When we look at art, it should be something that evokes some meaning or emotion in us. Many of the world’s great artists have created works of art that evoke in us powerful emotions.
Throughout the world, artists have given us many emotional paintings. Whether it was their own emotions, they were feeling as in The Scream by Edvard Munch or through a Biblical story as The Prodigal Son By Rembrandt.
Anita Louise Art has chosen what we feel are ten of the most influential and emotionally charged paintings ever produced.
Our Top 10 Emotionally Powerful Paintings
Our top ten emotionally powerful paintings come from all eras of art and various artists. Many of these paintings are considered masterpieces because they are so emotionally powerful.
The Scream, By Edvard Munch, 1910
The Scream by Edvard Munch is perhaps one of the most emotionally charged iconic paintings ever created. Munch was known to create several versions of the painting, but the most famous one is his 1910 version.
Munch used vibrant, dreamlike colors in the background and placed a figure in the center, obviously in angst. The painting depicts how many of us can feel anxiety and fear of just being human.
The Starry Night, by Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most important paintings by the Post-Impressionist painter Van Gogh. Van Gogh painted this painting of his nighttime view from the Saint Remy de Provence asylum he was for treatment for mental illness.
The Starry Night is one of the most recognized paintings in the world. The way Van Gogh executed the subject matter in The Starry Night with the night sky takes on an emotional feeling. The night sky is rolling with blue swirls against a yellow moon and the stars.
To discover more about The Starry Night, you can read our blog How Much Is Van Gogh’s Starry Night Worth, And Other Facts by clicking here.
The Kiss, By Gustav Klimt, 1907-08
The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is a painting of a man and woman locked in an embrace. The two figures are fused as almost one single person.
This work is fascinating because Klimt painted oil on the canvas but also added gold leaf, silver, and platinum to the painting. Klimt was known to paint many emotionally charged paintings of love, intimacy, and sexuality, but perhaps no painting of his evokes these emotions like The Kiss.
Girl With A Pearl Earring, by Johannes Vermeer, 1665
Girl With A Pearl Earring was painted by the dutch golden age painter Johannes Vermeer in 1665. The painting depicts a girl wearing an oriental turban and an exotic dress; she appears to have some huge pearl earrings.
The painting of the Girl With A Pearl Earrings has evoked so much emotion over the years that it has inspired poems, movies, and even other paintings by other artists.
Black Iris III, By Georgia O’Keeffe, 1926
Georgia O’Keeffe is famous for her close-up of large, sensual flowers. She painted them as if we were looking through a magnifying glass.
One of her most popular series was her Black Iris series, specifically Black Iris III. Many consider this to represent a woman’s vagina, even though Keeffe stated it was just a close-up of a flower.
This painting makes it on the list as it evokes so many different emotions for so many different people. Some people see the implication of a woman’s vagina, and others a close-up of a flower.
The Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci, 1503 – 1506
The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci continues to be the most viewed painting in the world. It has been described as the most viewed, written, and sung about painting in the world. Many visitors will visit the Louvre Museum in Paris to catch a glimpse of this iconic artwork.
We do not know who is the Mona Lisa in the painting, but we know that Leonardo da Vinci spent many years working on the painting and perfecting the famous Mona Lisa smile.
If you want to learn more about the Mona Lisa, you can read our blog, Mona Lisa Painting And The Paris Louvre Museum, by clicking here.
Return of the Prodigal Son, by Rembrandt, 1669
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt in 1669 was one of Rembrandt’s final works of art. The painting shows the moment from the Bible parable when the prodigal son returns home to beg forgiveness from his father.
When can see the son kneeling before his father in poverty and a wretched state as he has spent years wasting his inheritance, life, and his money. The son realized that even his father’s servants had a much better life than he had.
Rembrandt gives us a thought-provoking and emotional charge painting that shows how powerful forgiveness can be.
Guernica, by Pablo Picasso, 1937
Guernica by Pablo Picasso is one of his more important and well-known works of art. It is a large oil on canvas produced in black and white.
Guernica is considered one of the most potent anti-war paintings ever produced. The painting portrays the suffering, violence, and chaos of war. The painting was based on the 26 April 1937 bombing of Guernica, Spain, where many people died from this act of war.
To discover more about Pablo Picasso, you can read Differences Between Leonardo da Vinci And Pablo Picasso by clicking here.
Judith Slaying Holofernes, by Artemisia Gentileschi 1614 to 1618
Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi is sometimes called ”Judith Decapitating Holofernes.” Gentileschi expertly shows us the act of these two women slaying General Holofernes.
Judith was a well-known widow in Bethulia, where her city was at war with the Assyrian army and was close to surrendering. She pretended to be on General Holofernes’s side of the battle to gain access to him so she could kill him and save her people and city from ruin.
The Broken Column, by Frida Kahlo
The Broken Column by Frida Kahlo is not her best-known painting, but it is one of the most thought-provoking. Due to a road accident Frida Kahlo had when she was young, she suffered pain her entire life.
Frida Kahlos’ art focused on her pain and suffering, and this painting with the metal corset symbolizes her pain and the physical and social restrictions she had in her life and living. She painted herself alone on a cracked and barren landscape also shows her feeling of being emotionally isolated.
You can discover more about Frida Kahlo by reading Who Was the Mexican Artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)? by clicking here.
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Why Do People Say, ”Life Is Like Drawing Without An Eraser?
Many times, artists, myself included, will use an eraser to remove any marks or measurements we may have made on a paper to measure out and organize their drawings or artwork on their canvas or paper. For most artists having a good eraser is essential.
By clicking here, you can learn more by reading Why Do People Say, ”Life Is Like Drawing Without An Eraser?.
Is Communism Good For The Arts?
Communism is not suitable for art and for many artists under Communism the art should have a purpose and way to help further the communist ideals and ideology. In a Communist society, many artists are labeled as dissidents; others are forced to use their talents to create propaganda art.
12 Years Leonardo Painted Mona Lisa’s Lips, Facts Or Fiction?
There is no evidence to show that Leonardo da Vinci spent 12 years painting the Mona Lisa smile. Most scholars believe that he painted the painting in 4 years but then had the painting much longer in his possession. He could have worked on it a bit or adjusted it when he had it in his possession, but there is no evidence to show that.
By clicking here, you can learn more by reading 12 Years Leonardo Painted Mona Lisa’s Lips, Facts Or Fiction?.