does look like his major problem is not understanding the meaning of "personal space."
He looks like those older brothers who love to annoy their younger siblings by being all up in their faces and going, "Not touching, can't get mad! Not touching, can't get mad!"
Everyone's Grandparents' Daily Trip to School
We all have our own unique journey in life, and yet somehow, there's this funny thing where everyone's grandparents apparently had the exact same childhood, having to brave the wild every day just to be able to get an education. Yes, we've all heard our grandparents describing their daily trip to school, haven't we? They used to walk 40 miles knee-deep in snow every single day, like they lived in the Land of Always Winter.
They didn't know any other seasons other than winter, but that was not their only challenge. The geography in this mysterious land was weird, because somehow, they walked uphill both to and from school.
The Only Way Modern People Can Relate to Charles II of Spain
The royals. They're so rich and powerful, they tend to be seen as absolutely not relatable, especially when we're talking about the old school rulers, from hundreds of years ago. But through the magic of memes, we can finally relate to someone we never thought we would be able to relate to - Charles II of Spain, aka The Bewitched. But maybe we don't actually want to relate to him?
We can relate to Charles II because we, too, know the feeling of looking in the mirror and seeing one thing, and then looking at a photo of us, and seeing something completely different. "Is that what people see when they look at us? Ew!"
When Eve Is Adam's Companion, but Not His Cheerleader
This meme made us laugh out loud because it put a twist on the famous story of Adam and Eve. Traditionally, we're told that Eve was created to be Adam's companion, but as this meme cleverly points out, she wasn't necessarily his cheerleader, was she? In this painting, we're getting the vibe that Eve probably wouldn't get with Adam if he was the last man on earth - but he happened to be the first man on earth.
Now, given the placement of those leaves, this was probably after they ate the forbidden fruit? Apparently the fruit from the tree of knowledge gave Eve the knowledge of how to be savage.
Ending a Relationship Is Hard, Unless It's Not Your Relationship
We couldn't find any information about this painting and the artist who's behind it, but we have a feeling that maybe its name is something like "Little Home-wrecker," oil on canvas. Seriously though, the person who created this meme needs an award, because they perfectly combined a work of classical art and a funny message - if really does seem like that's what the artist had in mind as they were working on those faces.
Yes, ending a relationship is hard, unless it's not your relationship. In this case, ending a long-term relationship is just fun - at least that's what we're getting from that woman's face.
Parents of Toddlers Will Relate to This One
You wouldn't think that museum keepers would have a lot in common with parents of toddlers, but they kinda do - they're both very familiar with telling people not to do something, only to watch them do it anyways. "Do not touch" sign in a museum? People will touch that thing. "Do not touch" warning to a toddler? The toddler will. Touch. That. Thing. Oh, and what do you know? "Toddler, don't touch that thing in the museum"? Yeah, you know where we're going.
By the way, the painting shown here is a self-portrait by Flemish artist Michiel Sweerts and it dates from around 1660, if you wanna feel like you actually learned something reading these lines.
It's Funny Because It's True
Yes, yes, we know that some people are going to go ahead and point out that the reason why the four faces in this painting look similar is because they're all members of the same family. That's Maria Anna "Nannerl" Mozart, Wolfgang Mozart, their mother Anna Maria, and the father, Leopold Mozart, depicted by Austrian artist Johann Nepomuk della Croce sometime around 1780. There, that's out of the way now.
Now, can we just laugh at the meme? Because wow, it looks like the artist basically copy pasted the same face four times, and then did his best to make them different from each other with the pompous wardrobe and the props.
Asking Questions to Which You Already Know the Answer
Is there a name to the act of asking questions to which you already know the answer? If not, we may want to propose a new word for that - "netflixing." Because Netflix does that every single day, doesn't it? It suddenly stops in the beginning of an episode of that series you just started binge-watching, only to ask that question to which it already knows the answer. "Are you still watching?"
Yes, Netflix, we're still watching. What else would we be doing? It's not like we have friends to see or places to be. Let us sink back into our new favorite series, will ya?
What Is Even the Context of This Painting?
We don't know anything about this particular painting, but for the sake of the artist's soul, we hope this is not a self-portrait. If you watched the excellent NBC series The Good Place, you're probably aware that the first man to send an unsolicited private picture of this type not only went straight to the Bad Place, but he was also memorialized in the Museum of Human Misery down at the Bad Place Headquarters.
This meme refers to someone wanting to "keep it classy," but there's no way to keep any of this classy, right? It's like - right there.
Bringing Shakespeare Into the 21st Century
You see, memes are so powerful, they can bring not only classic paintings, but also classic stories of English literature into the 21st century. Case in point, Eugene Delacroix's "Hamlet devant le corps de Polonius," inspired by William Shakespeare's "Hamlet.” The former dates from around 1854 to 1856, and the latter is even older - the famous tragedy about Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is from sometime between 1599 and 1601.
