Even though digital technology has developed over the past years, there is no better way than painting to express something universal. From ancient times, countless generations of artists have done marvelous paintings which are now exhibited in museums and galleries. These fantastic paintings are the most important, impressive paintings of all time.
Let us explore more about these famous paintings and the artists behind them!
1) Mona Lisa– Mona Lisa is one of the most famous paintings in the world, painted in the early 1500s by Leonardo Da Vinci and now in the Louvre Museum, Paris. This painting has so many unanswered questions and mysteries-Why is she smiling? Who is the person? Many theories say that she is the wife of the Florentine merchant, or she is Leonardo’s mother. On an average 6 million people see the painting every year.
There are several reasons why the Mona Lisa is so famous. The Mona Lisa has influenced many painters and has also been copied numerous times by artists all over the world. Even though Mona Lisa is not for sale, it is estimated that Mona Lisa’s worth is $1 billion.
Location: Louvre Museum, Paris, France.
2) Starry Night- Starry Night is the most famous work of Vincent Van Gogh. It is described as the view he could see out of his asylum window after he had a breakdown. The painting shows the night sky coming alive with swirls, orbs, and wonderful use of brush strokes. The painting has always fascinated art lovers for many decades.
The idea behind the Starry Night painting was to express shock. Just with a simple view of the countryside from his window, the artist Van Gogh used the sky, trees, and mountains as a catalyst to express his feelings.
Location: Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA
3) The Last Supper– The Last Supper is one of the most recognizable paintings across the globe. This masterpiece was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci in the 1490s on a refectory wall in Milan. The painting shows the scene when Lord Jesus Christ broke bread with his twelve disciples before His Crucifixion.
The reason why the Last Supper painting is so famous is that it has survived numerous attacks and a lot of restoration work has been done, over the past few years. Right now, only 25 people are allowed to watch the painting at once, every 15 minutes.
Location: Santa Maria Delle Grazie, Milan, Northern Italy
4) Girl with a Pearl Earring– The Girl with a Pearl Earring, painted by Johannes Vermeer is always compared with the Mona Lisa. The painting looks modern as if it was a photograph. The painting depicts a girl wearing a blue turban and a glimmering pearl earring. The sitter in the painting is unknown, some people say that she is the painter’s maid.
There are various interpretations of this painting. It is said that pearls are known for their natural beauty and signify wisdom, purity, and integrity. The iconic position and gaze of the girl have captivated many people.
Location: Mauritshuis Museum, Hague, Netherlands
5) Guernica– Guernica is one of the most renowned paintings of Pablo Picasso. The painting tells the sad story of the aerial bombing which happened in Basque town during the Spanish Civil War. Painted in 1937, Picasso’s masterpiece is now kept in Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid.
Guernica is a powerful representation of the suffering of the innocent victims caused by war. It became so popular across the world that it became an anti-war painting.
Location: Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
6) The Scream- There are two paintings of Scream, it is not a single piece of art. It was painted by Edward Munch showing a figure against a blood-red sky. The first version was completed in 1893 and it is in the National Gallery of Norway, while the second one is in the Munch Museum. Both of these paintings were stolen during an art theft and recovered several months later.
The scream is a masterpiece because the artist used wonderful and unrealistic colors, which have paved the way for creating a new type of art. Recently one of the versions of this painting was sold for $120 million.
Location: The National Museum, Oslo, Norway
7) The Kiss– Gustav Klimt’s painting Kiss, painted between 1907-1908 is one of the major highlights of the Belvedere. The painting is a wonderful portrayal of intimacy and symbolism. The painter shows mythical figures in a modern way as his subjects.
The painter included gold leaves in this work and some traditionalists rejected this work because of the use of eroticism but many others found it refreshing and made Gustav Klimt popular across Europe.
Location: Upper Belvedere Palace, Vienna, Austria
8) Creation of Adam– The Creation of Adam is one of the best works of Michelangelo. The painting is in the Sistine Chapel (Vatican City) ceiling, where you have to look up to see the painting. In this beautiful work, we see God giving life to Adam who is the first man. It is very famous, as Michelangelo took four years to complete this masterpiece and each painting in this work of art has a different meaning.
The most popular one is interpreted from the Book of Genesis in which God is breathing life into Adam who was the first man and later joined by Eve who helped to start the human race. Some physicians say that the painting is a replica of the human brain.
Location: Sistine Chapel, Vatican City
9) Water Lilies– Water Lilies is a combination of 250 different paintings. This painting was done by Claude Monet at his home. The subject of this painting is the water lily pond at the back of the painter’s garden with different types of flowers, a wooden bridge, and a big weeping willow. It is found in New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Portland Art Museum.
The pieces in this series of paintings show the illusion of water without a horizon or a bank. The artist Claude Monet took almost 12 years (1914-1926) to complete 250 oil paintings of water lilies.
Location: Musée de L’Orangerie, Paris, France
10) Night Watch- Night Watch is one of the most famous artworks in Amsterdam, painted in 1642 by Rembrandt Van Rijn. This painting depicts a group of civil guards who are practicing their shooting. The wonderful use of lights in the museum makes the figures in the painting look like they are moving before us.
The Night Watch painting was controversial because of its style and the artist painted people in their natural condition rather than painting people in brush forms. It took three years for Rembrandt to complete this magnificent painting and it is said that Rembrandt painted himself hidden in the scene.
Location: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
These are some of the best paintings in the world. Apart from these, there are many more masterpieces across the world, all of which are fabulous and impressive. Thousands of visitors visit museums or art galleries all across the globe, to get a glimpse of these magnificent masterpieces every year.