Every year millions of dollars are spent by art collectors eager to own the world’s most sought after paintings. However, the most expensive paintings are not necessarily the most famous paintings. These are ten of the most famous paintings ever created. It is a personal selection of paintings that have a universal appeal.
10. Whistler’s Mother
Whistler’s Mother, or the Arrangement in Grey and Black, was painted in 1871 by James McNeill Whistler showing his mother seated on a chair against a gray wall. The painting is displayed in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. It is considered to be one of the most famous paintings in the world painted by the American outside the United States. Anna McNeill Whistler posed specially for the painting when she was living in the Cheyne Walk, Chelsea along with her son.
9. Girl With A Pearl Earring
The Girl With a Pearl Earring is a work of art by Johannes Vermeer. It was painted around 1665 and portrays a turbaned girl with a pearl earring. The painting has been called the “Dutch Mona Lisa”, mostly due to the ambiguous expression of the subject. The painting is on display in Mauritschuis in The Hague, Netherlands. Tracy Chevalier wrote a historical novel fictionalizing the circumstances of the painting’s creation. The novel inspired a 2003 film with Scarlett Johansson as Johannes Vermeer’s assistant wearing the pearl earring.
8. The Night Watch
The Night Watch was painted by Rembrandt in 1642. It depicts the departure of a city led by its captain. The unique dark varnish makes the painting take on the
appearance of a night scene. It depicts a city guard moving out, led by Captain Frans Banning Cocq and his lieutenant, Willem van Ruytenburch. For much of its existence, the painting was coated with a dark varnish which gave the incorrect impression that it depicted a night scene, leading to the name Night Watch. This varnish was removed only in the 1940s. The painting is on display in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
7. The Scream
The Scream, one of the world’s most famous paintings of all time, was painted by Edvard Munch in 1893. The painting shows a frightened person screaming. The painting is housed in the National Gallery, Oslo, Norway. One interesting fact about this painting is the fact that has often been a target of art heists. The last time the painting was stolen was in 2004. It was missing for two years before finally being recovered in 2006. The basic idea of the painting is to make people think of their way of life and also the way they spend their time. It is also believed that the painting was inspired by Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
Guernica is one of Pablo Picasso most famous paintings, showing the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. Picasso’s purpose in painting it was to bring the world’s attention to the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by German bombers, who were supporting the Nationalist forces of General Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso completed the painting by mid-June 1937. The painting can be seen in the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid. The oil painting has been created on canvas measuring 11 feet tall by 25.6 feet wide.5.
5. The Persistence Of Memory
The Persistence of Memory was painted by Salvador Dali in 1931. It is one of his most famous paintings. The Persistence of Memory depicts melting clock faces and is thought to have been inspired by the Theory of Relativity. The painting is displayed at the MoMA. The basic idea of the painting is to make people think of their way of life and also the way they spend their time. It was first shown at Julien Levy Gallery in 1932. It is now a collection of the Museum of Modern Art located in New York City since 1934. There are many titles given to the painting like ‘The Soft Watches’ or ‘The Melting Watches’.
4. The Creation of Adam
The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, at the commission of Pope Julius II, is one of the most renowned artworks of the High Renaissance. The ceiling is that of the large Chapel built within the Vatican in Rome. Central to the ceiling decoration are nine scenes from the Book of Genesis. The Creation of Adam is one of the famous paintings of all time and has been the subject of countless references and parodies. It is one of the most religious paintings of all time along with Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. The painting is just one of the nine scenes from the Book of Genesis.
3. The Last Supper
Leonardo da Vinci paints one of the most famous scenes in the Bible – The Last Supper. It is after Christ has said one of the disciples will betray him. This is the ultimate soap opera – the ultimate test of a man – who will we serve, God. The painting was made between 1495 and 1498 and is placed in the Santa Maria Delle Grazie Monastery in Milan. There is very little painting that is left today. The facts responsible are environmental and intentional damage. Also, the method used in creating is one of the reasons.
2. Starry Night
The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh is displayed in the Museum of Modern Art, New York. It is one of the western world’s most famous paintings. The painting was made in 1889 and depicts the city of Saint-Remy under the swirling sun. It has been at the MoMA in New York since 1941. The painting was completed after Van Gogh’s famous 1888 mental breakdown, in which the artist had famously removed his own ear. It is one of the 2,000 oil on canvas painting that has been drawn by one of the most popular artists of history. Vincent van Gogh basically uses watercolors, drawings, and sketches which became in demand after his death.
1. Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa is one of the most famous paintings in the world. It is a portrait of women drawn by an Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. It is one of the most famous works of art. Mona Lisa is the most written, most visited and the most acclaimed famous painting in the world. He began painting the Mona Lisa in 1503 or 1504 and finished it shortly before he died in 1519. The painting is named for Lisa del Giocondo, a member of a wealthy family of Florence. In 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen by Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian patriot who believed the Mona Lisa should be returned to Italy. After having kept the painting in his apartment for two years, Peruggia was finally caught when he attempted to sell it to the directors of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.