I came across, during game play, some paintings. Most were with a painting inside, and you could jump through, Mario 64 style.

But I came across some empty paintings. I expect that I can unlock them, fill them in, and have access to a new boss/world through them.

For instance, in the moon church, there's a bowser painting, but in front of it there's an empty painting.

So How do I fill the empty paintings?

(Sorry if Paintings is not that descriptive, English is not my first language and I can't find what the damn word for the support around the painting.)

PS: Other question asks what they do, I ask how to unlock them. So yes, Heavily related; but No, not duplicate.

  • 5
    Possible duplicate of What do the empty portraits do?
    – Seiyria
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 12:08
  • 1
    There seems to be 2 types of paitings. Those you press A to interact, that send you to another world, and some you can jump through. Wonder if the unlocks are similar.
    – Fredy31
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 12:09
  • Also other question doesnt answer how to unlock them, just what they are.
    – Fredy31
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 12:10
  • The one in Cascade Kingdom (I think that one was empty?) filled in when I entered the postgame, so that might be what triggers it. I'm not 100% certain though. That one goes to the Metro Kingdom so it's also possible that it unlocks by another trigger (like visiting metro kingdom for the first time and defeating Mecha Wiggler)
    – Unionhawk
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 12:30
  • I think I figured what are both types. The A to interact send you to another kingdom to get a moon, the jump through seem to always be a boss rematch. We could also consider the hint paintings as a painting, but we are not talking about that right now.
    – Fredy31
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 12:34

5 Answers 5


There are two kinds of paintings in the game. One you can encounter "in the wild"; they lead to various kingdoms; the others lead you to a "sub-level", or such.

Some of the portal paintings are filled regardless of what you do; they usually let you have a peak at some kingdom you've yet to visit, or bring you to the one you've already been to.

The unfilled paintings are mostly portal paintings which you've not unlocked yet. They usually lead to kingdoms which you're not supposed to see yet, such as the one in the Cascade Kingdom; they unlock only when you've reached the other kingdom by normal means.

The moon church painting is not a portal painting, it is similar to the one right in front of it, and is the only blank painting of it's kind; it unlocks when you collect all non-shop moons, i.e. 880 of them.

  • The Cascade Kingdom portrait (and others) are still empty once you've reached their destination kingdom.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:28

For the hidden portraits to unlock you usually need to beat the Kingdom Boss, or at least that's what these two articles say.



  • I could warp through the Mushroom to Seaside Kingdom when I ignored the boss. Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 4:53
  • And beating the boss in Cascade doesn’t do it.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 22:53

From my experience, all the other answers are wrong, and it's much simpler than they are claiming.

Only some paintings are locked, and they all unlock after you rescue Peach.

This excludes the Boss Rematch paintings, which require you to have beaten the boss in the first place (and in at least one case, have enough moons).

  • How is this different than my answer?
    – DonielF
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:36
  • "Other Kingdoms have their paintings unlocked once you’ve been to the other side." is not true.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:37
  • I said different Kingdoms work differently. Some Kingdoms do indeed require that. Look at Cascade - that painting unlocks once you’ve beaten Bowser’s.
    – DonielF
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:39
  • @DonielF it didn't unlock for me until I beat the Moon Kingdom
    – OrangeDog
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:44
  • Like I said on my answer I wonder if there’s an entirely different trigger, like number of moons or moons of a certain Kingdom.
    – DonielF
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:52

Spoilers ahead, but then again, this game is six months old already.

Depending on the Kingdom, there seems to be one of two unlock triggers.

Some Kingdoms have their paintings unlocked when the boss is defeated (that is to say, the boss in the Kingdom you’re leaving, not the destination Kingdom). In the event that there’s multiple bosses, some Kingdoms pick on the first boss (like Sand), and some Kingdoms pick on the second (like Luncheon). Other Kingdoms that function like this include Lake, Wooded, Metro, Seaside, and Bowser’s.

Other Kingdoms have their paintings unlocked once you’ve been to the other side. While usually this is to prevent late-game spoilers (such as Cascade’s not being filled in until you’ve beaten Bowser’s Kingdom), sometimes this means that the painting is already filled in once you get there. Other Kingdoms that function this way include Snow and Mushroom. (As an aside, I’m not sure why the Luncheon painting doesn’t work the same way, since it spoils Mushroom Kingdom.)

The one on the Moon is different. As others have mentioned previously, that painting unlocks a harder Bowser fight once all 880 main moons have been collected.

  • The Bowser's Kingdom painting is still locked when you get to it, and still after you beat that Kingdom's boss.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:29
  • @OrangeDog In my experience it’s not that way. Once you beat Robobrood the painting unlocks. Though I did accidentally include Bowser’s in the second list, so I edited that.
    – DonielF
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:37
  • I’m starting to think that there’s an entirely different trigger besides which Kingdoms have been beaten, given that we’ve all had such different experiences with when they unlock.
    – DonielF
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:40
  • The painting TO Luncheon is also an exception to the rule, as you can access it the first time you encounter it. (See the speedrun Star%)
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 11:41

The paintings fill in gradually as soon as you find the "other side" - Those are usually not accesibble without bugs before they are filled. Others fill when you progress. Those are really the two types of painitngs in that game.

  • I thought this as well but if you see my answer on the other thread we have a back and forth comment chain trying to figure it out.
    – Seiyria
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 16:27
  • 4
    This can't be right. As early as having just beat the sand kingdom boss, I found a painting that took me to the metro kingdom. Granted, it was off in a part of the map where I couldn't actually do anything, but still.
    – Pyritie
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 16:35
  • Yeah this is the second kind that fills in when you progress, that I spoke of.
    – WeGi
    Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 10:18
  • This answer seems to contradict the accepted answer. Adding screenshots would help this, if there are actually two ways to get the painting to unlock.
    – zr00
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 20:03

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