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15 Most Famous Paintings Of All Time

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      The best paintings simply take your breath away! They have a unique theme or a new painting style that makes it to standout in this crowded field. While we are inundated with art day-in and day-out, there are a few special pieces that have transcended time and culture and have slated their place in art history.  Below is a gallery of 15 of the most famous paintings of all time, recognizable pieces from the ages that will never be forgotten. 

 

15.   Dogs Playing Poker 

             Commissioned by Brown & Begelow Cigars in 1903, American painter C.M. Coolidge painted 16 unforgettable images of Dogs Playing Poker for the brand. Spoofed many times in greeting cards and in popular culture, this series of dogs playing cards around a table is widely recognizable and truly iconic.  

 

14.    American Gothic 

American Gothic

              Marking the list as another iconic piece in American art, American Gothic, painted by Grant Wood in 1930 is a dry depiction of a farmer and his Plain-Jane daughter – The Great Depression personified. It is one of the most familiar images in 20th-century American art and has been widely parodied in American popular culture  

 

13.   The Kiss 

The Kiss

             Easily touted as Gustav Klimt’s most famous painting, The Kiss is a realistic yet geometric depiction of a kissing couple, completed in 1908 in Vienna, Austria. What makes this piece different than the other oil paintings on the list is that it also incorporates gold leaf on canvas (in addition to oils). 

 

 12.   A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte 

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

              Using the unique technique of pointillism, creating a complete image that is made up of only distinct individual dots, the French painter Georges Seurat brings us his most famous piece A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.  

 

           11.   Starry Night             

Starry Night

             Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh shows the village of Saint-Remy under a swirling sun. It is one of the most well-known images in modern culture and is currently housed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. That Starry Night resonates with so many people is a testament to how its beauty is timeless and universal.  

 

 10.   Landscape with the Fall of Icarus 

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

              This painting by Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel shows man’s indifference to the suffering of his fellowmen. It is a powerful theme shown in a rather simple way with Icarus, the Greek character suffering under water and people going on with their work.   

 

9.   The Creation of Adam  

The Creation of Adam

            The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo shows how God created Adam. Perhaps the most famous image from the ceiling is The Creation of Adam, which depicts God giving life to the first human, Adam. It is one of the paintings that adorn the 12,000 square feet area of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.  

 

8.   The Last Supper 

The Last Supper

              The Last Supper is a painting that depicts the last meal that Jesus had with his disciples. Displayed at the dining hall of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, this painting has also created much controversy around Mary Magdalene, the supposed character sitting next to Jesus. The Last Supper is Leonardo’s visual interpretation of an event chronicled in all four of the Gospels (books in the Christian New Testament). The evening before Christ was betrayed by one of his disciples.

 
7.   The Scream

The Scream

                Using oil and pastel on cardboard, Edvard Munch painted his most famous piece, The Scream, circa 1893. Featuring a ghoulish figure that looks like the host from Tales from the Crypt, the backdrop of this expressionist painting is said to be Oslo, Norway. Edvard Munch reveals an honest and perhaps even ugly glimpse of his inner troubles and feelings of anxiety, putting more importance on personal meaning than on technical skill or “beauty,” a traditional goal of art.

 

6.   Guernica

Guernica

                  Guernica by Picasso depicts the bombing of the city of the Spanish city of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. It is a black and white painting that shows the role of Italians and Germans in this bombing. Guernica shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. This work has gained a monumental status, becoming a perpetual reminder of the tragedies of war, an anti-war symbol, and an embodiment of peace.

 

5.   Girl with a Pearl Earring 

Girl with a Pearl Earring

            The Girl With a Pearl Earring is often known as Dutch Monalisa because the expression on the girl’s face is hard to understand. The turban being worn in Girl with a Pearl Earring was a popular prop at the time and its elaborate folds and rich materials were a great way of showing off the artists’ skill. It was previously named as Girl with a Turban. This painting by Johannes Vermeer has her pearl earrings as the focal point.  

 

 4.   Beheading of Saint John the Baptist 

Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

              This painting by Caravaggio shows a realistic depiction of a murder moment in a prison.  This image, while certainly the largest of Caravaggio’s works, is also in many ways the most disturbing. There is a great power in it, but it is also very dark without any apparent redemption.  The gloom of the picture and the expressions of the onlookers make it a true classical masterpiece. It is displayed in St. John’s Cathedral in Valletta, Malta.   

 

3.   Night Watch 

Night Watch

            Night Watch is one of the most popular pieces of work by Rembrandt. It depicts an entire city moving out led by its captain. A unique aspect is its dark vanish that gives an impression of night scene.Completed in 1642, Rembrandt van Rijn’s The Night Watch is not only a highlight of a career that spanned over 600 paintings, but also acclaimed as arguably the greatest portrait of the Dutch Baroque era. It is currently housed in Riksmuseum in Amsterdam.  

 

2.   School of Athens 

School of Athens

              Painted by Raphael, this painting contains pictures of famous philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle walking in the middle along with other philosophers on the sides. It is now located in the Vatican. The School of Athens represents all the greatest mathematicians, philosophers and scientists from classical antiquity gathered together sharing their ideas and learning from each other. These figures all lived at different times, but here they are gathered together under one roof.  

 

 1.   Monalisa 

Monalisa            Probably the most famous painting in the world is Monalisa by Leonardo da Vinci. It is a portrait of a lady called Gherardini and is famous because the lady’s expression is indecipherable. Originally a royal palace, the Louvre became a public museum at the end of the 18th century. It is located in the heart of Paris. There are about 35.000 objects on display, but the most famous there is Leonardo DaVinci’s painting of Mona Lisa.         

          Here was our list of the most famous 15 paintings ever done. Which of these is your favorite? Do let us know through your comments.

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