The best paintings simply take your breath away! They have a unique theme or a new painting style that makes it to standout in this crowded field. Many of these paintings are a testimony to the skill and talents of many artists from different parts of the world. Pablo Picasso rightly said that every child is a born artist, the problem is to retain that artist within themselves. This universe is full of art and inspiration, that is what everyone can see, but it takes a really talented and visionary artist to pick paint and brush and illustrate their thoughts, visions and this beautiful universe into paintings.
Most Beautiful and Expensive Paintings
To blow you off the ground, we have gone through the great detail to find some of the best art work that has ever been produced. Below are 35 most beautiful, famous and expensive paintings of all times.
35. The Birth of Venus
The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli is a painting that depicts the emergence of Goddess Venus from the sea as a beautiful woman. The most striking part of this simple painting is the beautiful face of Goddess Venus and her shy posture. It is currently housed in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery.
34. Dogs Playing Poker
Painted in 1903 by C.M. Coolidge, this painting has 16 images of dogs sitting around a poker table and playing cards. This painting was an iconic depiction of Americans during the early part of 19th century.
33. Portrait of Madame Recamier
This portrait shows Juliette Recamier sitting on a style sofa in a simple dress with bare arms. This painting steeped in neoclassical fashion is now located at Louvre in France.
32. No.5, 1948
This famous painting by Jackson Pollock is a signature piece of art that depicts the chaos raging within Pollock at the time of painting. The many swirls and meshes make it a unique piece of work. For these reasons, it is one of the most expensive paintings ever sold by an American artist as it was sold for a huge $140 million.
31. The Son of Man
The Son of Man, painted by Rene Magrittees, is a piece of work that shows his own self in a black suit, but with an apple instead of his face.
30. Royal Red and Blue
This recent painting by Mark Rothko shows royal blue and red squares on a canvas. The highlight of this painting is its hand-made canvas, and it is currently placed in the Art Institute at Chicago.
29. Massacre of the Innocents
Based on the biblical massacre of innocents in Bethlehem, this painting by Peter Paul Rubens strikes a chilling note in the minds of viewers.
28. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
Created by Georges Suerat, it shows the relaxed atmosphere of people on a lazy Sunday afternoon in an island. This painting is an excellent example of pointillism, where many dots are joined together to create an image.
27. The Dance
The Dance by Henri Matisse is based on the art form of fauvisim that is depcited by bright colors. This painting is about a few people dancing together in a circle, and is especially noteworthy for its bright blue background.
26. American Gothic
American Gothic symbolizes the grit and determination of Americans during the Great Depression. In this painting, Grant Wood, shows a stern-looking couple standing in front of a house with Gothic windows.
25. The Flower Carrier
Painted by the most popular Mexican painter of the 20th century, this painting shows how a person is struggling to carry a huge flower basket on his back. Its bright colors are a trademark of Diego Rivera.
24. Whistler’s Mother
Also known as “Arrangement in Grey and Black. The Artist’s Mother,” it is one of the most famous painting by American artist James McNeill Whistler. In this painting, Whistler depicts his mother sitting on a chair against a grey wall. This painting is so called because the artist has used only black and grey shades in this painting.
23. The Persistence of Memory
This painting by the Spanish artist Salvador Dali is a classic example of surrealism where hard and soft things are present side by side. In this picture, a soft image of clock slides in the background of a hard table.
22. Portrait of Dora Maar
Pablo Picasso is one of the most accomplished Spanish painter, and his skill is most evident in this painting. He is the founder of a style called Cubism that shows the same picture from different angles. This picture is about a woman’s face, believed to that of Picasso’s lover, shown from different angles, thereby marking the first of many paintings in cubism style.
21. Portrait de L’Artiste Sans Barbe
This painting by Van Gogh is an interesting piece because it shows the artist without his beard. It is also one of the few paintings sold by Van Gogh, and it fetched a whopping $71.5 million in 1998, making it one of his most expensive paintings ever sold.
