Top 10 Paintings

Paintings have always fascinated man and still do. We see numerous paintings in galleries and museums around the world and very few make history. Everybody has a different opinion about which is the best painting that has stood the test of time. But, there are some paintings that still remain in world-famous museums painted by some genius personalities that captivate the visitors’ hearts. Given below is a list of the best paintings of all ages agreed up on by almost everybody. These are the ones that have transcended time and will continue to do so in the future as well.

Mona Lisa:

The painting of Mona Lisa is the most famous painting that has attracted millions of people around the world with its sheer beauty. It is a half-length portrait of Lisa Gherardini. Painted by Leonardo da Vinci, this painting is stored in Louvre Museum in Paris which is visited by six million people every year. This was painted from the year 1503 to 1504. The painting is considered as ‘the most visited, the most sung about, the best known, the most written about and the most parodied work of art in the world’.

The Last Supper:

This painting again the artwork of Leonardo da Vinci, is not kept in a museum but, adorns the back wall of the dining room at Santa Maria delle Grazie monastery located in Milan, Italy. It was painted in the late 15th century as part of a plan to renovate the church and its convent buildings by Duke of Milan. As the name suggests, the painting portrays the last supper of Jesus with his disciples. This painting found in Milan is the greatest attraction in the city.

The Creation of Adam:

The Creation of Adam is the work of yet another genius, Michelangelo and is a freso painting. He painted it between 1508 and 1512. This painting is again not found in a museum but, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City in Rome. It is just one of the nine scenes painted on the ceiling of the chapel. There are originally nine scenes in the book of Genesis in which God gives life to Adam who is the first man on Earth.

Starry Night:

Starry Night is a very popular painting in the modern culture. It was painted by Vincent van Gogh, a Dutch artist in the year 1889. It shows the views from the window of his asylum room at Saint-Remy-de-Provence which is facing east. The view depicts the scenery just before sunrise with an idealized village. The Museum of Modern Art in New York keeps the painting as part of a permanent collection of paintings. This work became an inspiration for the song ‘starry starry night’ by Don McLean. His song refers to this painting and many others painted by Vincent.

The Scream:

This was painted by Edvard Munch using pastel and oil on cardboard in the year 1893. The Greman title given to the painting is Der Schrei der Natur meaning ‘The Scream of Nature’. The painting shows a figure with a scary expression against a landscape with orange sky. This is a frightening piece of work found at The National Gallery in Oslo, Norway. Arthur Lubow described the painting as ‘an icon of modern art, a Mona Lisa for our time’.

 The Persistence of Memory:

The Persistence of Memory is one of the most reputable artworks in the history by the Spanish artist Salvador Dali. He painted it in 1931 which urged people to ponder on their way of life and how they spend their time. Some believe that this painting was inspired by the Theory of Relativity of Albert Einstein. It was first displayed at the Julien Levy Gallery. From 1934, it is part of the collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Girl with a Pearl Earring:

Girl with a Pearl Earring is a painting considered as the ‘Mona Lisa of the North’ or the ‘Dutch Mona Lisa’. Painted by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, it features a European girl wearing a pearl earring, an exotic dress and an oriental turban. There were doubts regarding whether the material of the earring was pearl or polished tin. It was painted in 1665 and is kept in the Mauritshuis Gallery in Netherlands. The painting is a tronie, meaning ‘head’ that was not meant to be a portrait.

The Night Watch:

This famous painting by Rembrandt van Rijn is displayed at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Completed in 1642, the painting shows a city guard moving out who is led by Captain Frans Banninck Cocq along with his lieutenant and the rest of the armed men. It is one of the most famous Dutch Golden Age paintings known for its effective use of light and shadow, colossal size and the perception of motion.

Self-Portrait without Beard:

This is the self portrait painted by Van Gogh in which he appears without a beard. It was painted in 1889 using oil on canvas. He has painted a number of self-portraits but, this one became famous as it is his last self-portrait and shows him with no beard. He gave it to his mother as a birthday gift which is now part of a private collection. This painting is one among the most expensive paintings of all times and it was sold in 1998 for $71.5 million.


Guernica is the most famous artwork by the renowned artist Pablo Picasso and was completed in the year 1937. It is a mural-sized oil painting on canvas. It was painted in Paris and was inspired by the bombing of Guernica in Spain at the time of Spanish Civil War. It is permanently displayed in Museo Reina Sofía, in Madrid, Spain. The painting uses a palette of black, grey and white and is regarded as one of the most powerful and moving anti-war paintings in history. It depicts the sufferings of people wrenched by the war.


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