Classical art and art history might sound a tad complex to some of you Pandas, but we assure you, they’re both a lot of fun. And someone who makes it far more approachable for all of us, near and far, is the founder of the ‘Classical Damn’ project on Instagram.

The ‘Classical Damn’ Instagram page boasts a whopping 315k followers who just can’t wait for their next creative dose of classical paintings merged with modern-day captions. And it’s all done to make you chuckle, giggle, and laugh. Scroll down for some of the best classical art memes, and don’t forget to upvote your fave ones.

Do we have any art-lovers in the crowd tonight? Let us know which of these memes you liked the most and what classical painting is by far the nearest and dearest to your heart, dear Pandas. Personally, ‘Wanderer above the Sea of Fog’ is something I can’t stop looking at, and it’s interesting to see it in a more modern and witty context.

Bored Panda reached out to the founder of ‘Classical Damn,’ who follows our online magazine regularly, to hear about their project. “I started the page in early 2019 to combine two of my passions: art and memes. I had been deeply interested in art history as a hobby for some time and I always used to come across these paintings that looked like they were exactly made for a meme. I started putting captions on them and circulated it amongst family and friends,” they said.

“After being well received, I decided to start an Instagram page to reach a wider audience and create a community with similar interests,” they opened up about how the entire project got started on social media. Scroll down for the full interview about why so many Instagram users find the art memes so relatable and also check out our interview with Shelby Bercume, who is a former art gallery director from Florida.

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The founder of ‘Classical Damn’ believes that so many people relate to the content of the page because all the captions deal with modern-day life and its problems: from relationship problems and the coronavirus to satire about politics and religion.

“Even though the paintings are hundreds of years old, their expressions and captions make it seem they are one of us,” they explained to Bored Panda.

“Creating original content does become difficult at times because finding paintings with accurate expressions and resolution is a time consuming process,” the founder said when asked whether it becomes challenging at any point to create so many fresh memes.

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“In my opinion art and art history can be made more accessible by increasing public access to art spaces. Instagram has done a tremendous job in this by providing a platform to artists, content creators, and curators,” the creator of ‘Classical Damn’ shared a very positive outlook on the relationship between art and tech.

“More and more people have started appreciating art after seeing them on their feeds and then trying to learn more about their backgrounds. Technology has made its interpretation and access inclusive. The future is going to be an exciting period for art and I’m looking forward to it.”

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Meanwhile, Shelby, a former art gallery director living in Florida, believes that art doesn’t have to be more approachable because in her opinion it is not unapproachable. “Art is not snooty and complicated. Art is in literally everything we do, it makes the world go round. It is how we market, it’s what we decorate our homes with, heck it is what we decorate ourselves with,” she told Bored Panda.

“You literally cannot turn around without seeing some form of art, in architecture, logos, billboards, television, everything. And that came from somewhere,” she noted that the idea that art is unapproachable may be outdated.

Bored Panda asked Shelby about whether classical art will ever come back into fashion and about her favorite styles. “Everything is cyclical. We develop new styles that hold qualities of the old while still addressing and innovating in the now. So do I think there will be an exact regurgitation of the older movements? No. But I do think we can see common themes from what once was,” she said.

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“I don’t think I could pick one movement that would be my favorite, but I am very fond of the Rococo movement. I love the frivolousness and whimsey of it. It was idealistic and excessive and a bit of an absurd expression of a carefree lifestyle,” Shelby shared her thoughts about art movements with Bored Panda. “It definitely shows the disconnect of the French aristocracy from the plights of the common people, but for me, in this day and age, it serves as an idealistic escape into whimsy and a carefree land of nonsense. It just makes me giggle.”

According to the art expert, there doesn’t always have to be something “to get” when it comes to appreciating art. “If you don’t care for one style of art there are plenty others to choose from. I have never really understood why there is such a block. Art is what you make of it, if you don’t like ‘x,’ move on to ‘y.’ And if you really want to understand something, do your research and dive into it. Figure out what the beginnings were. What is the artist trying to say? Are they trying to say anything? Is it for aesthetics? Are you supposed to interpret it or are you looking too far into it? You don’t have to understand everything to like it, and you don’t have to like everything to appreciate it. If you can’t get past disliking a particular movement you can find another one.”

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Classical art memes are a popular subject on Instagram. There are lots of popular pages that use old-timey paintings as templates for modern memes with great success.

For instance, Bored Panda recently featured the ‘Classical Sarcasm’ project, run by Adnan Cirak from Bosnia Herzegovina, who runs it with his parents. “My inspiration is to promote art and also young artists who are painters and creators,” he told us.

“When creating memes, I just need to look at one painting, and immediately the brainstorming starts in my head. Also, many followers are sending their own creations. I’m so proud that my page has motivated soo many people to express their own creativity,” Adnan, who created ‘Classical Sarcasm,’ told Bored Panda.

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The young creator was very happy that his art memes help break cultural barriers as they reach people from all over the globe.

“Paintings are perfect because they all have a story behind, also everyone has an opportunity to tell the story in their own way,” he said that social media users enjoy having the freedom to interpret the art and the memes through their own subjective lens.

Australian art historian Mary McGillivray from Melbourne explained to Bored Panda a bit earlier that art history tends to make a lot of people feel overwhelmed because they think it’s very serious and important. This can also make them feel like it isn’t meant for them to decode.

“This isn’t true! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, art history is just old memes. Once we start to see the humor and the humanity in art, it becomes far less intimidating,” she said.

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Though the art expert is a fan of painting-related memes and humor, one thing that gets her blood boiling is ‘The Da Vinci Code film. “The fiery rage it sparks within pushes me to go on. Nothing like pure hatred to fuel creativity,” she quipped that this keeps her passionate about educational and fun TikTok videos about art.

Meanwhile, former Florida art gallery director Shelby said some time ago that a lot of people find art history “intimidating and difficult to grasp” because it’s not a subject taught in many schools.

“I don’t necessarily think art history is an inaccessible entity, but I know that people tend to feel intimidated by things they aren’t experts in. Since art is often, if not always subjective, it feels even more intimidating than a subject with a ‘right answer,’ like math for example,” she told Bored Panda. “I think often that leads to a disconnect between the desire to dive into the subject of art and by relation art history, and the execution of it.”

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“Art is something to be enjoyed and shouldn’t be reserved for an exclusive group,” the former gallery director said. “Art is aesthetics and feelings. If you love something, voice why you love it… if you can’t find the words, that’s ok! Talking about art is really discussing how the art affects your emotional state and what thoughts it provokes.”

According to the expert, it’s perfectly fine to not be in love with every piece of art, classical or modern. “Remember, it is ok to not love everything, believe it or not, certain artworks are meant to be disturbing or disliked. Just don’t be intimidated to speak up because that’s really all we’re doing when we talk about art. We’re voicing opinions.”

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