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19 Best Paintings Of All Time Published 04 March, 2019   Report Issue

19 Best Paintings Of All Time

Many eminent painters have created countless beautiful paintings, but some of them stay immortal through time. They are timeless in their beauty, survived through different cultures and ages thus having huge importance.

Here I list the best paintings of all time, which represents the greatest artworks which are loved, studied and given priority throughout the decades. The sequence isn't based on any statistics or facts, but the paintings that list here is indeed the best among all.

1. Mona Lisa

Airtract-ImageThere won't be any possible list of best paintings of all time without this painting. Probably the best as many experts would say, Mona Lisa, is said to be painted between 1503 and 1517 by the famous Leonardo Da Vinci. It is currently on display at the Musee du Louvre in Paris. The lady’s expression is indecipherable, and questions still prevail in her expression and identity. It holds the highest insurance valuation of nearly $800 million.

The lady's identity is thought to be Lisa Gherardini. King Francis was the owner of the painting before the French Republic. Mona Lisa was stolen in 1911 by an Italian patriot and Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia who later revealed himself. Mona Lisa is protected from subsequent attacks by bulletproof glass.

2. Starry Night

Airtract-ImageDutch Artist Vincent van Gogh’s one of the best painting, The Starry Night was created at the asylum in Saint-Remy in 1889. It became one of the most well-known paintings in modern culture.  

The painting shows village Saint Remy under a swirling sky. Some say it represents the turbulent mind and thought of the artist. Since 1941 the painting is in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The creativity that persists in the art makes it into the best paintings of all time.

3. The Scream

Airtract-ImageThe best painting by Edvard Munch is "The Scream" which was painted around 1893. It is painted using oil and pastel on cardboard. It shows a distorted scared face against a blood red sky. The landscape in the background is Oslo fjord. It is on display in the National Gallery of Norway.

It is also one of the first few paintings created in expressionism style where emotions are given importance than reality and details. He has painted from his experience, feeling tired during sunset where sky turned red, and he felt a scream traversing through nature.

4. The Last Supper

Airtract-ImageThis famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci is not exhibited in a museum but covering the back wall of Santa Maria Delle Grazie monastery's dining hall in Milan. It was painted in the late 15th century. It depicts the scene of The Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples.

The painting created a lot of controversies around some disciples mainly Mary Magdalene, the character that is supposed to be sitting next to Jesus.

The last supper was not painted in wet plaster but on drywall. The moment of the picture is said to be when Jesus said one of the apostles would betray him, the expressions on each of them are captured, and many of them are recognized later including Judas, one of the reasons why it is in the best paintings of all time.

5. Night WatchAirtract-ImageDe Nachtwacht in Dutch, The Night Watch was painted using oil on canvas by Rembrandt van Rijn in 1642. It is said that he was commissioned by the militia captain to paint his troop. And others say it depicts an entire city moving out led by their captain. It is currently housed in Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

6. Creation of AdamAirtract-ImagePainted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512 on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City at the commission of Pope Julius II.

It is one of the most renowned artworks of the High Renaissance. In the center of the ceiling, there are nine scenes from the Book of Genesis. In those, the last was the Creation of Adam in which God the Father gives life to Adam.

7. Guernica

Guernica is Pablo Picasso’s famous painting which is based on the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. It shows the pain and tragedies of war inflicted on individuals who are innocent civilians.

This painting brought attention to the consequences of war and was painted by mid-June 1937. This artwork stands as a symbol of peace; it is on display in the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid. This is one of the best paintings of all time because it attempts to convey the harshness of war.

8. Persistence of Memory
Persistence of Memory was painted in 1931 by Spanish artist Salvador Dali. It is an example of surrealism. Since 1934, this painting is exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

This art introduces the image of a soft melting watches which was inspired by the surrealist perception of camembert melted in the sunshine rather than from the Theory of Relativity of Albert Einstein.

9. Girl with the Pearl EarringAirtract-ImageThe artwork is also known as ‘Dutch Mona Lisa’ or ‘Mona Lisa of the North.’ It was painted by Johannes Vermeer in 1665 and is on display in the Mauritius Gallery Hague, Netherlands. The girl is seen wearing a headscarf and an earring which is attractive.

The painting is chosen as the best painting in the Netherlands by the Dutch citizens and one of the best paintings of all time by scholars. The date is not exact because it isn’t printed anywhere, the genre of the painting is Tronie which focuses on facial expression and is part of the Golden age of Dutch painting.

10. Birth of Venus

Airtract-ImageBirth of Venus is a painting by Sandro Botticelli, which depicts the goddess Venus reaching the shore after her birth. It was done probably in the 1480s. The Painting is in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

Newborn Goddess is shown standing naked in a giant scallop shell and painter also drawn wind god Zephyr to her left. To the right, there is a woman who is ready to dress Venus and might be one of the Horae. 