And yet, thanks to an internet user with a wicked sense of humor, both Delacroix and Shakespeare are as current as ever, though we're not sure they'd be happy about that.
It's Never Too Early to Start Having a Midlife Crisis
A midlife crisis is a transition of identity and self-confidence that typically occurs when people hit their mid-40s - that's supposedly the "middle" of people's lives, when they suddenly start questioning all their choices and all the decisions they've made that led them to where they are now. However, as society loves to remind us constantly, the 30s are the new 40s, right? And therefore the 20s are the new 40s?
So indeed, it's like it's never too early to start having a midlife crisis. This meme is right. We don't know what's the "middle" of our life, so we might as well start having a crisis right now.
The Mom Is Tired, the Baby Is Tired, and the Artist Is Tired
People who don't have babies and who have never been around a baby for more than a couple of hours at a time tend to idealize motherhood in ways that would make new moms laugh, if only they weren't too tired to move their face muscles. But guess what? Babies are tired too. It's not like they stay up all night crying because they enjoy doing it. Babying is hard!
It really seems like this artist gets it, and he managed to depict that moment when the mom is tired, the baby is tired, and they're just tired of each other. Heck, the artist is probably tired of them, too.
When Dad Decides to Be Completely Honest for Once
This is a painting done by American artist Mary Cassatt of her brother, Alexander J. Cassatt, and his son, Robert Kelso Cassatt, and it was supposed to show the precious bond between the two. However, this meme ruined it for us, and by "ruined it," we mean "made it completely different, and we're not sure we like what we're seeing now." This used to be a sweet double portrait, but now?
All we see now is a man who doesn't remember what it was like to sit on this favorite chair and read the entire Sunday paper back to back without being interrupted by a kid with no regard for other people's sense of personal space.
The Good Old Days Weren't as Good as We Might Think
Back in the good old days is the "the grass is greener" of time and space, isn't it? It's like, any time that's not right now is better than right now. Instead of trying to improve ourselves, let's just sit and daydream about a reality that we didn't live, with people we didn't meet, in a society we didn't build. Yes, that's gonna be super helpful - not. Anyways, this meme is equal parts hilarious and savage.
We laughed out loud at this, but also, we learned that death by sawing was a legit method of execution used frequently in Medieval Europe. Still wanna go back to the old days?
New Mothers Will Be Able to Relate to This One
The bond between a mother and her baby is beautiful and pure, but let's face it - it doesn't always happen immediately, and it isn't on, like, 100% of the time. Sure, you might expect that bond to look like the painting on the left, where the calm child looks lovingly into the eyes of his mother, who holds him after waking up from her afternoon nap, her skin soft and supple, her hair up in a beautiful braided style.
But oftentimes, reality is more like the painting on the left, where the mother looks like she hasn't slept in two years, and the baby doesn't want to nap, he just wants to go hang out with Jerry Seinfeld.
When You Had One Job and You Forgot to Do That One Job
Now, this is a joke on top of a joke, so hopefully no one will take this meme too seriously, because that's all that it is - a harmless meme. The original painting, "Saint Thomas Aquinas Reading," by Fra Bartolomeo, dates from between 1510 and 1511 and simply showed Saint Thomas Aquinas reading a book with no title. That painting was then modified with the addition of the googly eyes, and the name of the book - that's why the name is weirdly on the back cover.
It was only then that someone added the text before the image, and the meme reached its final form. Don't throw the baby out with the baptism water!
Sometimes All You Need Is a Little Push
Sometimes all you need is a little push by the overwhelming time pressure that conducts every aspect of our existence, ain't it right? No, we're not crying, these are happy tears that fall naturally when one is being so productive. We're just happy to have all this motivation to get our work done within unrealistic deadlines set by people who have no clue how long it takes to actually do stuff.
Happy, happy tears! Yes, many people will be able to relate to this meme, and another classic artist will be brought into the 21st century.
Asking Someone to Describe Themselves in Three Words
What do you do when you ask someone to describe themselves in three words, and all they say is "lazy"? If you're a recruiter or a manager conducting a job interview, you simply don't hire that person. But if you're just someone who's online looking at memes in your spare time, you get to have some fun. We can think of a few things to add to this conversation; can you think of any?
First thing that comes to mind after reading this conversation? "Bad at following instructions." "Not very good with math." "Every customer service representative's worst nightmare."
When Something Needs to Be Done, It Needs to Be Done
We're gonna go ahead and say it - Lion King is one of the best Disney movies in the history of Disney movies. Yes, it's been many years since the first time we saw it, but its impact was such that even after all this time, we still get the urge sometimes to Lion-King babies, dogs, cats, chickens, armadillos - whatever's within reach when we get the urge to Lion-King something.