20. Cafe Terrace at Night
Painted by Vincent Van Gogh, this painting shows an everyday setting in bright colors. A simple dinner at a cafe along a street is well-depicted in this simple painting.
19. Composition 8
Kandinsky is often known as the founder of abstract art, a form that uses shapes and symbols instead of real people. Composition 8 is one of his first paintings that expound this form of art.
18. The Kiss
One of the first pieces of art in the Art Nouveau style, this painting used gold leaf as the background. Created by Gustav Klimt, this painting is renowned for this style.
17. La Moulin de la Galette
The name of this painting translates to “Pastry Chef” and is a vivid description of a city life. This painting by Renoir is also one of the most expensive paintings ever bought.
Olmpia by Edouard Manet created quite a controversy as it showed a nude woman with a gaze and subtlety that indicated that she is a mistress. It is also a good early example of realism style.
15. The Third of May
This painting by Francisco Goya shows Napoleon’s attack on Spaniards. This is one of the first SPanish paintings to show war in bad light.
14. Las Meninas
Las Meninas portrays Margarita Teresa of Spain as a young child along with the King and Queen of Spain. Painted by Diego Valazquez, this is conisdered to be an important baroque painting.
13. The Arnolfini Marriage
This painting is one of the oldest preserved ones dating back to 1434. It was done by Jan van Eyck and portrays the Italian businessman Giovanni Arnolfini and his pregnant wife in their home in the city of Bruges.
12. The Scream
The Scream is a painting by Edvard Munch of Norway and it shows the distorted face of a figure against a bloody sky. The hill landscape in the background adds to this picture’s charm. It is also one of the first few paintings done in expessionism style where the reality is blurred to give more importance to emotions.
11. Water Lilies
Water lilies, painted by Claude Monet, is a series of 250 oil paintings based on his own flower garden. These paintings are located in different art museums world over.
10. Starry Night
Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh shows the village of Saint-Remy under a swirling sun. It is one of the most well-known images in modern culture and is currently housed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
9. Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
This painting by Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel shows man’s indifference to the suffering of his fellowmen. It is a powerful theme shown in a rather simple way with Icarus, the Greek character suffering under water and people going on with their work.
8. The Creation of Adam
The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo shows how God created Adam. It is one of the paintings that adorn the 12,000 square feet area of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.
7. The Last Supper
The Last Supper is a painting that depicts the last meal that Jesus had with his disciples. Displayed at the dining hall of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, this painting has also created much controversy around Mary Magdalene, the supposed character sitting next to Jesus.
Guernica by Picasso depicts the bombing of the city of the Spanish city of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. It is a black and white painting that shows the role of Italians and Germans in this bombing.
5. Girl with a Pearl Earring
The Girl With a Pearl Earring is often known as Dutch Monalisa because the expression on the girl’s face is hard to understand. This painting by Johannes Vermeer has her pearl earrings as the focal point.
4. Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
This painting by Caravaggio shows a realistic depiction of a murder moment in a prison. The gloom of the picture and the expressions of the onlookers make it a true classical masterpiece. It is displayed in St. John’s Cathedral in Valletta, Malta.
3. Night Watch
Night Watch is one of the most popular pieces of work by Rembrandt. It depicts an entire city moving out led by its captain. A unique aspect is its dark varnish that gives an impression of night scene. It is currently housed in Riksmuseum in Amsterdam.
2. School of Athens
Painted by Raphael, this painting contains pictures of famous philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle walking in the middle along with other philosophers on the sides. It is now located in the Vatican.
Probably the most famous painting in the world is Monalisa by Leonardo da Vinci. It is a portrait of a lady called Gherardini and is famous because the lady’s expression is indecipherable. This painting is currently displayed in Louvre, France.
Here is our list of the most famous 35 paintings ever done. Which of these is your favorite? Do let us know through your comments.