The Worlds Top 10 Most Well-Known Paintings


Famous artworks are a relevant part of our past. They allow us to form connections with the art world and appreciate their beauty and historical significance. Keeping all this in mind, find out how many famous paintings you know on the list below!

Famous artwork #10: The Boy with the Opera Hat

A piece of cake sitting on top of a table

The Boy with the Opera hat is an oil on canvas painted in 1896 by American artist Mary Cassatt. This painting depicts a young boy wearing a velvet suit and holding opera glasses. It sold at Christie’s auction house for $6,200,000 US dollars in December 2009.

Famous artwork #9: The Dance (La Danse)

A tree next to a body of water

The Dance (La Danse), ordinarily known as “Dancers”, is Paul Cézanne’s oil on panel painting that was initially named “L’Après-midi à Naples ( Afternoon in Naples)” It was painted in 1904 and is currently displayed at the Barnes Foundation museum. The painting was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $16,500,000 US dollars in May 2010.

Famous artwork #8: Olympia

Olympia is a painting by Édouard Manet created in 1863. It depicts a nude white Parisian woman having her arm on the head of a black servant. The painting has sparked debates among art critics because of its nudity being so controversial during the time it was painted. It was rumored that Olympia was Manet’s mistress, who later became his wife.

The painting is currently displayed at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France.

Famous artwork #7: The Scream

Even if you do not know this painting by name, I’m sure you’re familiar with the image itself. It is a painting of a tall mountain surrounded by an apocalyptic landscape, featuring a figure screaming while holding his head and looking up at a swirl in the background. The painting has been associated with anarchy and is also the most reproduced piece of art in history.

This painting by Edvard Munch is currently displayed at an Oslo museum called Munch Museum.

Famous artwork #6: Starry Night

Starry Night, large oil on canvas painted by Vincent Van Gogh in 1889, is one of his most known paintings. It depicts the view from the east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint Rémy de Provence with a village on the horizon, olive trees, crescent moon, and cypress tree.

The painting can be found at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Famous artwork #5: Guernica

Guernica, by Pablo Picasso, is a black oil on canvas painting created in 1937. It depicts the suffering of people during the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by German and Italian warplanes at the request of Spanish Nationalist forces.

It moved to New York City in 1939, where it now resides at the Museum of Modern Art.

Famous artwork #4: The Creation of Adam

The Creation of Adam is one of Michelangelo’s most famous works and depicts God and Adam reaching out to each other as a metaphor for man all seeking divine intervention.

It can be found in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City.

Famous artwork #3: Boy with a Pipe

It is an oil on canvas painting by Pablo Picasso painted in 1905. It can be found at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The subject depicted in this painting has been suggested to be either a boy from his neighborhood or one of his childhood friends, but some art critics believe it could also represent a self-portrait.

Famous artwork #2: The Birth of Venus

The Birth of Venus called “Venus Anadyomene” is a painting by Sandro Botticelli that was created in 1486. It depicts the goddess Venus standing nude on a seashell held by two sea nymphs with her arms up over her head as she prepares to come out of the sea. It is currently displayed at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

Famous artwork #1: The Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa is an oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci that was painted between 1503 and 1517. The subject depicted in this painting has been the topic of many debates regarding her identity but commonly believed that she was Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, who commissioned the painting.

These famous artworks are a representation of what art is and why the study of art is so influential in our society today. I hope you enjoyed reading about these pieces of artwork!

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter