There is something really special about the works of art. They have something of the spirit of the era they were made in, but also hold a sense of atemporality to them like they’re real in any epoch, they belong to the whole of humanity. There’s almost a certain kind of mysticism to them, in the sense that a few strokes of colours, a little play with textures can evoke deep emotions in every human being, no matter how uninterested in art he is
Real art plays with love, anger, sadness, joy, anguish, euphoria, deep feelings that are dormant and often come to life in every one of us. Another reason why you should look upon art more often is that you don’t need to make much of an effort. You already travel to Paris to see the city of love, take pictures in front of the Arc of Triumph and go shopping on the famous Parisian boulevards; why not pay a visit to the numerous art museums hiding some of the most important products of the human spirit. I remember I read this once: “art has two constants, two unending concerns: It always meditates on death and thus always creates life.
Art has always existed; from the beginning of man’s journey and story on Earth to our very present days, art has always played an essential part of life. From the bulls, bisons and horses painted on cave walls to the Renaissance period and the modern 21st Century, art has always been part of our lives and will be until the demise of man. So, let’s revel in the beauty of these 22 famous works of art. Look upon them with your own eyes and let them get to your soul!
1. Autumn Rhythm by Jackson Pollock (1950)
This was Pollock’s way of creating energy and power by simply laying a canvas on the ground and dripping paint across it. You can look upon it with your own eyes at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. This is the first piece of action art.
2. The Kiss by Gustav Klimt (1907-1908)
All of Klimt’s creations are marked by gold decorations of leaves and platinum; this is why his creations are rich and a real visual feast. This tender and passionate kiss between two lovers is one of the most iconic paintings in the world and it is currently held at the Austrian Gallery Belvedere.
3. Slave Labour by Bansky
Banksy, the anonymous street artist has one hidden gem. Actually, it’s not that hidden, you can admire it yourself on the sidewall of Poundland store in Wood Green, London. War, peace, politics, social issues are the themes Banksy is mostly known for.
4. Venus de Milo by Alexandros of Antioch (approx. 150 B.C.)
Nobody knows for sure, but the famous Venus de Milo might have been carved out of marble somewhere around 150 B.C. by Alexandros of Antioch. The sculpture was discovered in 1820 on the Aegean island of Melos. Louis XVIII was the first possessor of this beauty and now it is displayed at the Louvre in Paris.
5. View of Delft by Johannes Vermeer (1661)
The Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer surprised the world of art in 1661 when he decided to paint his hometown, as it was very uncommon for artists those days to paint cityscapes. The painting is currently displayed at the Dutch Royal Cabinet of Paintings, Mauritshuis, Hague.
6. Inspiration of St Matthew by Michelangelo Caravaggio (1602)
This piece of work was commissioned by the French Cardinal Matteo Contarellito to be part of the Contarelli Chapel artwork. Michelangelo came up with this: a floating angel giving St Matthew divine inspiration. You can still look upon this work of art with your own eyes, in the church of the French congregation San Luigi de Francesi in Rome, Italy.
7. Water Lilies by Oscar-Claude Monet
There are about 250 paintings in Monet’s Water Lilies series. The French painter is the founder of French Impressionism and his inspiration for these Water Lilies came from a pond near his home in Giverny, France
8. David by Michelangelo
This is one of the most famous works of art in the world. It is 17 feet tall and it symbolizes strength youth and beauty. The original piece is in the Academia Gallery of Florence, Italy, while a second copy is located in Piazza Della Signoria.
9. The Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci
This is Ludovico Sforza’s wife who, having found out about his her husband’s relationship with Cecilia Gallerani, banished her from Porta Giovia immediately. The ermine in the painting symbolizes purity. You can look upon this painting with your own eyes at the National Museum of Krakow, Poland.
10. Pieta by Michelangelo
This sculpture is the first in a series commissioned by the French Cardinal Jean de Bilheres. It depicts Mother Mary holding her son, Jesus, in her arms. You can look upon this specific work of art at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
11. Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix (1830)
One of the most famous French Romantic paintings, you can look upon this work of art at the Louvre Museum. This is one of the most powerful symbols of France and revolution.
12. Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte
One beautiful painting which depicts what a photograph would look like by displaying people scattered all around the Paris street, one pair in focus and one man only half in the painting. The artist is known for depicting Paris as a modern city with residents of different social classes which are very carefully presented. This precise painting can be found at the Art Institute of Chicago.
13. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by George Seurat (1884)
This painting is made of millions of tiny dots in rich colours, which come together to create this 6’10” x 10’1” powerful image of fashionist Parisians enjoying a lovely Sunday. You can observe every dot of this painting at the Art Institute of Chicago.
14. The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali (1931)
The Spanish Surrealist painter is one of the most famous artists of the last century and this is one of the most famous works of arts of the last century. The passage of time is curiously symbolized through melted watches in Salvador Dali’s imaginary. You can meditate more on the subject of time while looking at this painting at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
15. The Night Watch by Rembrandt (1642)
Before Game of Thrones made us believe the only Night Watch was that on the wall, Rembrandt van Rijn created this magnificent 11’11” x 14’4” painting depicting a group of militiamen being led by Frans Banninck Cocq. You can admire this famous baroque painting at the museum, in Amsterdam.
16. The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli (1480s)
The goddess Venus arrives on the shore and comes out of a pearl, fully-grown in Botticelli’s oil painting, a landmark of the 15th-century Italian artwork. You will find it at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
17. Guernica by Picasso (1937)
Black, blue and white are the main colours Picasso used to finish this marvellous piece of art which covers a full wall at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid. One of the most impressing anti-war works of art in the world was finished in just three months by the genius Picasso.
18. Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci (1503)
One of the most famous works of art in the history of mankind, if not the most famous, Leonardo’s Mona Lisa can be seen at the Louvre, Paris. Her smile is legendary and the mystery surrounding this painting bring thousands of people to see if every day.
19. The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci
There is a lot of beauty and mystery surrounding this painting. A lot of people have examined it believing they could find some hidden messages. This mural painting is part of the Covent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.
20. The Scream by Edvard Munch (1893)
A man holding his ears while screaming is a staple of modern art and it can have many meanings for the modern man of today. This might represent the artist’s soul and his many troubles and you can have a glimpse of them at the Munch Museum in Oslo.
21. The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (1889)
The most famous post-impressionist painting has created over 2,100 works of art during his rather short and troubled life. The Starry Night is one of his most famous and it was painted from his asylum room at the Saint-Remy-de-Provence just around sunrise. You can admire the painting at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
22. The Sistine Chapel Ceiling by Michelangelo (approx. 1508-1512)
This breathtaking Renaissance masterpiece is about 131 feet long and 43 feet wide. About five million people look upon this piece of art every year. Do you plan to be one of them?