Art is one of the most subjective things in the world; what one person loves, another person may hate. To look at what we consider to be the most beautiful pieces of art in the world, we also look at the most famous paintings.
Notable artists paint so many beautiful pieces of art. We have listed out the fifteen of the most beautiful and exciting works of art ever created. From artists like Leonardo in the Renaissance era to Vincent Van Gogh, we are all blessed to be able to surround ourselves with beautifully executed artistic masterpieces.
15 Of The Most Beautiful Pieces of Art in the World
Each year billions of dollars worth of art will pass through many of the world’s international auction houses. Some of this art will end up in a museum for everyone to enjoy, and others will end up in the hands of private collectors.
Of all the billions of art sold, auctioned, and produced each year, it is hard to know what art is considered the most beautiful To look at this, we will look at the most famous works of art globally.
All these famous works of art on our list deserve to be there. They are beautiful works of art, but they are also all very famous.
The Fifteen Of The Most Beautiful and Popular Pieces Of Art Ever Created
1 – Mona Lisa, By Leonardo da Vinci
The Mona Lisa Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Estimated date of painting: 1503 to 1519 (no one is sure)
Where to view The Mona Lisa: Louvre Museum (Paris, France)
The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci comes in as number one as the most beautiful and most famous painting worldwide; there is something so magical about Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile.
The Mona Lisa is thought to be a painting of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of the influential Florence merchant Francesco del Giocondo; the truth is no one is sure who the model is for the Mona Lisa painting. The mystery of who the Mona Lisa is, adds to the allure of this beautiful and famous painting.
At one time, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre Museum and hidden in Italy for about two years. The culprit was caught. You can learn about this fascinating art robbery by reading our blog about Mona Lisa Painting And The Paris Louvre Museum by clicking here.
2. The Last Supper, By Leonardo da Vinci
The Last Supper Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Estimated date of painting: 1495 to 1498
Where to view The Last Supper: Santa Maria delle Grazie (Milan, Italy)
Leonardo da Vinci is the only artist to have two of the world’s most beautiful and famous paintings credited to him. The Last Supper also shows what an incredible artist Leonardo da Vinci was.
The Last Supper depicts the last time Jesus broke bread with his apostles. Leonardo painted it at the exact moment when Christ told his apostles that someone would betray him.
Since Leonardo studied human behavior, so he painted how he saw each of Christ’s apostles reacting to the news of His betrayal. To learn more about The Last Supper painting, you can read our blog about What Inspired Leonardo da Vinci To Paint The Last Supper? by clicking here.
The Last Supper is a vast fresco painting that is 4.6 meters (15 feet) high and 8.8 meters (28.9 feet) wide, ensuring a memorable viewing for all that view it.
The fresco has also survived two wartime threats. Once when Napoleon’s troops used the refectory wall where the fresco was painted as target practice, and later during World War II when the roof was blown off the Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.
3. The Starry Night – Vincent Van Gogh
The Starry Night Artist: Vincent van Gogh
Date of painting: 1889
Where to view The Starry Night painting: Museum of Modern Art (New York City)
The Starry Night is a widely famous and beautiful painting. It is an abstract painting that uses Van Gogh’s signature thick brushstrokes.
The painting used striking blues, yellows, and a dreamy, swirling atmosphere. The colors and technique continue to inspire and intrigue art lovers and artists alike.
You can learn more about How Much Is Van Gogh’s Starry Night Worth, And Other Facts by clicking here.
What is unique about this painting is that Vincent Van Gogh lived in an asylum in Saint Remy, France, where he was being treated for mental illness when he painted Starry Night. He would memorize the view from his window at night and then create this painting from memory during the daytime.
4. The Scream by Edvard Munch
The Scream Artist: Edvard Munch
Date of painting: 1893
Where to view The Scream painting: National Museum (Oslo, Norway)
The Scream by Edvard Munch is a beautiful and famous painting. The painting is so popular it even has its own emoji.
The figure in the painting is not producing the scream but is trying to block out the shriek or noise coming from nature. Munch painted The Scream from some actual experiences of taking a sunset stroll in Oslo, where his senses were overwhelmed by the deep red hue colors he was seeing.
