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10 most famous paintings of all time1 August - 2019
by Vincent Moleveld
The 10 most famous paintings of all time! Every year millions of euros are spent by art collectors who are eager to own the world's most sought after paintings. However, the most expensive paintings are not necessarily the most famous paintings. The best known of these are generally in the hands of museums, which very rarely will be sold, and as such they are literally priceless. Here we provide the top 10 most famous paintings of all time.
10. The Birth of Venus
The Birth of Venus is a painting by the Italian painter Sandro Botticelli. It hangs in the Uffizi gallery in the Italian city of Florence. The painting is made with tempera on canvas and measures 172.5 cm by 278.5 cm. It depicts the goddess Venus rising from the sea as a mature woman, as described in Greek mythology. The name of the work, however, is not entirely in accordance with the event depicted on it, since, according to legend, Venus was born from the sea foam. However, this image shows her arrival in Cyprus, standing on a shell. In classical antiquity, a shell was a metaphor for a vagina. The pose of Botticelli's Venus is reminiscent of the Venus de Medici, a marble sculpture from classical antiquity in the Medici collection that Botticelli had studied. A detail of the painting is used as an image on one of the Italian euro coins.
9. Water Lelies
The Water Lilies are many different impressionist paintings of water lilies by the French artist Claude Monet. Monet had a colorful garden with a pond built in his studio in Giverny in the 1890s to be able to paint his beloved motif in all kinds of weather conditions (half outdoors). He didn't have to travel that much anymore and was more at home with his wife and children. Monet painted many different variations on this theme. In the period 1899-1900 alone, he made 18 different water lily paintings.
In the period 1914-1926, Monet created a series of huge wall panels with water lilies for the Musée de l'Orangerie in the Tuileries in Paris (see image above). Because Monet was probably largely blind at the end of his life, he would have painted these so-called reflex landscapes (landscape without explicit representation of sky or horizon) mainly from his memory. He donated these works to his good friend Paul Clemenceau. Clemenceau had stimulated Monet, while subsiding his vision, to continue painting. Monet donated the works as a 'tribute to peace'. The paintings were for a long time inaccessible to the public, but are now again the main showpieces of the recently renovated museum.
8. The Night Watch
The Night Watch is the best known painting and masterpiece by Rembrandt van Rijn and can be seen in the Gallery of Honor of the Rijksmuseum. Rembrandt painted it between 1639 and 1642. The official name is: The company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburgh is getting ready to march out. This work, a militia piece, was ordered as a group portrait by a company from the guild guild. It was probably first called 'The Night Watch' around 1796/1797. According to Ernst van de Wetering, the work failed in a certain sense.
The value of the painting cannot be expressed in money. It is not for sale or has ever been for sale. The militia company that commissioned Rembrandt at the time was an urban institution and The Night Watch has since been owned by the municipality of Amsterdam, on perpetual loan to the Rijksmuseum.
7. The Scream
The Scream is the name of four paintings and a lithograph by Edvard Munch from 1893. The original version of the scream from 1893 hangs in the National Art Museum (Nasjonalgalleriet) in Oslo. It is considered the most moving painting by Munch. It expresses the spiritual suffering and the emotional harassment that the painter has felt during certain periods of his life. Munch was a precursor of expressionism, a style that wanted to express emotions. The Scream is a psychic self-portrait by Edvard Munch. It is a painting based on its own traumatic experience.
One evening Edvard Munch walked back to the city of Oslo with friends. They stopped on a bridge. As his friends walked on, Edvard stopped, seized by the landscape and the sky with the setting sun. He heard and felt the landscape around him scream. He felt powerless and depressed. This event impressed him so much that he later recorded this event on canvas.
6. Girl with a Pearl Earring
Girl with a Pearl Earring is a painting from 1665-1667 by the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. In recent years, Girl with a Pearl Earring has become Vermeer's most beloved painting. The work is in the possession of the Mauritshuis in The Hague. None of Vermeer's models have ever been identified and this also applies to this girl. A possible candidate is his oldest daughter Maria, who was twelve, thirteen years old at that time.
The girl pictured wears a blue turban with a yellow, falling cloth. The head covering contrasts with the brownish yellow jacket with the white collar. The pearl stands out, a grand creation of glow lights and shadows and frayed edges. With two strokes of paint Vermeer gave a bright light accent to the top left and a reflection of her white collar at the bottom. Given its size, it is more a glass, lacquered 'drop earring' than a natural pearl. It seems as if the girl, with her uninhibited gaze, seeks direct contact with the viewer, as if she has been surprised by him. With her mouth half open, she gives the impression that she wants to say something. Her moist, extra-red lips give her a sensual look.
Guernica is a Pablo Picasso painting from 1937, named after the place Guernica in the Spanish Basque Country. The reason for the painting is the bombing of Guernica by the fascists led by Francisco Franco, to break the resistance of the Republicans. The painting, with its enormous dimensions 3.49 m high and 7.76 m wide, is one of Picasso's most impressive and controversial works.
