Paintings are considered to be the bearer of artistry linguistics from one generation to another. For ages, competence in fine arts by various local artists around the world used to acknowledge the ways of the society in their time. They were sometimes based on the artist’s dreams or their outlook of the civilization around him. Western culture has gifted the world some of the most appreciated pieces of art. Here, we are going to list five and talk about them. So, let’s get started right away…
1. The Mona Lisa
This one tops almost every possible list of world-famous paintings. The Italian conventional masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance was done by Leonardo da Vinci somewhat in the period between 1503 and 1519 and is considered to be the most renowned painting ever.
The painting is an illustration of the wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo. It is believed that da Vinci kept the painting and started a long romance with Mona Lisa that lasted over 20 years. The Mona Lisa’s fame is the result of many circumstances combined with the painting’s lively appeal.
Researchers using three-dimensional technology to study the Mona Lisa say that the woman depicted in Leonardo da Vinci’s 16th-century masterpiece was either pregnant or had recently given birth when she sat for the painting.
Another theory stated that it was just a portrait of da Vinci’s mother or maybe just a random portrait. The mystery remained in haze. This mysterious woman in the portrait has subsequently become the subject of many songs and film titles. Leonard kept the portrait with him during his travels and his staying at different homes.
It is said that when da Vinci painted her, it did have eyebrows but over time and due to repeated cleaning, they have eroded to the point that they are almost invisible. Though burglary attempts were made before, the painting is safely kept in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
2. The Last Supper
Another da Vinci’s magnificent artwork. The estimated date of this painting lies between 1495 and 1498. Here, we can see a long table with 13 characters. The painting depicts Jesus Christ‘s last meal with his disciples before he was captured and crucified.
da Vinci made a terrific attempt to capture the anxious instant when Christ tells everyone about a possible betrayal and everyone’s desperate desire to know who it will be. The air becomes full of speculation, rage, and fretting conversations.
There is also a tint of controversy regarding the person sitting to the right of Jesus in the painting. Some have identified the person wearing a blue robe to be not as John the Apostle, who was thought of initially, but a woman often claimed to be Mary Magdalene.
The painting had to withstand several blows due to some burglary attempts, the humidity, and the bombings during the two World Wars. “The da Vinci Code” is a fictional story of a conspiracy committed by the Catholic Church ongoing for 2,000 years to hide the truth about Christ.
The painting is now preserved in a specialized environment using the fresco technique and is located at Santa Maria Delle Grazie, Milan, Italy to help reduce further deterioration. Tourists are only allowed through reservation and are allowed inside for 15 minutes only.
3. The Starry Night
Nothing less than an absolutely stunning specimen of art by Van Gogh. The painting depicts a tranquil night on an average evening.
It depicts the scenery from his window he saw from his room as well as what he saw when he walked in the countryside during his stay at the asylum of Saint-Remy, France, where he was being treated for his mental illness in 1889. Starry Night uses a strong color palette, with great vivacity created by the strokes of his brush.
The dark spires in the foreground are cypress trees, these plants are most often associated with cemeteries and death. This connection gives a special significance to this van Gogh quote, “Looking at the stars always makes me dream“.
It is recorded in one of Van Gogh’s letters to Theo his brother, that he saw the country from his window prior to dawn and observed a large looking star. The ambiance in the painting evokes some rather strong emotions within the viewer.
This painting has influenced generations of artists, making Van Gogh one of the most well-known and influential painters in Western art. It has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City since 1941, taken in possession through Lillie P. Bliss Bequest, who was an American art collector and patron.
4. The Scream
The creation of the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, The Scream is considered the most iconic and stellar human figure in Western art. Painted with curvy swirls of the brush in red, blue, and yellow shades, the painting illustrates a character who has recently walked along the bridge that extends from the left of the painting to the foreground. His face, full of agony was inspired by ‘a gust of melancholy,’ as the painter himself declared in his diary.
It is believed that the idea of it came from an instant of overwhelming anxiety he experienced while out for a walk with his friends one evening. It’s because of this, coupled with the artist’s personal life trauma, that the painting takes on a feeling of alienation. The Scream represents a key work for the Symbolist movement as well as an important inspiration for the Expressionist movement in the early twentieth century.
It was stolen two times and was recovered almost three months after it was stolen from a museum in Oslo. The fragile painting was recovered undamaged at a hotel in Asgardstrand, about 40 miles south of Oslo, police said.
The Scream also broke the record for being the most expensive painting when it was sold at an auction for approx. $120 million in 2012.
5. The Whistler’s Mother
An awesome fact is that on some random day in 1871, when the person who was to be modeling for the painting by the American-born painter James McNeill Whistler, failed to show up on time, led Whistler to ask his mother Anna McNeill Whistler to rather pose as the model and boom, it created a sensational piece of art. Whistler’s Mother was a nickname given by the public.
Originally it was called Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1, painted using oil shades on a canvas. Its golden hue reflects the modest gold wedding band on his mother’s finger. The portrait was meant to demonstrate Whistler’s recent focus on tonal harmonies over the subject matter.
The painter later told once that- “Now that is what it is. To me it is interesting as a picture of my mother; but what can or ought the public to care about the identity of the portrait?”
The painting was not well-received by the delegates when he submitted it to the Royal Academy of Art in London for exhibition, but later when the general public intervened by showing respect and defending it, the painting quickly restored Whistler’s honor. In financial terms, Whistler’s Mother is worth at least £30 million.
Artistically, it is beyond value. In 1891, the prestigious Parisian Museum Musée du Luxembourg purchased the work. In 1922, the painting moved from Luxembourg to the Louvre. Sixty-four years later, the popular portrait settled in the Musée d’Orsay, which is still its permanent home.