The Scream is such a powerful painting as it is filled with emotion, the emotion that Edvard Munch felt himself as we walked the streets of Olso, Norway.
5. Guernica by Pablo Picasso
Guernica Artist: Pablo Picasso
Date of painting: 1937
Where to view the Guernica: Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid, Spain)
Guernica is a powerful yet intriguing beautiful black and white oil painting beautifully executed by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. Picasso painted the painting in 1937 following the German bombing of the Guernica, a city located in Spain’s Basque region.
Guernica has the unique Picasso style of using art beautifully and uniquely while also using art to tell a story that includes elements of protest and propaganda.
During World War II, Picasso loaned the painting to the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York City, where it remained until 1981 until it was returned to its native Spain.
6. The Kiss – Gustav Klimt
The Kiss Artist: Gustav Klimt
Estimated date of painting: 1907 to 1908
Where to view the Kiss: Upper Belvedere Museum (Vienna, Austria)
The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is a beautifully mastered statement about love. In this painting, Klimt makes a general statement that love is at the heart of all human existence.
This painting is beautifully executed, but it also has a broad magnetic and mass appeal. The painting shows a couple embracing each other as their bodies are intertwined using elaborate robes.
You can read our blog about Who Was Gustav Klimt Inspired By? by clicking here.
The painting is an oil painting, but adding to the beauty of the painting, Klimt added gold leafing, silver, and platinum to the painting.
7. Girl With A Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer
Girl With A Pearl Earring Artist: Johannes Vermeer
Estimated date of painting: 1665
Where to view The Girl With Pearl Earrings: Mauritshuis (The Hague, Netherlands)
The Girl With A Pearl Earring is a beautiful painting of a girl wearing a blue and gold turban with oversized pearl earrings. The painting is beautifully executed and rightfully deserves its place as one of the most beautiful paintings in the world.
The A Girl With A Pearl Earring Painting often gets compared with Leonardo’s Mona Lisa; both paintings have an intriguing quality as both subject matters are not quite smiling at us.
8. The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli
The Birth of Venus Artist: Sandro Botticelli
Estimated date of painting: 1485
Where to view The Birth of Venus: Le Gallerie Degli Uffizi (Florence, Italy)
The Birth of Venus is a beautifully executed painting by Sandro Botticelli. The wealthy art-loving Medici family probably commissioned the painting in Florence, Italy.
In his painting, Botticelli focused on the Goddess of love. The theme of love makes this an essential and significant work of art.
9. Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez
Las Meninas Artist: Diego Velázquez
Date of painting: 1656
Where to view Las Meninas: Museo del Prado (Madrid, Spain)
Las Meninas is a beautifully complex work of art by the Spanish artist Diego Velazquez. The work was commissioned by King Philip IV of Spain, who ruled Spain from 1621 to 1665. This painting was housed in the Royal Palace of Spain until 1819.
The Las Meninas work of art is very complex, and the complexity of the work has fascinated art critics and the public for centuries. Hidden in the painting is also a self-portrait of Diego Velaquez.
10. The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo
The Creation of Adam Artist: Michelangelo
Date of painting: 1508 to 1512
Where to view The Creation of Adam: Sistine Chapel (Vatican City)
The Creation of Adam is a magnificent work by Michelangelo a renowned Renaissance artist. The Creation of Adam covers part of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
The famous painting depicts God and Adam with outstretched arms and their fingers almost touching. Michelangelo masterfully created this, so it continues to be one of the most replicated images.
You can learn more about Michelangelo by reading our blog about Michelangelo’s Method To Paint The Sistine Chapel Ceiling by clicking here.
One of the things that make this work such a masterpiece and so beautiful is the way Michelangelo was able to masterfully depict the muscles and form of Adam and God while at the same time showing a kind of intimacy, as their fingers almost touching but not quite.
11. American Gothic by Grant Wood
The American Gothic Artist – Grant Wood
Date of painting:
Where to view The American Gothic – The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Il.
Perhaps no other American painting so eloquently and beautifully symbolizes the American midwest than the American Gothic by Grant Wood. A man and woman stand outside their house with a Gothic window at the very top of the home.
