The 10 most famous paintings in the world

per Aline Anzzelotti

Do you know what are the most famous paintings in the world? Even if you have never studied anything about art, whether or not you know a little about it. To prove this, we made a ranking with the most famous works. Thus, as this is a difficult task to be completed, a survey was carried out on the most sought after works on the internet in the last five years.

10 “The Creation of Adam”

“The Creation of Adam”
Michelangelo Buonarotti

Artist: Michelangelo
Date: 1508 to 1512
Where to see: Sistine Chapel (Vatican City)

The Sistine Chapel even leaves the eyes troubled, with so many paintings and scenes contacted in Bílbia. However, Michelangelo certainly wanted “The Creation of Adam” to stand out, being one of the central paintings on the chapel ceiling. It is not easy to look up and pay attention to all the details. Still, this is a unique experience that is worth the effort. Michelangelo suffered a lot over the years that he dedicated to this unique work, combined with the Pope of the time. Finally, he had problems with his hand for so long that he painted with his arm up. But thankfully, he has been rewarded with the recognition of his genius through the ages.

9 “Las Meninas”

“Las Meninas”
Diego Velázquez

Artist: Diego Velázquez
Date: 1656
Where to see: Museo del Prado (Madrid)

Madrid is the only city where you can find two of the most famous works on that list. “Guernica” at number 5 and “Las Meninas” at number 9. Not only listed as the most famous painting by Velázquez, but also one of the artist's greatest. The complexity of the work has fascinated art critics over time. At the same time that the work portrays royalty figures, it is also a self portrait, where the painter portrays himself in action. Another notable feature is that living models are looking at the “audience” vividly.

8 “The Birth of Venus”

"The born of Venus"
Sandro Botticelli

Artist Sandro Botticelli
Estimated date: 1485
Where to see: Gallery of the Crafts (Florence, Italy)

First, the oldest work in this ranking, and competing with “O Beijo” in sensorial impression. The work portrayed by the artist's vision, the birth of the Goddess of Love, Venus, leaves anyone touched. A mixture of his passion for Greek culture and the wave of the early Renaissance. Anyway, to revolutionize, she made the Goddess naked, a rare thing for the time. But it was just as well that it had not been vetoed.

7 “Girl with a Pearl Earring”

“Girl with a Pearl Earring”
Johannes Vermeer

Artist: Johannes Vermeer
Estimated date: 1665
Where to see: Mauritshuis (The Hague, Netherlands)

Much compared to Dona Monalisa, but not exactly a portrait. Many critics and historians consider that the girl was not portrayed, but realized in the painter's imagination. It is possible to observe that the elements of the character are exaggerated for a normal human being. On the other hand, his fame comes from the simplicity of the work, where the focus is centered on the blue turban of the figure and on the exaggerated pearl earring.

6 “The Kiss”

"The kiss"
Gustav Klimt

Artist: Gustav Klimt
Estimated date: 1907 to 1908
Where to see: Belvedere Palace (Vienna, Austria)

First of all, it is undeniable that this is one of the most sensitive and expressive kisses ever portrayed in the history of art. With Byzantine influences on display in the characters' robes, this painting of significant size leaves its viewer with emotions aroused. Thus, Klimt said that the painting was a reference to how love is the center of all life. And given the popularity of the work, it seems that the public agrees.

5 “Guernica”

"Guernica"
Pablo PIcasso

Artist: Pablo Picasso
Date: 1937
Where to see: Reina Sofía Museum (Madrid)

If O Kiss came from the center of life, love. So Guernica certainly came from the center of death, war. This is the youngest work in our ranking and depicts the bombing of the city of Guernica in the Spanish Civil War. Therefore, this work not only portrays a war, but also in its details, one observes all the elements of pain involved in that scenario. Picasso took the work from Spain at the time and only allowed it to return when democracy returned to the country. Some themes never go out of style, do they?

4 “The Scream”

"The Scream"
Edvard Munch

Artist: Edvard Munch
Date: 1893
Where to see: National Museum (Oslo, Norway - opening in 2020) and Munch Museum (Oslo - through May 2020)

Firstly, a work replicated in many memes today. The Scream could even be considered a Pop Art, were it not for the fact that it is not. Few know, but this work is composed of two pieces. Thanks to two thieves in the business, the work was well known for being stolen twice. But they were found to the delight of admirers. Different from what is imagined, they say that the work does not portray a simple cry, but a sensation that nature provokes.

3 “Starry Night”

"Starry Night"
Vincent van Gogh

Artist: Vincent van Gogh
Date: 1889
Where to see: MoMA Museum of Modern Art (New York City)

Van Gogh was unique, and his colors and the use of the thicker brush was a revolution for art at the time. The artist's rounded brushstrokes make his works almost a dream. Starry Night was done while the painter was interned in an asylum in France, where he was treated for mental problems. So, that was the view from your window. A painting with a lot of history and a lot of emotion, from a great artist who sold a single painting while alive.

2 “The Last Supper”

The last supper
Leonardo da Vinci

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Estimated date: 1495 to 1498
Where to see: Santa Maria delle Grazie (Milan, Italy)

The most famous meal in the world is our second place. This work is not a painting, but a fresco by the artist. Measuring approximately 4.5 × 8.8 meters is an impacting sight. Even so, the work was targeted by Napoleon, who practiced shooting at the convent wall. The painting was also very exposed to the effects of nature during a good period. But, nothing can destroy the masterpiece that portrays the last time Jesus broke bread, just before he was betrayed.

1 “Monalisa”

"Mona Lisa"
Leonardo da Vinci

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Estimated date: 1503 to 1519
Where to see: Louvre Museum (Paris)

First, few know that da Vinci actually painted few works of art. The artist was much more than a painter. He was a visionary, an inventor, a writer. He created several devices that nobody understood at the time, but that over time made a lot of sense. This is the only artist that appears on our list twice. Da Vinci can be considered a kind of genius of his time, and the world was never the same after him and Monalisa's smile.

All the works on this list, and their creators, were not mostly recognized for their grandeur in their times. Art has been valued over the years, and with critical eyes that were able to explain and recognize the mastery in each piece.

Thus, even today, an artist is never more valued in his own time. Perhaps because art is always ahead of us humans.

At A7MA, we also have some da Vinci or Van Gogh, which although they are well recognized for their grandeur today, will certainly be increasingly valued throughout the history of Brazilian art.

Be sure to see our artists, and to make a virtual tour with us while we are in quarantine. Well, you never know who the next great artists of all time will be.

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