This meme is absolutely accurate, then, because you never know where you'll be when you get the urge to re-enact that epic scene. We don't judge you, lady with the baby.
Cats Will Be Cats
When Colombian artist Fernando Botero finished "Still Life With Green Soup" in 1972, he couldn't have guessed that his painting would one day become a meme, but life is unpredictable like that, isn't it? Although, any artist born today would know that when you create anything with a cat in it, the chances of it becoming a meme increases exponentially. People who spend a lot of time online just tend to love cats, we don't know what to tell you about that.
Botero may not have done it on purpose, but he created the base for a perfect meme for cat lovers. Cats will be cats, and we're always gonna love them no matter what.
Trying to Eat Gluten-Free in the 17th Century
This meme about a person trying to eat gluten free in the 17th century is even funnier if you know anything about what health was like at that time. Spoiler alert - it was really bad. Back then, people barely had any understanding of how the human body worked. They still weren't aware that diseases were spread by germs, so they didn't wash their hands before handling food or eating. They used leeches as a medical solution for pretty much anything.
This 17th century guy is arguing about eating something that's not gluten-free, but buddy, we have news for you - in the 17th century, eating gluten would be the least of your problems.
Oh Look, a Picture of Parenthood
We realize that this meme could apply to pretty much anyone, from office workers to folks working in retail, however, we have a feeling that parents will be able to relate to this on a deep level, especially if they currently have a toddler in the house. It's like magic, isn't it? They have been entertaining themselves for the past hour, but the second their on-duty parent's behind touches the surface of the couch, it's like an alarm goes off.
They suddenly need their parent's immediate help or attention with something that simply cannot wait another second - and the parent can't even curse out loud, after all, there's a toddler in the house.
Careful What You Wish for
Some people think that by now we should be moving around in flying cars, but there are those folks who think that modern science's biggest let down is the fact that we still can't hear what our pets are thinking. Well, this meme reminds us of the importance of being careful about what we wish for. Sure, dog owners tend to think that their buddies are beings of pure light, but what if they are not?
Also, imagine hearing a cat's every thought about us? We love them, and they love us, but they don't always like us. No, we don't see any reason why we would do that to ourselves.
Do Not Hang That in the Great Hall
This one made us laugh out loud, and here's why. If you ever studied anything about portraiture, you're probably aware of the fact that back in the day, artists who specialized in portraits were often rather flattering to their subjects, because they wanted to make sure their patrons would be satisfied with what they saw after those long hours of posing. So what is this meme telling us about this woman?
This woman not liking her portrait would be like a person not liking their selfie even when the app's most flattering filter is on. We think she looks great though.
Those Young Entrepreneurs Just Keeping Getting Younger
Parents today worry that society forces their kids to develop too early, and it does seem like the constant exposure to technology and information is making our youngsters lose their innocence before the previous generations, but then we saw this, and we have to say, we need more context here. Are those kids working in a construction site? We're not referring to what the meme is saying, we're referring to the painting.
The meme is a joke, of course, but what is the context of that painting? Here we were, thinking that today's entrepreneurs just keep getting younger, when apparently centuries ago kindergarteners were already building stuff.
At Least Edward Has a Good Sense of Humor
This meme is all about how Edward doesn't have a way with the ladies, but hey, the way we see it, Edwards has a good sense of humor, and that alone should be of great help. Looks fade, dear Edward, but a good sense of humor is forever. We sympathize with you, so much so that we're gonna teach you another self-deprecating joke (we have loads of those - everybody loves humor based on personal pain).
When asked about your friends and family, you could also say something like, "they treat me like a god - they completely ignore my existence until they need help with something."
Caravaggio Has Never Been More Relatable
Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio is known for his dramatic use of chiaroscuro and for the vividly expressed emotions in his paintings. His subjects are as close to being alive as they can be, which makes it easier for us to connect with them. However, he has never been more relatable than now, thanks to this cheeky meme. Yes, we're relating to the work of Caravaggio thanks to a meme based on bathroom humor.
What can we say, we can't be sophisticated, cultured members of society 100% of the time. Sometimes we're gonna laugh at memes like this, and we're not ashamed to admit it.
The Secret to Happiness Is to Keep Your Expectations Low
We learned a long time ago that the secret to happiness (ok "happiness" is too much. Maybe "non-misery" is best) is to keep your expectations low. If you hear that your hotel is offering free breakfast, for instance, don't go imagining a combination of creamy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and freshly baked blueberry muffins. You get a questionable orange, that's it.
The person who made this meme nailed it, because the caption is spot on with this lady's expression. Learn to lower your expectations, lady.