11. The Kiss
Airtract-ImageThe Kiss is an oil painting by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt during his golden period between 1907-1908. The painting shows a couple in love, shows them embracing each other which represents their intimacy. Their robes are decorated based on style influenced by Art Noveau.

The painting is at Oesterreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Belvedere Palace, Vienna. The geometric patterns and subtle swirls are seen in the man’s robe; he wears a crown of vines whereas the woman has a flower crown. The face of the man is bent downwards to kiss the woman, and her eyes are closed with cheeks turned to receive the kiss.

12. Water LiliesAirtract-ImageClaude Monet, a French painter, painted a series of 250 pieces which are together called as Water Lilies, although it's not a single work, it definitely should be part of this list. The painting is about his own flower garden with a water lily pond.

The paintings are distributed among several museums and art galleries around the world. Monet had cataracts when painting many of the pieces in this collection. More than being one of the best paintings of all time, this can also say to be the greatest collection of art done by a single artist.

13. The Arnolfini PortraitAirtract-ImageIt is one of the oldest oil paintings that is preserved, Arnolfini Portrait is a painting on panel of oak, created by Jan van Eyck. It is a portrait of Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini together with his bride or wife; the former is said to be an Italian Merchant.

The painting is famous because it gives a sense of space to the viewer through an orthogonal perspective. The painting is also said to be a unique one because it might represent a marriage contract. The painting also includes a convex mirror at the back which was something nobody else tried before.

The components in the painting show that both the characters were rich and used expensive items. It is regarded as one of the original and complex pieces in the western art section.


14. Las MeninasAirtract-ImageLas Meninas is a painting by Diego Velazquez, prominent artist of Spanish golden age, and is displayed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. It was painted in 1656. It portrays a large room of Royal Alcazar in Madrid in which other people surround young Margaret Theresa. Also in the picture, the painter has drawn himself, King and queen are shown in a mirror. Las Meninas is considered as one of the best paintings in western art history. The painting was done during the rule of King Philip Ⅳof Spain.

There are almost 11 important characters in the painting with exceptional details given to them.

15. Whistler’s MotherAirtract-ImageKnown as ‘Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1’, the Whistler’s Mother is an artwork by American born James McNeill Whistler. The woman is indeed Whistler’s Mother, Anna McNeill Whistler. The painting was completed in 1871. It is now in Musee d’Orsay in Paris.

It is said that they made this while residing in London with her son. Many stories exist on why the painter chose his mom over a model, and why she is just sitting instead of standing or engaging in some activity.

A stamp has been issued by U.S post office in honor of the painting, with the caption ‘In Memory and In Honour of the Mothers in America.’

16. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande JatteAirtract-ImageA masterpiece from Georges Seurat, painted in 1884, uses dots and points to form a pattern which can deliver an image. It was executed on a large canvas. The art includes suburban scenery on the banks of the river Seine. The people are seen in shadow because it represents a Sunday outing where they try to escape the heat and enjoy the breeze on the banks of the river.

He completed the painting through 3 different stages hence the details in the picture makes it one of the best paintings of all time and scholars and experts still analyze and study this exceptional creativity.

17. American GothicAirtract-ImageGrant Wood painted the American Gothic in 1930, is now under the Art Institute of Chicago. American Gothic house is seen with a farmer standing with maybe his daughter or wife, the farmer is holding a pitchfork. The Models were wood’s sister and their dentist. The Picture is one of the most famous in 20th-century American art.

18. The Garden of Earthly DelightsAirtract-ImageIt is a triptych oil painting housed in Museo del Prado in Madrid. It was painted by Hieronymus Bosch, a Netherlandish Painter. It is said to be painted between 1490 and 1510. Interpretation of the painting is in different views to many scholars. The intention and the inspiration for the painting are still unknown.

The paintings contain complex ideas and confusing objects. Hence interpreters have never reached a common solution to the why and what of this painting. Majority of the scholars tend to believe the painting to be a warning against lust and worldly pleasure.

19. The Third of MayFrancisco Goya, the Spanish painter, painted the Third of May in 1814, which is now exhibited in Museo del Prado, Madrid. The emotions and content in the artwork deliver a horrifying image of war.

This painting also made for other creations like Massacre in Korea and Guernica. The painting shows Napolean attacks on Spanish people. The painting shows a firing squad aimed at a group of natives which are helpless and at their gun point. They face each other and shows two kinds of emotions in contrast to each other.

 
  Numerous amounts of artworks have been gifted to the world by many great artists. It's hard to interpret each of them because they tell a different story each time you try to study it. Best paintings of all time tell or capture a moment that remains astonishing every decade it survives. Hence, we call them immortal, and this list contains some of the most famous paintings which are relevant even today.

Famous paintings Best artworks History of painting Mona Lisa The Last Supper Michelangelo Picasso Da Vinci

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