Most Renowned Paintings
The World's Top 10 Most Renowned Paintings
1. Birth of Venus
Sandro Botticelli painted 'The Birth of Venus' during the years of 1485 throughout 1487. The painting displays the goddess Venus otherwise known as Aphrodite (Greek mythology) arising from the sea atop a large white shell which coincides with the mythical story based on her birth. No one knows the original commissioner or location of this painting but art experts suggest the painting was commissioned by Lorenzo de'Medici for the Villa of Castello. Presently, the painting resides in Florence at the Uffizi Gallery.
2. Water Lilies
Claude Monet, a French Impressionist, is responsible for creating the one in a two hundred and fifty oil painted series known as 'Water Lilies'. The painting is a portrait of Monet's very own flower garden in Giverny. This flower garden has been the focal point of several of Monet's artistic productions, especially those during the last thirty years of his career. While many of Monet's paintings have found homes at museums across the globe, the 'Water Lilies' painting is currently on display in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
3. Night Watch
Rembrandt van Rijn, a dutch painter, created 'Night Watch' in 1642 during the Dutch Golden Age. The painting displays Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch his lieutenant leading a city guard move out. 'Night Watch' was originally thought to be a scene depicted during the night hours due to its dark varnish coating and title. However, in 1940s the varnish was removed and showed the contrary. Rembrandt's painting is now on display in Amsterdam at the Rijks Museum.
4. The Scream
Edvard Munch, a Norwegian painter, created 'The Scream' in his series of expressionist paintings/prints during 1893. This particular piece features a blood red sky behind what seems to be a tortured figure. Munch created 'The Scream' in several different versions utilizing several different mediums. 'The Scream' was sought after so much so that it was stolen several times. First, the painting was robbed from the National Gallery in Norway during 1994 but resurfaced just a few months after. Another version of 'The Scream' was stolen a second time in 2004 while on display in the Munch Museum and was not found until 2006.
5. Girl With a Pearl Earring
The artist Johannes Vermeer is responsible for creating the 'Girl With a Pearl Earring' painting that is popularly called 'the Dutch Mona Lisa'. Vermeer has lead a very private existence and not very much is known of his life or his works. 'Girl With a Pearl Earring' is no exception as it is not dated and has no history of a commissioner.
Pablo Picasso painted 'Guernica' in 1937. The painting depicts the suffering and many tragedies that individuals, such as innocent civilian bystanders experience during wartimes. Pablo claimed the purpose of this painting was to bring awareness worldwide on the negative effects of German bombers bombing Guernica's town of Basque. He hoped this painting would help to halt support of General Franco and the Nationalist Forces during the Spanish Civil War. Presently, 'Guernica' can be viewed in Madrid at the Museo Reina Sofia.
7. The Creation of Adam
'The Creation of Adam' was painted by artist Michelangelo in Rome. It is special because of its location across the Sistine Chapel's ceiling within the Vatican. This mural/painting took five years to create from 1508 until 1512. Pope Julius II commissioned the artwork and it is one of the most famous pieces of art from the High Renaissance era. 'The Creation of Adam' is the centermost piece in the nine scenes from the Book of Genesis which reside on the Sistine ceiling. The scene depicts God breathing life into the first man, otherwise known as Adam. The painting itself is referenced several times in parodies throughout history.
8. The Last Supper
Leonardo da Vinci painted the mural of 'The Last Supper' in Milan during the fifteenth century. The work of art covers the entire back wall of the Santa Maria delle Grazie's dining hall. 'The Last Supper' depicts the moment when Jesus announced that one man within his group of twelve Apostles would betray him. The piece took four years to complete from 1495 until 1498. Da Vinci took several breaks in between the completion of the artwork.
9. Starry Night
Vincent van Gogh, a Dutch artist, created the now extremely famous and most sought after painting in modern culture known as the 'Starry Night'. Unfortunately, van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime. However, after his demise his artwork took off. It has since become world renowned and 'Starry Night' is no exception. The painting depicts the village of Saint-Remy under a blanket of swirling stars. 'Starry Night' has permanently been placed in New York at the Museum of Modern Art since 1941.
10. Mona Lisa
The 'Mona Lisa' could quite possibly be the most famous painting in history. Leonardo da Vinci painted 'Mona Lisa' in Florence during the Renaissance era. He created the painting on and off over the course of sixteen years finishing it in 1519, not long before his death. The painting depicts Lisa del Giocondo, a woman who belonged to a wealthy Florence family. The 'Mona Lisa' was stolen in 1911 from the Louvre by its own employee, Vincenzo Peruggia. The italian patriot believed that the 'Mona Lisa' belonged to Italy and should remain their. He held the 'Mona Lisa' captive for two years but was caught once he attempted to sell it to Florence's Uffizi Gallery. The famous 'Mona Lisa' currently resides in Paris at the Louvre where over six million people come to view it annually.