Being Better Today Than We Were Yesterday
Some would say that the greatest lesson in life is that we shouldn't compare ourselves with other people - the only person we should be "competing" with is the person we were yesterday. The idea is that we should simply try to be better today than we were yesterday because tomorrow is not guaranteed, and we think that's a very noble thing to do. However, when we're not being noble, we're being petty.
And while we can be proud of ourselves for learning how to stop making a certain mistake, we will judge the people who haven’t learned that lesson. Oh well, we're a work in progress.
Family Gatherings Will Never Be the Same Again
Family gatherings can be difficult for some people, and with the social and political polarization that's been observed everywhere, it seems like things are not about to get any easier. This reminds us of a quote from the series The Good Place, when Michael is talking about something that's as rare as a "double rainbow, or someone on the internet saying, ‘You know what? You've convinced me I was wrong.’"
It seems like it's going to be harder and harder for families to get together and share a meal peacefully, unless society brings back the old "we agree to disagree."
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
An apple a day keeps the doctor away is a proverb from the 19th century that originally advocated for the consumption of apples, but knowing how doctors used to work in the 19th century, maybe it was not a proverb, but a hack to make sure doctors wouldn't come near you. Although, this meme does make it seem like it would be fun to be an old-timey doctor. It sounds very easy, too.
Doctors today have to study for so many years before they can even start working. Doctors back then, however, just treated everything with leeches and milk of the poppy - they probably didn't spend a lot of time studying.
First World Problems Be Like
Yes, we realize this is a classic case of first world problems, but we want to complain. How annoying is it when you finally tucked yourself in bed, and it's is already warm, and your eyelids are heavy, and you forgot to turn off the kitchen lights? So annoying! Or, you forgot your charger in the living room. Or, you realize you need to use the toilet?
The toilet one is the worst, because there's no escaping that one. You can choose to leave the kitchen lights on, and you can decide to charge your phone in the morning. But there's nothing you can do about wanting to use the restroom.
Giving That Patented Half-Wave
People who tend to feel awkward in social situations have a patented half-wave they give when they're unsure whether someone is waving at them. It's basically materialized enough just in case the person is indeed talking to them because they don't want to seem rude, but also, is not materialized enough just in case the person was waving at the person behind them, because there's nothing more embarrassing than returning a wave that wasn't for you.
We related to this meme so much that we almost didn't notice how weird this painting really is. There's a bird-man trying to steal the man's book, and is that branch growing out of that soldier's head?
The Problem With Hiding From Your Problems
We wish we could hide from our problems long enough that they would simply go away, but unfortunately, that's not how things work. The thing with hiding from our problems is that Our Problems are like the hide-and-seek champions of the universe, and they will inevitably find us in the end. So procrastinating and letting your tomorrow self deal with any pending issues you may have now won't really help you, no.
The only thing that will happen if you do that is that your tomorrow self will be annoyed with your current self, and our current self is already annoyed by itself.
When 2 Become 1 in Social Media
In that Spice Girls song "2 Become 1," when they were tenderly telling someone to come a little closer because "tonight is the night when two become one," were they singing about what we think they were singing? You know - are those lyrics about couples who join their separate accounts in social media? We got it right, didn't we? That's what they were singing about all along. Gosh, we're so smart.
Some people may laugh about couples who forget they are two "I"s and instead become one "We," even in social media, but hey, if even the Spice Girls have a song about it, it can't be that bad, right?
The Best Advertisement for a Painkiller
National advertising campaigns have to be relatively neutral in order to appeal to people from all kinds of backgrounds, so we would never see something like this selling an actual product, but in the context of a meme, doesn't this sound like the best advertisement for a painkiller? Forget "the every pain reliever," or "relief doesn't get any better than this." This right here would be like the ultimate celebrity endorsement.
Also, we were laughing too hard at the conversation there to immediately notice this, but the guy on the left - doesn't he look a little like martial arts legend Chuck Norris?
Everyone's First Day at the Gym
A first day of anything can be pretty daunting - the first day of school, or the first day at a new job, for instance. But there's something especially intimidating about the first day at the gym, for some reason. That's why so many people have a similarly embarrassing first impression of being at the gym, feeling like they have no idea what they're doing, and everyone around them is judging them.
Yes, this meme is spot on, not only because of the people using the "machine," but also because of that guy in the background who probably works at the gym, but can't be bothered helping the newcomers.
Context. We Need Context for This Illustration
Have you ever wondered what people in the future will think when they come across some of the things we use in the present? When they are out of context, things can look weird and just downright confusing, and this is exactly what's happening here. We're sure that when this illustration was created, it made perfect sense for the artist, and there was a logical explanation as to why they drew this special tree here.
We have no idea what's going on here. This looks like the type of illustration that's done by monks, but the subject is a little off. But that's not important because when we're talking memes, the weirder, the better, right?