For thousands of years, art has been consistently produced by the human race. Considering that art history is centuries old, rattling off a good list of the world’s masterpieces that represent the greatest works of art since the dawn of time is not an easy task. In fact, it is even more difficult when the choice is limited to just ten works of artistic creation.
Thus, this list of the top 10 most famous works of art in the world boldly dares to highlight ten pieces of art that are indeed very famous.
- 10. Chauvet Cave Paintings
- 9. Parthenon Sculptures
- 8. The Foetus in the Womb By Leonardo da Vinci
- 7. Prisoners By Michelangelo
- 6. The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist By Caravaggio
- 5. Self-Portrait with Two Circles By Rembrandt
- 4. Las Meninas By Velázquez
- 3. One: Number 31, 1950 By Jackson Pollock
- 2. Mont Sainte-Victoire By Cézanne
- 1. Guernica By Picasso – Most Famous Works Of Art
10. Chauvet Cave Paintings
No one knows who exactly painted these portraits of animals 30,000 years ago, but what is obvious is that they are look so exquisitely lifelike. The artist or artists behind these portraits may have been children or they may have been women. These cave paintings by our Homo sapiens ancestors are as beautiful and creative as any modern work of art.
9. Parthenon Sculptures
Two centuries ago, Lord Elgin removed these frantic carvings of humans and centaurs fighting each other, and long, monumental marble frieze broken statues of reclining gods from the Athenian Acropolis. It is sad that today, they are objects of controversy. Unlike Roman copies, the British Museum in London is home to this greatest assembly of authentic ancient Greek sculptures.
8. The Foetus in the Womb By Leonardo da Vinci
It is quite interesting that Leonardo da Vinci chose to use a horsechestnut casing to depict the human womb. Inside it, he has laid bare the beginning of all human beings. 500 years ago, Leoardo da Vinci, was both an artist and a scientist, managed to express the human condition literally in a nutshell, which makes his sketch one of the most famous works of art.
7. Prisoners By Michelangelo
Michelangelo had started sculpting these statues, which are also referred to as Slaves, for the tomb of Pope Julius II, but he never completed them. Altogether, these collectively constitute as the world’s most famous unfinished masterpiece. However, laziness is not the reason Michelangelo never finished them. He chose not to do so because it portrays these prisoners or slaves as if they are struggling out of the stone.
6. The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist By Caravaggio
In this painting, a murderous moment has been depicted taking place in a prison yard. A knife has been drawn out by the executioner to severe the last skin and tendons of John the Baptist’s neck. There someone behind a barred window, helplessly watching this frightful scene. In this gloomy masterpiece, Caravaggio has laid bare cruelty and death.
5. Self-Portrait with Two Circles By Rembrandt
Rembrandt looks at viewers through this self-portrait that he had painted between 1665 and 1669. This autumnal masterpiece depicts Rembrandt’s age and genius gaze out at viewers, making them feel as if they are being scrutinized. It is as if Rembrandt is peering into the viewer’s soul and every failing of the viewer is being revealed.
4. Las Meninas By Velázquez
Through Las Meninas, Velázquez presents a view of what the king and queen must have seen, i.e. a gathering of courtiers and Velázquez himself, while their portrait was being painted. Velázquez can be seen painting the portrait of the royal couple, but it is the viewers who stand in their place. Before them, is a gathering of dwarf entertainers and a retinue of meninas (maids).
3. One: Number 31, 1950 By Jackson Pollock
This particular piece of art by Jackson Pollock, much like his other artistic creations, is quite mysterious. No doubt, this painting is a thing of beauty, with intricate inner structure, even though he created it simply by laying a canvas down on the ground and flinging paint on it. A profound unity is achieved by Jackson Pollock’s freedom improvisations.
2. Mont Sainte-Victoire By Cézanne
The Mont Sainte-Victoire is a testament to the fact that Cezanne’s is a brilliant assortment of glimpses, reconsiderations and uncertainty. It should not take long to figure out that a mountain has been painted. Viewers are actually getting to take a glance at the mountain through Cézanne’s gaze and through his mind. Obviously, what they see is abstraction.
1. Guernica By Picasso – Most Famous Works Of Art
When Guernica was bombed in the Spanish Civil War by Hitler’s air force, Pablo Picasso began painting this painting in protest. This painting itself is nothing short of a grenade and a reflection of the surrealist movement, with mythology and poetry enriching it. Perhaps one of the most famous works of arts of the 20th century, Picasso had apparently looked to Fire in the Borgo by Raphael for inspiration.
As mentioned, listing the top 10 most famous works of art is not an easy task. Nonetheless, although years apart, the above artistic creations are definitely famous even after the decades and centuries that have passed since they were created.