Throughout history, painters have embarked on journeys, finding inspiration in the diverse landscapes, cultures, and histories they encountered. In earlier times, the allure of distant lands led artists on transformative expeditions, with destinations like Italy and France becoming veritable meccas for artistic enrichment.
The Renaissance pilgrimages to Italy, with its ancient ruins and opulent Renaissance art scene, ignited the creative flames of painters like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Similarly, the picturesque landscapes of France captured the imaginations of impressionist luminaries such as Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh. These journeys not only exposed artists to novel palettes of colors and light, but also fostered cross-cultural exchanges that infused their works with newfound vitality. Through the ages, the tradition of painters drawing inspiration from their travels has continued, shaping artistic movements and leaving an indelible mark on the evolution of visual expression.
But how would these artists’ work look like if they had travelled to different destinations and encountered different landscapes and cultures than the ones they did?
To celebrate the close relationship of art and travel, Explore Worldwide has created an incredible gallery of AI artworks, that reimagines how famous travel locations may have been painted if they had been visited by the likes of the delicate watercolors of Hokusai, the vivacious brushwork of Monet, the evocative vistas of Frida Kahlo and more. Each reimagined tableau unveils a distinctive tale, where the recognizable intertwines with imaginative depiction, reigniting a sense of curiosity and yearning for expedition. “Using AI in this way celebrates the beauty of popular travel destinations, as well as finding a new found appreciation for over twelve artists and artistic styles”, said Michael Edwards, Managing Director at Explore.
Using Midjourney, Explore experts found the artistic characteristics that AI identified in works of art by twelve iconic artists through the centuries and created original prompts to apply these artistic characteristics to cities, landmarks and locations that are popular tourist destinations.
1. Rome in the style of René Magritte
René Magritte transforms Rome’s Colosseum into a surreal dreamscape according to AI, creating an enigmatic take of one of Rome’s most iconic buildings. In the vein of other Magritte works, this surrealist interpretation challenges our perceptions of what we think we know and invites the viewer to ponder hidden meanings; it’s certainly shows a new perspective on one of the most visited ancient amphitheatres in the world.
2. California in the style of Claude Monet
This Californian landscape is instantly recognizable due to its low mountains, palm trees and scrubland shrubs. The skilful brushstrokes of Claude Monet which are usually seen in impressionist paintings of French pastures and beaches are reimagined using AI on this West coast scene, and help to evoke feelings we can’t see, like the warmth of the sun, the smell of heat-soaked earth and a gentle breeze whispering through the palms.
3. Tokyo in the style of Frida Kahlo
Through AI, Frida Kahlo brings Tokyo to life in a bold yet demure display of shape and color. With her deeply personal approach and characteristic symbolic elements, Kahlo infuses this Asian cityscape with her own distinct perspective, moving the noise of the busy urban environment into the background to celebrate the delicate human spirit.
4. Ireland in the style of Pablo Picasso
Using the AI tool Midjourney, it’s possible to see how Pablo Picasso may have envisioned the Irish landscape. This unconventional interpretation of Cork showcases Picasso’s cubist style, with a distorted yet captivating view of the city, where a distinctly Irish color palette and abstract shapes intertwine, inviting the viewer to explore its winding allies, charming architecture and green fields.
5. Mykonos in the style of Hokusai
The shores of the Mediterranean Sea are reinterpreted in a Hokusai style to great effect thanks to AI. This beautiful scene of Mykonos, one of the most popular Greek islands, pays tribute to traditional Japanese woodblock prints, with Hokusai’s distinctive style providing a hypnotizing reimagination of Mykonos’ famous Cycladic architecture. This fusion of Japanese style and Greek landscape harmoniously blends delicate lines whilst showcasing nature’s innate power, creating an oceanscape that is both serene yet tumultuous.
6. Paris in the style of Beryl Cook
AI’s rendition of Beryl Cook painting Paris delights the viewer with a truly whimsical reimagining of the Eiffel Tower. Known for her vibrant and lively scenes of everyday life, this creation injects Cook’s unique humor and charm into this iconic landmark, inviting us to revel in the joy of the moment.
“Whilst the landscape subject and the artist style are both super familiar, their combination and juxtaposition helps us see places we know in a completely new and exciting way”, Edwards added.