Some paintings have titles that are long and poetic.
Australian Jane Sutherland called this composition: “Numb Fingers Working While the Eye of the Morn is Yet Bedimmed by Tears.”
Her compatriot Arthur Streeton, called this painting “The Purple Noon’s Transparent Might,” a quote from Shelley. He called another painting, "Still glides the stream and shall forever glide," which is from Wordsworth. Streeton often carried volumes of poetry into the field with him for inspiration.
When Turner exhibited this painting in 1840 at the Royal Academy, he called it "Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying—Typhoon Coming On." In the Royal Academy catalog, he paired the painting with an extract of a poem that he wrote called “The Fallacies of Hope.”
Sorolla’s painting of an injured fisherman has a socially conscious title: “And They Still Say Fish is Expensive.”
Another of Sorolla’s paintings is titled “Sad Inheritance." The meaning resonates on several levels.
Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901) called his masterpiece "The Isle of the Dead" (German: Die Toteninsel) It took him a while to work out the title—and the image, which went through various versions. Earlier titles include "Tomb Island" (Die Gräberinsel) or “Dream Image.”
The title gives a cue to the observer whether to regard the subject as specific or general. Which title is better for this Serov painting: “Portrait of Vera Mamontova,” or “Girl with Peaches”?
It has gone by both titles.
The full series:
Titles for Paintings, Part 2