Painting is an old medium that has remained a consistent means of expression despite the emergence of photography, film, and digital technologies. So many paintings have been limned through dozens of millennia that only a tiny fraction of them may be considered as “timeless masterpieces” that have become recognizable to the public—and not coincidentally made by some of history’s most famous painters. Also the list below will give you an idea to choose from when you buy famous art.
1. Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci, 1503-1900
Da Vinci’s enticing portrait, painted between 1503 and 1517, has been haunted by two questions since its creation: What is the subject’s name, and why is she smiling? Several explanations have been proposed throughout the years to explain the former: That she’s the wife of Florentine trader Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo (hence the work’s other title, La Gioconda); that she’s Leonardo’s mother, Caterina, conjured from Leonardo’s early recollections of her; and that it’s a self-portrait in drag.
For generations, people have been fascinated by that famed smile’s mysterious charm. Whatever the explanation, Mona Lisa’s unnatural serenity corresponds to the idealized scenery behind her, which fades into the distance through the window.
2. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer, 1665
The 1665 study of a young lady by Johannes Vermeer is astonishingly lifelike and strikingly current, almost as if it were a photograph. This raises the question of whether Vermeer used a pre-photographic instrument known as a camera obscura to generate the picture. Aside than that, the sitter is unknown, however it has been claimed that she was Vermeer’s maid.
He depicts her glancing over her shoulder and fastening her gaze on the observer, as if striving to make an intimate relationship across generations. Girl isn’t really a portrait, but rather an example of the Dutch genre known as a tronie—a headshot intended more as a still life of facial characteristics than as an effort at portraiture.
3. The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, 1889
Van Gogh’s most famous painting, The Starry Night, was made at the institution at Saint-Rémy, where he had committed himself in 1889. Indeed, the night sky comes alive with swirls and spheres of frenetically applied brush strokes rising from the yin and yang of his own demons and wonder of nature in The Starry Night, which seems to mirror his stormy state of mind at the moment.
4. The Kiss by Gustav Klimt, 1907-1908.
The Kiss, Gustav Klimt’s fin-de-siècle depiction of intimacy, is lavishly gilded and lavishly patterned, a blend of Symbolism and Vienna Jugendstil, the Austrian form of Art Nouveau. The piece is a highlight of the artist’s Golden Phase, which lasted from 1899 to 1910 and was inspired by a 1903 visit to the Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, where he witnessed the church’s legendary Byzantine mosaics.
5. The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, 1484-1486
Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, created for Lorenzo de Medici, was the first full-length, non-religious nude painting since antiquity. The Goddess of Love is said to be patterned by Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci, whose favors were purportedly shared by Lorenzo and his younger brother, Giuliano. His crusade included the infamous 1497 “Bonfire of the Vanities,” in which “profane” things like cosmetics, artworks, and literature were destroyed.