In Memory of the Late ‘Jeopardy’ Host Alex Trebek, See If You Can Answer These 41 Art Clues From the Show’s Brain-Twisting History

Try out your art history trivia here.

Alex Trebek visiting the new Barnes Museum in Philadelphia at its 2013 opening. Photo courtesy of the Barnes Museum, Philadelphia.

Beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died on Sunday from complications of pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old.

Trebek had hosted the popular quiz show for 37 years. The series, which was created by Merv Griffin, originally debuted in 1964 and aired on and off until 1984, when Trebek took the helm. He went on to host more than 8,200 episodes and led the show to win 35 Emmys—more than any other game show—including six for Trebek himself.

Diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in March 2019, Trebek continued to work throughout his treatment, filming his last episode on October 29.

“I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease,” Trebek told audiences at this time of his diagnosis. “Truth told, I have to because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years.”

Alex Trebek on the set of <em>Jeopardy</em>. Photo courtesy of <em>Jeopardy</em>.

Alex Trebek on the set of Jeopardy. Photo courtesy of Jeopardy.

Trebek didn’t fulfill the contract, but he did defy the odds, surpassing the one-year milestone that only 18 percent of stage-four patients typically reach. Trebek’s final episode will air on Christmas day.

“For 37 amazing years, Alex was that comforting voice, that moment of escape and entertainment at the end of a long, hard day for millions of people around the world,” said Tony Vinciquerra, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, in a statement. “He was the heart and soul of Jeopardy! and he will be deeply missed by everyone who made him part of their lives.”

Of the more than 400,000 clues that Trebek read over the years, many dealt with art. A search of the J! Archive, which keeps records of each game, reveals no fewer than 208 clues related to Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. The Mona Lisa has come up 95 times—although a couple of those are about the Nat King Cole song or the 2003 Julia Roberts movie Mona Lisa Smile—Jackson Pollock is named 60 times, and Banksy seven times.

In honor of Trebek’s legacy, we’ve compiled a list of 41 of the trickiest art-themed trivia questions featured on the show over the decades, from the very first season in 1984 through to the present day.

How many do you know? (Highlight the black text to reveal the answers. On iPhone, highlight and select “look up.”)

Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa. Courtesy of the Louvre, Paris.

Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa (c. 1503–06). Courtesy of the Louvre, Paris.

September 26, 1984: Sculpture, $600

“Disarming” statue unearthed by peasant of Greek island of Melos in 1820

What is the Venus de Milo?

September 20, 1985: Renaissance Art, $1,000

Known for his Madonnas and his mistresses, this Italian’s death at 37 was blamed on “an unusually wild debauch”

Who is Raphael?

May 29, 1986: 20th Century Art, $400

Famous for his Olympic and sports action paintings, he’s appeared in two* “Rocky” movies

*since this episode aired, he subsequently appeared in two more Rocky sequels

Who is LeRoy Neiman?

October 22, 1987: Van Gogh, $800

South French city in which Van Gogh lived and which was basis for many of his later works

What is Arles?

December 9, 1987: Art, $800

A storehouse for munitions, one became a showcase for avant-garde artists in a 1913 NYC show

What is an armory?

March 18, 1988: Artists, $200

When he was shot in ’68, he said, “I wish I had died… and gotten the whole thing over with”

Who is Andy Warhol?

The Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Photo by Michael Jacobs/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images.

The Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Photo by Michael Jacobs/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images.

January 23, 1990: The Louvre, $200

The Dept. of Egyptian Antiquities was formed in 1826 to study artifacts from his Egyptian campaign

Who is Napoleon?

November 27, 1990: Artists, Final Jeopardy

The woman in his 1862 painting “Symphony in White, No. 1” was his mistress Joanna Hiffernan

Who is James Whistler?

September 20, 1991: Artists, $800

In 1931, this Mexican artist painted a mural featuring revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata

Who is Diego Rivera?

July 9, 1992: Artists, $1,600

In 1940 at the age of 80, she was given a one-woman show at a New York City gallery

Who is Grandma Moses?

March 17, 1994: Art, $1,000

This Edward Hicks painting is taken from the biblical verse “and the leopard shall lie down with the kid”

What is The Peaceable Kingdom?

June 17, 1996: Artists, Final Jeopardy

His Young Corn painting is featured on a 1996 stamp celebrating the 150th anniversary of Iowa’s statehood

Who is Grant Wood?

December 31, 1996: Painting & Sculpture, $600

18th-century artist Clodion sculpted nymphs and satyrs from this fired clay whose name is Italian for “baked earth”

What is terra cotta?

April 4, 1997: Artists, Final Jeopardy

This artist sculpted the famous statuary group that stands in front of the town hall in Calais

Who is Auguste Rodin (The Burghers of Calais)?

