Take a Tour Through the Most Famous Paintings of the World

Famous Paintings of the World
As John Keats put it perfectly, a thing of beauty is a joy forever. We provide you a tour of the most beautiful and famous paintings of the world, through this article.
ArtHearty Staff
Last Updated: Jan 13, 2018
The World's Most Expensive Painting
Qatar's royal family bought the 'Card Players', painted by post-impressionist artist Paul Cézanne, for USD 250 million, making it the most expensive painting in the world.
I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.
- Vincent van Gogh
A painting is the inner world of an artist, finding expression on a canvas. It is the soul and the passion within, finding utterance. What a painting offers is an immortalized experience, of something that was deeply felt by the painter himself, that he shared through his brushstrokes on a canvas, to preserve it forever.

Every painting, is an invitation to delve into the imaginative world of an artist, in search of beauty and truth. Standing in front of one, painted by the masters, you cannot help but feel moved and immensely awed by the profundity of expression. As an art, painting is perhaps one of the oldest ones developed by man. Prehistoric cave paintings are testimony to man's primordial urge to express himself through colors.

Only a person who has ever tried his luck with a brush can appreciate the wizardry of these master painters. When you think of the greats, some of the prominent names that come to mind are Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, Monet, Salvador Dali, Goya, Vincent van Gogh, and many more masters of visual expression. Here is a short introduction to some of the paintings that the world has adored and universally appreciated as the greatest works of art.
Most Famous Paintings
Mona Lisa or La Gioconda by Leonardo da Vinci
Mona Lisa
Mona lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, on a stamp
The painting that needs no introduction, Mona Lisa is the best known work of the polymath, Leonard Da Vinci, widely recognized as the quintessential renaissance man and one of the most diversely talented geniuses to have ever lived. Believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506 and continuedly worked upon till 1517, it is now known to be the portrait of Lisa del Giocondo, commissioned by her husband. Her beauty, serenity, and the enigmatic smile were subtly captured by Leonardo, which are part of the timeless appeal of the painting. Currently, the painting is located at the Louvre (or Musée du Louvre) in Paris, France.
The Last Supper (L'Ultima Cena) by Leonardo Da Vinci
The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci
This mural painting is another immortal work of the legendary renaissance man, depicting the last supper of Jesus with his 12 disciples, where he prophesied that one of them would betray him. The dismay of the disciples and the sadness felt by the messiah, is captured by Leonardo in this mural, located in the dining hall of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Milan. The detailing in the mural is breathtaking, as the great artist has told an elaborate story, through this work of art.
The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo
Creation of Adam by Michelangelo
This is one of the most celebrate frescoes painted by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, in Vatican city, between 1508 and 1512. It depicts the creation of the first man, Adam, according to the Book of Genesis. The imagery of the almost touching fingers of God and man, transmitting the spark of life, has attained cult status, making it one of the most copied and parodied paintings of all time. It projects man as a being, created in the image of God and is one of the most creative representations of Biblical beliefs.
The Birth of Venus
Birth of Venus
Birth of Venus (Closeup)
Painted by Sandro Botticelli, in 1486, this work is known for its naturalism and was pathbreaking in its time. Commissioned by the Medici family of Florence, it depicts the birth of Goddess Venus, according to Greek mythology. Venus is painted by Botticelli, as a fully-grown woman at birth, arriving on the seashore.
Guernica by Pablo Picasso
Picasso guernica depiction
Guernica on a stamp
One of the most iconic works of modern art, that made a political statement, Guernica, painted by Pablo Picasso in 1937, depicts the horrors of the Spanish Civil war. It specifically depicts the bombing of a village of the same name, in Basque Country, by Italian and German aircraft. The agony and raw aggression of war has been depicted through its symbolism. The painting brought the grave injustice and destruction inflicted during the war, to the world's attention. Protest, chaos, destruction, death, and defeat are the prime themes, symbolized by the painting.
Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh
Sunflowers Stamp
Sunflowers by Van Gogh, on a stamp
Painted in 1888, this is one, among the more than 2,100 artworks by the Dutch painter. It is one of the many sunflower paintings by the artist. The bright yellow and brown shades woven together, create a beautiful vision of the frailty of the flower, still shining in beauty, not succumbing to the ravages of time and decay that have already set in. The melancholy beauty of the flowers has been expertly captured by the deeply passionate artist. This painting is currently displayed at the National Gallery, London. It is now known that Van Gogh dedicated this work to the artist Paul Gauguin, with whom he worked during these years.
List of Famous Paintings
Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
The Dream by Pablo Picasso
Corner of the Garden at Montgeron by Claude Monet
Woman III by Willem de Kooning
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt
The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí
The Potato Eaters by Vincent van Gogh
No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock
The Last Judgment by Michelangelo
Garcon a la Pipe by Pablo Picasso
Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur by Pablo Picasso
Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier by Paul Cézanne
Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens
American Gothic by Grant Wood
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer
The Three Graces by Raphael
The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt
Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre Auguste Renoir
The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso
Philosopher in Meditation by Rembrandt
Water Lilies by Claude Monet
Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn
The Scream by Edvard Munch
The Card Players by Paul Cézanne
Le Rêve by Pablo Picasso
Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh
Three Studies of Lucian Freud by Francis Bacon
Bal du moulin de la Galette by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Flag by Jasper Johns
Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe by Vincent van Gogh
To truly appreciate the enigmatic smile of Mona Lisa, you have to visit the Louvre once in your lifetime. Visiting the Sistine Chapel and looking at the ceiling would be equally mesmerizing. I am sure that these great paintings will make you pick up a brush and try your hand at this unique form of expression or at least make you visit your local gallery, to appreciate this visual art form.