Most Memorable Art In History | Top Paintings That Changed The World
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Most Memorable Art In History | Top Paintings That Changed The World

December 11, 2021 Share

They Have Been Analysed, Reproduced, Referenced, Interpreted And Commercialised More Often Then Perhaps Any Other Work Of Art  – But Why? 

  • Mona Lisa
  • The Starry Night
  • The Scream
  • The Persistence of Memory
  • The Birth of Venus 

Every year, billions of dollars worth of memorable art pass through international auction houses, while leading museums each hold tens of thousands of artworks in their collections. 

Whether on the walls of a cave, the tombs of great kings, a canvas, or the walls of a building, the human desire to put ink to paper has left the world with some of the most beautiful masterpieces.  

But precious few ever achieve the fame required to truly be considered household names. What is it about these paintings that will forever be engrained within our minds?

The Most Memorable Mona Lisa

Most memorable
PUBLIC DOMAIN – Da Vinci

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci

Estimated date: 1503 to 1519

Where to see it: Louvre Museum (Paris)

It should come as no surprise that the most famous painting in the world is that mysterious woman with an enigmatic smile. Leonardo da Vinci was a true Renaissance man who mastered oil painting like no other.

The Mona Lisa is arguably one of the most memorable and talked about pieces ever. At the Louvre museum, his painting attracts more than six million people each year to gaze upon the woman who is thought to be Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Florence merchant Francesco del Giocondo – but experts aren’t sure. 

She is a pure mystery.

The painting is the earliest known Italian portrait to focus so closely on the sitter in a half-length portrait, according to the Louvre, where it was first installed in 1804.

The Starry Night

Most memorable
Vincent Van Gogh

Artist: Vincent Van Gogh

Estimated date: 1889

Where to see it: Museum of Modern Art (New York City)

We all know Vincent Van Gogh as the fruit-loop who lived his later years in France and the artist who ended up hacking off his own ear. But he produced some spectacular works and became extremely successful after death. 

His painting The Starry Night is one of the most popular images in modern culture. The painting’s striking blues and yellows and the dreamy, swirling atmosphere have intrigued art lovers for decades.

This is because it was classed as his signature style, one of many. During his time in a mental asylum in Saint-Rémy, France, he was inspired by the view from the window of his room.

The Memorable Art Piece Called The Scream

Most memorable
Detail of The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893. Photograph: Granger Historical Picture Archive/Alamy Stock Photo.

Artist: Edvard Munch

Date: 1893

Where to see it: National Museum (Oslo, Norway)

This painting of The Scream is one of the most iconic pieces of art in history. It was actually part of an epic series known as The Frieze of Life. But The Scream was signalled out to be the most powerful composition of the time.

The figure in the forefront of the Art Nouveau-style painting isn’t producing the scream but rather is trying to block out a piercing shriek coming from nature. It is also been completely stripped of its identity and dehumanised – something new to the 1800s. 

It was inspired by an actual experience Munch had while taking a sunset stroll in Oslo when a dramatic red hue overwhelmed his senses.

The Persistence Of Memory – A Memorable Art Moment

Most memorable
 Salvador Dali

Artist: Salvador Dali

Estimated date: 1931

Where to see it: Museum of Modern Art (New York)

With a crazy moustache and an imagination to match, Dali’s creativity far surpassed the norm. 

Even though he was expelled from the Surrealist movement in 1934, his work will always be remembered for taking the viewer into his bizarre, dark and unreal conscious. 

The painting Persistence of Memory, which features melting clocks is still one of the most recognised surrealist examples to date. It is highly memorable as it depicts imagery more likely to be found in dreams than in waking consciousness – a topic we all love to share.

This painting made Dali world-famous when he was 28-years-old and is one of Dali’s biggest triumphs. 

The Memorable Art Of The Birth Of Venus

Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus

Artist: Sandro Botticelli

Estimated date: 1482

Where to see it: Uffizi Gallery (Florence, Italy)

One of the most iconic paintings in art history and an image that has imprinted itself into popular culture is The Birth of Venus.

Venus was the Roman equivalent of Aphrodite, the Greek love goddess connected with love, beauty and fertility. She was not only the goddess of sexual love but also of the affection that sustains social life. 

The story of her birth has a very interesting back-story but in a nutshell, Aphrodite was said to have been born from the foam of the sea; she rose from the waves on a seashell, stepping ashore on Cyprus. 

In the painting at her side, the west wind, Zephyrus and Flora, the spring, blow her gently shore in a shower of roses, her sacred flower. 

Her birth has been a famous topic among art creatives and enthusiasts for years. 

This is because it practically embodies the rebirth of civilization, a new hope, geopolitical, social and cultural shift that occurred after the Middle Age turmoil.

SEE MORE: What Were The Highest-Selling Pieces At This Year’s Art Basel?