Friday, 4 August 2017

The Most Famous Paintings In The World & Where To View Them*

Art is a subjective thing. Some people believe Michelangelo to be the greatest living artist ever whereas others consider Tracey Emin's conceptual art piece, 'My Bed' to be a masterpiece. There are some paintings, however, that find their way into the collective consciousness. The paintings below are famous. Reproductions of them appear in millions of homes all over the world. You might not like all of the works we are about to discuss, but one thing is certain - you will be familar with each and every one of them and if you want to see the original, we have you covered.

Mona Lisa:
Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting of the mysterious Mona Lisa is arguably, the most famous painting in the world. Da Vinci spent around 15 years working on the painting. The subject of the painting, the enigmatic Mona Lisa, is widely believed to be Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. If you want to see the painting in the flesh, visit the Louvre in Paris, France. You will find the Mona Lisa in room 6 on the first floor of the Denon Wing. Be aware though, this is invariably one of the most crowded rooms in the Louvre, so you might have to crane your neck for a decent glimpse of the most famous lady in the world. The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.
Birth of Venus:
Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus is simply devine when you view it in the flesh. The colours have lost none of their lustre and the composition is so rich in meaning that you could quite easily spend hours staring at this amazing work of art. Birth of Venus was comissioned by the Medici in the 1400s. It marked the beginning of the 'reign of love' in Florence. To see Birth of Venus, and Botticelli's other famous masterpieces, visit rooms 10-14 in the Uffizi in Florence, Italy. The museum is open every day apart from Mondays, and you can buy tickets online.
Olympia by Edouard Manet was one of the most controversial paintings of the 19th-century. Unlike the classically idealised nudes of the time, Manet painted a 'real' woman and forced the viewer to look her in the eye. Not surprisingly, the painting was considered 'scandalous' and it caused an uproar when it was exhibited in 1863. Manet's intention was to highlight the irony of a society that claimed to be modern, yet shied away from female sexuality. Critics hated the work, but it has sinced become one of the most important paintings of its generation. You will find Olympia at the Musee d Orsay in Paris. The museum is closed on Mondays but it stays open late on Thursdays.

Vincent Van Gogh painted many versions of his infamous 'Sunflowers' but despite his complete failure as an artist during his own lifetime, his Sunflower paintings have become one of the most reproduced artworks in the world. Van Gogh began his series of sunflower paintings to decorate the bedroom for his friend and fellow artist Gaugin. The finished paintings are highly textural with thick 'impasto' paint, which is so typical of Van Gogh's paintings. You can see one of Van Gogh's Sunflower paintings at the National Gallery in London, alongside many other of Van Gogh's works. The work is highly evocative of the sunshine on the South of France. Visit room 43 for a closer look - access is via the Getty entrance.

The Last Supper:
You won't find the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci in any museum or art gallery. Instead, this iconic work of art can be found in the Santa Maria delle Grazie Monastery in Milan, Italy. Da Vinci used an experimental technique when he created the Last Supper and the painting has badly deteriorated over the years. The most recent restoration effort brought it back to life, but much of the original paint has been lost. The monastery is small, but Leonardo's painting is magnificent. Visits to see the Last Supper are strictly ticket-only. A maximum of 25 people are allowed inside the refectory at any one time to prevent further damage to this iconic work of art.
Special Mentions:
Guernica by Pablo Picasso was inspired by the bombing of the town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. You can see Guernica at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain. Rembrandt's The Night Watch is displayed in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It was one of Rembrandt's most successful paintings. The girl with the pearl earring, painting by Johannes Vermeer around 1665, can be found in the Mauritshuis Gallery in the Hague, the Netherlands.

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