From the advent of mankind humans have tried to capture their memories, in early days through drawing and sketching and today in the modern era of gadgets by taking pictures and making videos through camera but there is no denying the fact that the most artistic way of doing this is by painting that’s why even today centuries old paintings are admired and preserved in the museums and used as a decorative in our homes and offices. So here I present you the most famous paintings ever made.
10. Girl with pearl earring
By-Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer
Currently at- Mauritshuis gallery , The Hague
Commonly referred as the ‘Mona Lisa in the North’, Girl with a Pearl Earring is an artistic masterpiece created in the mid 17th century and is one of the most famous and mysterious marvels of the art world and its mystery is one of the reasons for its popularity. The name was made out of the fact that it uses a pearl earring for a focal point. Though the painting is signed in his name but it wasn’t dated, also very less is known about the portrait as if it was commissioned by someone to be made or was it just made out of joy and curiosity and nobody knows the answers to questions frequently asked by the visitors that who is the girl in the picture and what is her relationship with that painter whatever the truth maybe but one thing is for sure that it was not meant to be a conventional portrait.
9. Jeune fille en vert (Girl in a Green Dress)
By-Tmara De Lempicka
Currently at- the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Painted in 1929 this painting proved to be an icon to her style through out her career. As suggested by its name the painting displays a young beautiful confident woman wearing a green dress, white gloves, and a white hat. The bold use of color gives it multi dimensional and a modern look. It looks like the girl is trying to save her hat from flying away in strong breeze which is shown in an erotic way by providing the girl with a tight dress clinging to her body and revealing her breasts through the fabric.
8. Napoleon Crossing the Alps
By- French artist Jacques-Louis David
Currently at- Museum of the Château de Malmaison and Museum at Palace of Versailles and Belvedere in Vienna
The name Napoleon Bonaparte Crossing the Alps is assigned to the five versions of portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte on an oil on canvas style created in between 1801 and 1806. The portrait symbolizes authority in which Napoleon is described as a hero who is marching his army behind him across the Alps through the Great St. Bernard Pass in May 1800 to conquer new lands. Napoleon was so impressed with this portrait that he ordered Jacques to make three more versions of it and the fifth one Jacques made for himself which stayed in his studio.
7. The Night Watch
By- Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn
Currently at- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Popularly known as “The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq”. The painting is even more properly titled as The Company of captain Frans Banning Cocq and lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburch preparing to march out. Painted in the 17th century The Night Watch shows a group portrait of a military company led by one Frans Banning Cocq and is considered a masterpiece amongst conventional patriotic paintings. In the painting no two faces are pointing the same direction, everyone is looking somewhere different from another and every personality is differently aligned which suggests chaos among them. The popularity behind this painting is because of its effective use of light and shadow and the perception of motion.
6. American Gothic
By- Grant Wood
Currently at-Art Institute of Chicago
American Gothic was a painted in 19th century America. The names of the painting comes from Wood’s inspiration that occurred from the American Gothic House, which is a part of the painting along with its owners which is a family of farmers, father standing along his daughter. The man’s pitchfork symbolizes his hard work as a farmer, and the flowers over the woman’s right shoulder, just outside the house symbolizes domesticity.
5. The scream
Currently at- The National Gallery, Oslo and The Munch Museum
A very unique name for an art piece created in four versions both as paintings and pastels in between 1893 and 1910, these images showcases an agonized expression of a human being in a dark landscape with bright orange sky. Out of the four versions created, one painted versions is acquired by The National Gallery, Oslo(1893 version) and other by The Munch Museum(1910 version). The Munch Museum also holds a pastel version from 1893.
The fourth and last pastel version was last sold in 2012 to Leon Black for an astounding price of $119,922,600 which is the highest nominal price paid for a painting at auction.
4. The creation of Adam
Currently at- On Sistine Chapel’s ceiling
The Creation of Adam is probably the most famous fresco in the world created between 1511–1512. Adam is supposed to be the first man in the history of mankind and this painting illustrates the Biblical creation of him in which God himself brings Adam to life. Different panels on the Sistine ceiling depicts episode from Book of Genesis and this was among the last to be completed. Its popularity as an art piece is as of the painting of Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.
The fresco shows the hands of God and Adam nearly touching each other which has become an iconic image and has been replicated and reproduced countless number of times. Including Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, The Creation of Adam and some other panels are the most imitated religious paintings of all time.
3. The last supper
By- Leonardo da Vinci
Currently at- Wall in the Convent of Santa Maria, Milan
The Last Supper is a late 15th-century painting made by the most famous painter in the history which represents the scene of The Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, as written in the bible. The Last Supper is the final meal which according to Christian belief, Jesus shared with his Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion and Leonardo in the painting has depicted the terror and fight that occurred among the Twelve Disciples when Jesus announced that one of them would betray him.
2. The Starry Night
By- dutch impressionist Van Gosh
Currently at- Museum of Modern Art in New York City
Although painted in 1889 from memory during the day Starry night is a view of night full of stars and showcased as a view from bedroom window with use of such bold colours which he was indeed famous for, all this somewhat depicts and brings in mind his homeland, the Netherlands. The tree depicted in the painting connects earth to the sky reflecting his thoughts about death which is that death is the final destination of journey of life and as a matter of fact this painting was made by him just about a year before his death. Since 1941 the painting has been a part of the Museum.
1. Mona Lisa
By- Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci
Currently at- Musée du Louvre in Paris
Probably the most talked about, the most visited, the most written about and definitely the most expensive painting in the world Mona Lisa is a portrait in oil of a woman named Lisa Gherardini, believed to be painted in between 150 and 1506. This painting now belongs to the French Republic and is on a permanent display since 1797.
In 1921 this painting was stolen and it was believed to be copied, exported out of the country and lost forever but it remained in Europe and after having kept the painting in his apartment for two years, Peruggia was finally caught when he attempted to sell it. Still there are many questions that prevail about the painting whether it is the original, why it was painted, and how the effect of an enigmatic smile was achieved.