Though many have considered this painting satirical commentary about the American midwest, Grant Wood wanted to show the world positive and beautiful imagery of the midwestern United States. Grant Wood beautifully executed this painting to show us the beauty of good midwestern American values.
You can read more about the American Gothic painting by reading Why The Painting American Gothic Is Called That? by clicking here.
12. Water Lilies Series by Claude Monet
Water Lilies Series Artist – Claude Monet
Date of painting: Late 1800s to 1927
Where to view Water Lilies Series – Museums and collectors around the world.
Water Lilies is a series of about 250 oil paintings by the French Impressionist artist Claude Monet. The paintings are of his flower garden in his home in Giverny, France.
The water lilies became Claude Monet’s primary focus for the last thirty years of his life. What is impressive about these paintings is that many of them he painted while he suffered from cataracts.
To learn more about Claude Monet And His Art Work, you can read our blog by clicking here.
Over the years, these beautiful paintings have found their way into the collections of museums around the world.
13. The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali
The Persistence of Memory Artist – Salvador Dali
Date of painting: 1931
Where to view The Persistence of Memory – Museums of Modern Art, New York, New York
The Persistence of Memory is considered by many to be a bleak painting, but this painting has this very haunting beauty that ensures it gets a top spot as a well-known and beautiful painting. Dali brilliantly chooses colors that are rich and beautiful.
This painting has become so vital that it is often referred to in popular culture.
14. Oriental Poppies by Georgia O’Keeffe
Oriental Poppies Artist – Georgia O’Keeffe
Date of painting: 1928
Where to view Oriental Poppies – The University of Minnesota Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Georgia O’Keeffe was fascinated with flowers and painted many wonderful ones, but one masterpiece that we feel deserves to be in the top fifteen is her Oriental Poppies painting. When it was painted, it was considered a groundbreaking art masterpiece.
O’Keeffe used her trademark way of magnifying the flower to allow the viewer to appreciate the flower’s beauty with all the details of the flower. It is part of the way she handled this subject matter than continues to give this painting a timeless beauty.
To learn more about Georgia O’Keeffe, you can read our blog about Georgia O’Keeffe, The Mother of American Modernism Painting by clicking here.
15. Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird by Frida Kahlo
Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird Artist – Frida Kahlo
Date of painting: 1940
Where to view Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird – Harry Ransom Center, Austin, Texas
Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird is one of Frida Kahlo’s most iconic paintings. Frida Kahlo had this unique way of making a painting that may have pain and suffering but at the same time look hauntingly beautiful; Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird is a classic Frida Kahlo painting.
This oil on canvas was painted in 1940, but during her lifetime Frida Kahlo painted over 55 self-portraits, many of them had to do with her suffering and physical pain.
The Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird is a masterful composition that shows Kahlo’s sense of color selection and delicate brushwork, fine details, and artistic skill and ability.
If you want to discover more about Frida Kahlo, you can read our blog about Who Was the Mexican Artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)? by clicking here.
We have a free newsletter and would love you to be part of our community; you can subscribe to the newsletter by clicking here. If you have any questions, I would be happy to talk to you. You can reach me, Anita, by clicking here.
Subscribe to our Anita Louise Art YouTube Channel filled with great videos and information by clicking here.
21 Top Renaissance Artists And Their Works of Art
The Renaissance produced many great artists throughout Europe. Many of these artists have continued to inspire artists throughout the centuries. When we speak of top Renaissance artists, we think of the trinity of artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. But besides these three artists, many other influential Renaissance artists remain essential.
What Is The Importance Of Art From The Renaissance Period?
Renaissance art is essential as it was a time of rebirth and discovery. Artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael were at the forefront of that change, creation, and discovery. Renaissance art has influenced art and artists for many centuries and continues to influence artists today.
By clicking here, you can learn more by reading What Is The Importance Of Art From The Renaissance Period?.
Early Renaissance Vs. High Renaissance Art Explained
Early Renaissance and High Renaissance are both periods of the art of the Renaissance era. The entire Renaissance era shared a lot of the same characteristics. The High Renaissance was dominated by three major artists: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.
By clicking here, you can learn more by reading Early Renaissance Vs. High Renaissance Art Explained.