Paintings are not only made with paints and brushes, but they also have a soul. Paintings with soul are the true works of art. Paintings have been created all throughout the history of mankind. Many paintings are world-renowned masterpieces and recognizable to this day. The 8 most famous paintings in the world open a window to the mysterious world of art. If you've always been intrigued by art, here are a few of its most famous paintings.
Mona Lsia by Da Vinci
Mona Lsia by Leonardo Da Vinci is one of the earliest examples of aerial perspective paintings. It depicts a woman seated in an open loggia before an imaginary landscape. This landscape recedes towards the sitter's icy mountains and is framed by winding paths that give only a faint hint of a human presence. The woman's hair and clothing echo the undulating imaginary rivers and valleys. The artist's unique style of painting is characterized by dramatic contrasts of light and dark.
The Mona Lisa's smile was achieved through the use of optical illusion. It was Da Vinci's skill to use perspective and shadow work to create a smile that was elusive and mysterious at the same time. When viewed in a different light, the smile of the Mona Lisa is enhanced by the illusion of the gaze reflected in the eyes of the sitter. The smile fading slowly from the portrait has sparked various debates and interpretations.
Fore more information about Mona Lisa, check out “5 Reasons Why the Mona Lisa Is So Famous”.
The Starry Night by Van Gogh
The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh is one of the most popular paintings in the world. Van Gogh painted the scene several times and each version seems different, but the same scene still captivates the viewer. The painting was completed just a year before the artist's death. Van Gogh's wife, Jo van Gogh-Bonger, inherited the painting after his death.
The artist was influenced by the work of nocturnal landscape painter Jean-Francois Millet, who produced a series of similar paintings. Van Gogh may have seen these works in Paris between 1873 and 1875, because the Starry Night has a similar style to Millets' Nuit Etoilee. It is thought that Van Gogh saw Millet's painting at the asylum in Saint-Remy, and produced 21 copies. During this time, he developed his own technique and unique style.
In 1939, Jo sold the painting to MoMA. It is now part of the museum's collection. During his lifetime, Van Gogh sold a few works to renowned museums. This painting was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in 1941. Although the original version is in the possession of Theo van Gogh, several copies of the painting have since been acquired by other art collectors.
The Kiss by Klimt
The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is a work of art that explores the power of the erotic scene and delicate touch. Klimt, born in Austria, became famous during his time as a student at the University of Vienna. In the early 19th century, he exhibited three works, including The Kiss, for the ceiling of the University. The Kiss, as well as Klimt's other works, often depicted female nudes as metaphors for science, philosophy, and medicine.
Although it is difficult to identify the exact identity of the figure in The Kiss by Klimt, the subject is well-proportioned and appears to be smiling. This characteristic has led to many critics and art historians to speculate that the figure is actually Klimt himself, based on the facial features. The Kiss was purchased by the Austrian Gallery in 1908. The piece is now the centrepiece of the world's largest Klimt collection.
The Scream by Munch
The Scream by Munch is a great example of the expressionistic style and autobiographical painting. The Scream depicts the intense fear of an individual that is unique to Munch. In a jarring twist, Munch allows the foreground figure to be distorted by nature. The painting can be read as an agonizing representation of a depersonalized human soul. The artist's scream might be interpreted as a representation of the agony of obliteration of the human personality.
Girl With a Pearl Earring by Vermeer
The composition of Girl With a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer is a remarkable example of the use of color in a Dutch painting. The artist used an extremely precise technique to paint smooth flesh tones and create the illusion of depth. He also applied subtle light effects and avoided repetition throughout the painting.
While the original composition of this painting featured a mysterious sitter facing a green curtain and gray void, the painter later changed the composition of the painting to create an atmosphere of mystery and intrigue. Vermeer also changed the position of the girl's ear, her headdress, and her neck. By doing so, he successfully conveyed the sense of mystery and romance while preserving the integrity of the portrait.
The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli
The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticellli is one of the most celebrated works of Renaissance art. It features a stunning scene of nature in a rugged landscape with towering trees. Botticelli's composition was influenced by the iconography of ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. He later used this style in two large-scale paintings, Primavera and The Birth of Venus. Although they are not a set, they are both painted in tempera paint, a traditional painting medium composed of egg yolk and pigment. Although both Primavera and The Birth of Venus were executed on panel, the latter was the first canvas to be crafted in Tuscany. This work is a masterpiece that makes a bold statement among Renaissance scenes.
Creation of Adam by Michelangelo
‘The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo' is one of the most famous paintings of the Renaissance era. It depicts the creation of mankind, as well as the relationship between God and his creation. God creates Adam by stretching out his arms, and the Christ child, as Adam's saviour, is pointed out. Adam's fall, however, is a foreshadowed moment by the creator, who presents a solution in the form of Christ.
The creation of Adam by Michelangelo is the most popular section of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. This heavenly masterpiece captures the divine spark of life, as Adam stretches out to receive nourishment from God. It also shows the past, present, and future of humanity, all in amazing detail. There is something inherently beautiful about Michelangelo's work that makes it such an entrancing piece.
Guernica by Picasso
One of Picasso's best-known works, Guernica depicts a frantic tangle of six human figures and a bull in an interior, where an overhead lamp provides the only light source. The resulting chaos and confusion suggests the emotional aftermath of war. The most powerful image in the painting is a woman screaming in pain while holding a dead child. The painting's many female figures convey an intense sense of anguish, such as the screaming woman, the figure of the horse, and a man holding a lamp.
One of the most striking aspects of this painting is its scale, at nearly eight feet tall and ten meters wide. The subject matter is also incredibly ominous, depicting the devastation of war and the aftermath of bombings. Some of the prominent images include a dead child, a gored horse, screaming women, a dismembered soldier, and flames.