Art history

Behold! 5 real pictures of Mars that resemble artistic masterpieces



Mars inspires artists of all kinds — painters, poets, sculptors, and more.


But sometimes, the images of Mars captured by NASA and other space scientists are like works of art in and of themselves.

Here are five real images of Mars that look uncannily similar to art made on Earth...

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5. Martian lakes

The Martian surface is eerily like the landscapes of one of the most famous female American painters....

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Georgia O’Keefe is known for her floral masterpieces, but she also painted stunning landscapes of America — and they have some resemblance to Mars.

Here’s O’Keefe’s painting Lake George Reflection.

Public Domain

And here is a false-color image of Mars’s Heart Lake.


4. Dust cones

The conical dust and gravel structures on Mars are suggestive of an Earthly sculptor’s work...


Anish Kapoor is a British-Indian sculptor known for his huge public works.

Here’s a detail from Kapoor’s As If to Celebrate I Discovered a Mountain Blooming with Red Flowers...

Holger Leue/The Image Bank Unreleased/Getty Images

And here is a similarly conical structure on Mars — set in an elongated crater called “Spirit of St. Louis.”

NASA/Perseverance rover

3. Strange spheres

Tiny spheroids on the Martian surface bring a certain surrealist painter’s portraiture to mind.

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Salvador Dali is renowned for his surrealist work, but it is his sphere portraits that caught our attention.

This is a detail from Dali’s Galatea of the Spheres.

Peter Kovalev/TASS/Getty Images

And these are tiny spherules on Mars near Fram Crater.

2. Storm clouds

The high contrast between the Martian sky and the surface in a dust storm recalls the color-blocking of an American expressionist.


Ben Martin/Archive Photos/Getty Images

American artist Mark Rothko is perhaps most infamous for his block paintings — some of which evoke the same swirling clouds as a Mars dust storm.

Here’s a detail from Rothko’s Orange, Red, Yellow.

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And here’s Curiosity rover in the midst of a Martian dust storm.


1. Aquamarine rocks

These strangely colored rocks look eerily like the marine-like cliffs in a Renaissance masterpiece.


duncan1890/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

An artist of the early Renaissance, Giovanni Bellini created one of the most striking portraits of Saint Francis of his time. The saint and his environment appear underwater.

Here’s Bellini’s masterpiece, St Francis in the Desert.

Heritage Images/Hulton Fine Art Collection/Getty Images

And here’s Perseverance rover’s image of rocks on Mars.