Throughout mankind’s history, several paintings have been created on various subjects, with perhaps centuries separating them. If you value art, you will realize that paintings are more than just decorative items. These are the emotions the artist has allowed to flow from their soul and are meant to move the spectators as well. 

It’s no cakewalk to keep track of all the significant paintings of our history. Some have survived the test of time, while others are at risk of ruin or have already been destroyed. However, certain artists have undoubtedly left a lasting impression, and people will continue to remember their work for generations to come. 

Today, we’ve curated for you a list of the 10 most famous paintings in the world. We also intend to throw light on the elements or ideas that make them stand out; stick with us till the end to satiate your artistic curiosity.

The Starry Night – Vincent Van Gogh

The Starry Night - one of most famous paintings in the world.

If you are even interested in art, you are aware of Vincent Van Gogh‘s best creations. A tranquil night with a starry sky is depicted in the iconic Starry Night, which was painted in 1889. 

You would be to be dazzled by its vibrant colors and exquisite details. Your eyes will be led by the painter’s brushstrokes’ twists and turn throughout the painting. 

The painting inspires all sorts of art, including literature and music, even though the creator thought it was a failure. Furthermore, you would be left in awe if you saw it in person at the Museum of modern art in New York City.

Mona Lisa – Leonardo da Vinci

One of the most beautiful paintings we have ever seen is none other than Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (1503). La Giaconda is another name for it. It is believed to be a photo of Lisa Gherardini, Francesco Giocondo’s wife. 

The painting’s long fame is attributed to a variety of elements. The portrait of a real person is, first and foremost, incredibly lifelike. In addition, the woman’s mysterious expression has been studied over the years. She appears joyful to some people, while others are unsure about it.

The Mona Lisa’s eyes seem to follow you from every angle, thanks to the artist’s mastery of lighting and shadows. This skill from the painter is now more commonly known as the Mona Lisa Effect.

The Mona Lisa – Explained

The Last Supper – Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper is among the most well-known Renaissance masterpieces. He painted it between 1495 and 1498 for the Dominican monastery Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan. 

This mural painting successfully depicts the strong tension of a particular episode from the Gospel of St. John. Jesus informs his apostles that he knows one of them would betray him. 

The artist’s mastery of perspective is also evident in the painting’s overflow of expressions on each face present within the painting. It has long been studied in school textbooks and drawn people in because of its large scale.

The Two Fridas – Frida Kahlo

The Two Fridas by Frida Kahlo

The Two Fridas, a popular piece of art by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, first appeared in 1939. She painted this self-portrait the same year she got divorced from Diego Rivera. Two self-portraits used in the artwork gently depict her inner emotional world. 

Despite the pain she felt and expressed, she portrayed The Two Fridas portray as strong women. Since Frida is now recognized for her unyielding persona, her paintings are highly regarded today. 

Guernica – Pablo Picasso

Guernica, one of Pablo Picasso’s most spectacular oil paintings, captures the sadness caused by the war. The 1937 painting depicts the repercussions of Hitler‘s German air force’s careless bombing of Spain during the Civil War. The setting of the artwork is the Basque town of Guernica. 

The spectators of Guernica often find themselves moved by how beautifully and cruelly it portrays the horrors of war and the suffering it brings to defenseless citizens. Besides being placed among the most famous paintings in the world, it has also become one of history’s most recognizable anti-war emblems.

The Creation of Adam – Michelangelo

The Creation of Adam - one of most famous paintings in the world.

The Italian artist and poet of the High Renaissance created The Creation of Adam as a fresco painting (a type of mural painting). It was painted somewhere between 1508 and 1512. The Sistine Chapel ceiling includes this artwork, and the chapel itself is covered in a wealth of frescoes. 

It illustrates the verse in Genesis that describes how God created Adam and gave him life. You can see God and Adam’s hands nearly touching in the artwork, which has been subject to interpretation and much discussion. 

The picture, recognized as one of the greatest pieces of art in the world, was commissioned by Pope Julius II. 

The Kiss – Gustav Klimt

There aren’t many works of art that are as well-known as Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss. He began working on it in 1907, and it features his most recognizable style of golden tones and symbolic touches. 

A sexual revolution in art was sparked at the time by the painting’s revelation. The couple is depicted entangled in the artwork.

Today, visitors swarm the Austrian Gallery in Belvedere to witness The Kiss, one of the most well-known works. The artwork has also become quite popular with collectors of modern art who like artworks in their homes.

The Kiss – Explained

American Gothic – Grant Wood

In 1930, Grant Wood – an Iowan-born artist – decided to paint a plain picture of a farmer and his wife. But even now, people frequently wonder about the identities of these farm figures and, more significantly, their relationships. 

It is a painting of a couple standing solemnly in front of an American farmhouse. Since generations have debated whether the painting is serious or amusing, it has become instantly famous. 

Girl with a Pearl Earring – Johannes Vermeer

Girl with a Pearl Earring - considered the Mona Lisa of the North

Girl with a Pearl Earring, one of Johannes Vermeer’s best-known works, was painted in 1665. The girl’s striking stance and enigmatic stare have made it popular. It is also more prominent since many refer to it as the Mona Lisa of the North. 

Furthermore, no one could contest the hues and the delicate light employed to illuminate her face, giving her a dazzling look. Vermeer also paid special attention to how the rich hues of her headdress and clothes were captured in his use of color. 

The Scream – Edvard Munch

The Scream is one of the many wonders Norwegian artist – Edvard Munch – crafted. This unsettling creature has an elongated face, eyes wide open in horror, and a mouth opens in a spine-tingling scream. If you study the painting carefully, you’ll notice that the skull is shrouded in a sickly-green sock of skin. 

The piece of art is viewed as a universal expression of melancholy and existential pain. It is a painting from the Frieze of Life series by the artist. The fact that it was later imitated a lot of times helped it become even more popular.

In the end

This concludes our blog, where we bring you the 10 most famous paintings in the world (and why they’re popular). 
Each of these paintings has a captivating backstory that will also intrigue you. Even though they may have been created in various historical periods and under various conditions, the painters’ stellar work stays unchanged. 

So, have you seen the paintings we listed? Let us know in the comments section which one has caught your attention.