The painting shows the city during the bombing. There is much to see at the same time in the painting. A horse rushing into a house in a panic. On the right, someone falls off the burning roof and a mother cries for her dead child. Pablo Picasso wanted the painting to make the chaos feel during a bombing when you look at the painting. The background is also mixed up, there is no difference between inside and outside. People are running out of their houses in a panic.
The painting is painted in lines and surfaces in black, white and gray to express the war. It is not a realistic painting. Pablo Picasso tried to convey the feeling during the bombing, not what it looked like. At the front of the painting is a man with a broken sword. A symbol for a dead soldier. The horse expresses the fear and is the symbol for the innocent victims of the war. The mother with the dead child symbolizes the grief for the fallen. The lamp in the painting symbolizes the explosion and the bombing in Guernica.
4. The creation of Adam
The creation of Adam is part of the fresco on the vault of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City painted by Michelangelo around 1511. The work is the depiction of the Biblical story from the book of Genesis in which God the Father breathes life into Adam. From the frescoes to Genesis in the Sistine Chapel, it is chronologically the fourth image in the story. Michelangelo finished this fresco as one of the last in the series. The work measures 4.8 by 2.3 meters.
3. The Last Supper
The Last Supper is a fresco painted by Leonardo da Vinci commissioned by Duke Ludovico Sforza in the refectory of the Santa Maria delle Grazie (a Dominican monastery in Milan). It is a depiction of a scene from the Last Supper of Jesus, as described in the Bible and it is based on John 13: 21-26, in which Jesus announces that one of his twelve disciples will betray him. The painting is known worldwide and the arrangement is an iconographic model. Because it cannot be moved, it has never been privately owned. In accordance with other images of the last supper at that time, Leonardo has taken over the convention to depict all persons at one side of the table during dinner, so that none of those present are looked at in the back. But he deviates remarkably from that convention by also placing Judas there among the other disciples, while usually Judas was placed opposite the other apostles on the other side of the table. Another custom was to provide all disciples, with the exception of Judas, with a halo.
However, Leonardo has opted for a more realistic and dramatic effect by not providing anyone with a halo, but showing Judas leaning back in the shade. He also creates a realistic and psychological image in which he tries to explain why Judas and Jesus take the bread at the same time, just after Jesus made the prediction of the betrayal. Jesus is shown as if he is telling Thomas and James on his left, who are shocked because Jesus points to a piece of bread for them. Distracted by the conversation between John and Peter, Judas holds out his hand to another piece of bread that Jesus extends his right hand to. All perspective lines and also the light fall attention to Jesus.
2. The starry night
The starry night is a painting by the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. It belongs to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The work (oil on canvas) measures 73 by 92 cm. It is seen as the masterpiece of this painter. From 1888 Van Gogh painted several pieces that resemble The Starry Night. He called this study his study of the starry sky. In 1888, for example, he painted the starry night above the Rhone, which is very similar to this painting. Vincent van Gogh made The Starry Night when he was at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole hospital in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in June 1889. He also made a number of pen drawings with the same subject. Mid-September he sent the starry night paintings to his brother in Paris.
The painting is a night scene with yellow stars above a small city with hills. It is a view from an imaginary point over a village with church tower and on the left a flaming cypress and on the right olive trees against the hills. Van Gogh used Delacroix for the use of complementary colors. The painting is often associated with the words of Vincent van Gogh: "Why, I wonder, wouldn't the shining dots in the sky be as easy to reach as the black dots on the map of France? Just like we were on the train to Tarascon or Rouen, we use death to travel to the stars. " Van Gogh painted the piece at a time when he felt a strong urge for religion. After this he would end up in a depression.
1. Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa is a Leonardo da Vinci painting painted between 1503 and 1507. The technique used is oil on panel (poplar wood). It is the portrait of a lady, probably Lisa Gherardini, the third wife of Francesco del Giocondo. The portrait is on permanent display at the Louvre in Paris and it is one of the few works that is certain to be by Leonardo himself. It is probably one of the most famous works of art in the world, the painting receives around 20,000 visitors a day.
The smile of the Mona Lisa is pretty much the trademark of the painting such as the ermine (actually a white ferret) that is for that other famous painting by Leonardo The lady with the ermine, the portrait of Cecilia Gallerani. One could just as easily have called the painting The lady with the smile, and that is reflected in the Italian name, because La Gioconda actually means the happy, the happy. Leonardo turns this idea of being happy, of being happy into the central theme of his painting, even though it is not an exuberant cheerfulness, the lady seems satisfied and happy. Dozens of theories about the smile are posited, one more extravagant than the other. It goes from the smile of a happy pregnant woman to the symptom of the most diverse diseases. A software that would recognize emotions based on the facial expression recognized 83% happiness in it.
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