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The National Gallery of Art’s New Game—Artle—Is Basically Wordle for Art Lovers

Ellen Gutoskey
'The Boating Party' by Mary Cassatt, circa 1893-1894.
'The Boating Party' by Mary Cassatt, circa 1893-1894. / (Painting) National Gallery of Art, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain; (Background) Qweek/iStock via Getty Images; (Hand and Phone) Mutlu Kurtbas/iStock via Getty Images
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You don’t necessarily have to be a word lover in order to appreciate Wordle. Maybe you’re a powerhouse at strategizing and like to experiment with different opening words, or a competitive-minded player whose favorite part is comparing scores with your friends. Perhaps you just enjoy the rush of success that comes from seeing a row of solid green tiles.

But if you aren’t a word lover, you might find yourself on the hunt for a Wordle-esque guessing game based on whatever you are passionate (or just knowledgeable) about. Luckily, they’re not hard to find: There’s Heardle for music fans; Nerdle and Numberle for math fans; and Worldle for geography buffs. There’s even Lordle of the Rings, where players must guess a five-letter word that appears in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

And now, as Smithsonian magazine reports, art aficionados finally have an -le of their own: Artle, developed by the National Gallery of Art. Basically, you’re shown one of the gallery’s approximately 150,000 artworks and you have to guess the artist behind it. If you’re wrong, you’ll be shown another piece by that creator—a process repeated until you’ve exhausted all four guesses. Don’t worry about spelling errors: The guess box is actually a dropdown menu of all the artists, so as long as you can correctly type in a few successive letters of an artist’s name, it should pop up. Type in mus, for example, and you’ll get Hieronymus Bosch, Paul Cadmus, Master of St. Erasmus, and a number of other monikers containing those letters.

For art historians and other experts in the field, Artle is an entertaining way to flex their skills. For everyone else, it’s a nice daily dose of art with an interactive element tacked on—and according to Steven Garbarino, the museum's senior product manager, that was the intention behind its creation. As he told Smithsonian, Artle was made to “[help] the public discover art while having fun.” You can try it for yourself here.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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