Can you recognise an artwork by its colours? We invite you to take our Tate collection colour palette quiz!

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014 Think you know your colours?

Over the coming weeks we’ll be talking about all things colour, spurred on by Matisse’s colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern and the primary colours of Mondrian’s studios at Tate Liverpool; and to kick off we want to ask you: can you tell an artwork by its colours (a bit like ‘name that tune’ for artworks)?

Corresponding with 18 popular artworks in our collection, we’ve created 18 colour palettes. Is colour alone enough to trigger the memory of an entire composition I hear you ask? The palettes have been created to give a visual sense of the work - but you might find in some cases that they won’t be the ones you immediately associate with it, perhaps due to an artwork’s real-life texture, structure, or associations you have with its subject matter. The colours selected here are identical to those that feature in our photographs of the artworks, as found in our online collection, so they might appear slightly different on screen.

Hopefully the spots of colour will instantly trigger a brilliant vision in your mind, but in case it proves too tricky, here are a few clues to help you figure out the bigger picture.

(Have a pen and paper handy and note your guesses as you go, answers at the bottom!)

Artwork 1

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

For those fearful of sinking to a muddy death, fully clothed in a stream surrounded by roses, nettles and daisies, look away now.

Artwork 2

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

The bombing of a Basque town during the Spanish Civil War prompted this colourful portrait, painted in a cubist manner.

Artwork 3

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

One deck chair, two palms trees and a whole lotta splash fill this snapshot of The Golden State where everybody has a swimming pool.

Artwork 4

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

Suffer from an undisclosed curse? Live in an isolated tower on an island? Does your boat always go downstream? You can relate to this lady.

Artwork 5

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

Who knew a humble gastropod and common agricultural pest would be the star subject of this famous ‘Chromatic Composition’.

Artwork 6

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

Excuse me kind sir, there’s a large marine crustacean on my receiver. It’s fabulous. I’ll take two, chilled please.

Artwork 7

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

Inspired by the sight of Chinese lanterns amongst lilies, this work was painted over just a few minutes each evening to capture the mauvish light of dusk.

Artwork 8

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

This painter aimed to convey a sense of the tranquility of the Thames lit by moonlight. We think they did a pretty good job.

Artwork 9

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

This artist dropped figuration (and an ‘a’ from their name) to create one of the most idiosyncratic palettes in modern art. 5 stars for the correct artwork!

Artwork 10

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

The Eumenides, (the vengeful furies of Greek mythology), ectoplasm and the work of Picasso are said to have inspired these three beastly figures.

Artwork 11

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

What do the the effects of an elemental vortex look like? The view’s pretty dark and stormy from this boat.

Artwork 12

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

Black lines and blocks of blue dominate this restaurant scene with a rather nice view of the Château de Chillon, Switzerland.

Artwork 13

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

A fascination with light and its changing effects on the environment inspired this masterpiece. Japanese-style water-garden anyone?

Artwork 14

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

How do you explore fragility in the face of death? With giant vitrines, cross-sectioned cattle and a lot of fixative solution of course.

Artwork 15

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

Painted directly from the rural scenery of this artist’s Suffolk-based ‘careless boyhood’, two boys negotiate a horse-drawn barge.

Artwork 16

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

An entire city is thrown into an apocalyptic abyss of lightning, hellfire and crumbling waves of rock. Be afraid.

Artwork 17

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

How do you like your eggs? Fried and sunny side up please, served with a steely glare, cigarettes and a dollop of defiant femininity.

Artwork 18

Tate Collection Colour Palette 2014

A historic building and landscape merge in the blazing light of this picturesque sunrise scene along the river Tweed.

Thanks for taking our quiz! Whether you get it right or wrong, we hope you agree that reducing a work to its dominant colours can be an interesting way to reflect on it. Visit our answers page to find out how good an eye you have for artists’ colours.

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is on display at Tate Modern until 7 September #Matisse

Mondrian and his Studios is at Tate Liverpool from Friday 6 June to 5 October #Mondrian2014

Our Summer of Colour season on the Tate blog

Comments

tatefan

Your coy use of "they" and "their" to refer to a singular artist is unusual, unnecesary, irritating and rather confusing - "This painter aimed to convey a sense of the tranquility of the Thames lit by moonlight. We think they did a pretty good job.", for example. Was it painted by a group of artists? If you really must be so sex-sensitive, and can't bear to use the word "he", you could simply recast the caption to avoid the problem. Please.

Schiaparelli99

Oh this is wonderful, I used this for my art obsessed friends birthday party! Minimising artwork to their basic colours, inspired! This quiz could take over from Bingo! Great, thought provoking and evocative idea as always Tate!