Monday, November 2, 1998: 20th Century Art, $800

This controversial painter was a descendant of the 17th-century English essayist of the same name

Who is Francis Bacon?

November 30, 1998: Van Gogh A-Go-Go, $600

His 1972 hit song “Vincent” was a tribute to Van Gogh

Who is Don McLean?

Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night (1889). Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night (1889). Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

June 1, 2000: Artists, Final Jeopardy

He was born in 1864 to two first cousins

Who is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec?

September 8, 2000: Historic Americans, $800

His NYC art gallery, 291, was the first in the US to exhibit such European artists as Matisse and Picasso

Who is Alfred Stieglitz?

January 10, 2002: 20th Century American Artists, $800

Between 1971 and 1985 he depicted his neighbor Helga in over 240 of his works

Who is Andrew Wyeth?

December 27, 2002: French Art and Artists, $2,000

Talent ran in the family: this first woman to join the Impressionists was a granddaughter of the Rococo painter Fragonard

Who is Berthe Morisot?

October 29, 2002: Before and After, $2,000

Van Gogh’s 1889 painting of director George Romero’s 1968 zombie film classic

What is Starry Night of the Living Dead?

March 18, 2003: Artists and Their Subjects, $800

A pink line that resembles a scarf floats atop the abstract Robert Natkin painting named for this dancer

Who is Isadora Duncan?

March 23, 2004: Art and Artists, $400

This 4th-century BC conqueror was said to let no one but the sculptor Lysippus do his portrait

Who is Alexander the Great?

January 16, 2007: You Gotta Have Art, $400

Matisse’s final art pieces were made using paper and not brush or pen but these

What are scissors?

January 14, 2008: European Art & Artists, $2,000

This Spaniard’s 1650 painting of Pope Innocent X may be his greatest single portrait

Who is Diego Velázquez?

March 19, 2009: Paintings, $800

This creature toys with a bird in William Holman Hunt’s painting of seduction The Awakening Conscience

What is a cat?

March 30, 2009: Artists, Final Jeopardy

The two famous painters who share a March 30 birthday, one born in Spain in 1746, the other in Holland in 1853

Who are Francisco Goya and Vincent van Gogh?

February 19, 2010: Artists, Final Jeopardy

In 1882 he wrote, “Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony, and music inside me”

Who is Vincent van Gogh?

November 24, 2010: Paintings, Final Jeopardy

The alternate name of this 16th-century Italian painting also means “cheerful”

What is the Mona Lisa?

March 30, 2011: Artists’ Retreats, $1,200

The patronage of Mabel Dodge Luhan made an artists’ magnet of this town 55 miles from Santa Fe

What is Taos, New Mexico?

October 26, 2011: American Art & Artists, $1,200

Louis Maurer was the horse-drawing specialist in the stable of artists of this 19th century printmaking duo

Who is Currier & Ives?

July 1, 2013: Painters’ Monograms, $800

Salute this American painter of the Edwardian age: JSS

Who is John Singer Sargent? 

May 22, 2014: British Art and Artists, $1,200

We wonder if this acclaimed artist, a grandson of Sigmund, liked to psychoanalyze his subjects as well as paint them

Who is Lucian Freud?

April 16, 2015: Celebrity Artists, $2,000

This Oscar-winning British star of Surviving Picasso is something of a Picasso himself and also composes classical music

Who is Anthony Hopkins?

June 16, 2015: Quotable Painters, Final Jeopardy

“A reviewer… wrote that my pictures didn’t have any beginning or any end. He didn’t mean it as a compliment, but it was”

Who is Jackson Pollock?

January 3, 2017: Art and Artists, $1,600

Andre Breton called the art of this fellow 20th-century artist “the most hallucinatory known until now”

Who is Salvador Dalí?

Jean-Francois Millet, The Sower (1850). Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Jean-Francois Millet. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

May 22, 2018: Art and Artists, $2,000

Jean-Francois Millet gave dignity to the peasantry in works like the one seen here, called this, a person who strews seed.

What is The Sower?

February 26, 2019: European Artists, Final Jeopardy

His seldom-used last name reflects his birth near the mouth of a river that flows from the Alps to the North Sea

Who is Rembrandt van Rijn?

November 27, 2019: Celebrity Artists, $400

This singer paints angels, one in an artwork called Rhiannon

Who is Stevie Nicks?

January 8, 2020Art & Artists, $800

Ceramicist Beatrice Wood was nicknamed “The Mama” of this art movement.

What is Dada?

June 9, 2020: Women Artists, $2000:

“The End: A Meditation on Death and Extinction” is a recent series of works by this “Windy City” feminist artist

Who is Judy Chicago?

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