Famous artworks for kids

Looking for advice. My youngest is on the autism spectrum, and has a great memory. She has an 8th grade art class with a great teacher, and does some good creative projects. Trouble is, given her abilities and challenges, she often finishes projects much faster than her classmates.

Stealth brag but germane. The art teacher showed a painting to the class and asked if anyone recognized the work? Serena chimed in that it was a Mickaline Thomas painting - and nailed it. Sheesh, I can barely tell a Picasso from a Monet. (Serea also knows all 50 states and capitals, can recognize most countries on a global map, etc)

Anyhoo, looking for recommendations for flash cards or a good art book that covers something like the 500 “most famous” works of art thru history. Something that Serena can recognize, know the artist, know the era and genre and other fun facts. I’d like to put Serena’s memorization skills to good use in the art world. Any recommendations based on experience is welcome.

I don’t happen to know any particular book, although there are innumerable books with what you are asking for, but another thing that might be fun for her are phone apps that show famous paintings. There’s “An Artist a Day”, “Daily Art - Your Daily Dose of Art”, etc.

How about making it an excuse for some family bonding and going to an art exhibition or three?

Here’s a good quality free ebook from Delphi Classics:

History of Art in 50 Paintings

Over 500 color images. Available in either Kindle or ePUB format.

Each painting has a page or two of description and several closeup details. In some cases there are pictures of the whole location (where it’s wall or ceiling painting), and also other paintings by the artist.

They also have a Masters of Art series (not free, but very cheap).

Take her to a museum bookshop and let her pick something out. I really don’t see any other way of doing this.

You probably want something like this: 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die. Obviously that doesn’t cover other artforms like sculpture but it’s a good start. Also, here’s 52 artworksto be getting on with (although it sounds like she may know them all already) and likewise this website. And here’s a list of “100 greatest artworks” from a newspaper article and where to find them. There’s probably a lot of overlap there.

That said, the point that it’s best to see artwork in person rather than as printed reproduction is well-made. There is a lot of detail that gets lost in the printing process and being able to see individual brushstrokes close up is a real boon for aspiring artists. Hopefully you live somewhere where there is some sort of art gallery or museum you can go to, even if it’s not the world’s greatest artists on display.

Just to go a little off-piste, you might also consider the British Museum’s A History of the World in 100 Objects, which even my daughter was fascinated by. Few of the objects are famous but most are artwork of various kinds.