When we think about what distinguishes human beings from animals, many times we point at verbal communication, our hands, our ability to speak. But a certain difference is that human beings are able to create art; something just for the sake of aesthetics and beauty we can all enjoy! Let’s have a look at some of the most Famous Art Pieces in the world!
Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island
If you think about famous sculptures around the world, one that nearly every person on the planet can name is the Statue of Liberty. The copper statue was sculpted by Frenchman Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi; standing tall at 305 feet 1 inch, from the ground to the top of the torch. The neoclassical statue showcases Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. Also, a tablet in her left arm announces the date July 4, 1776, in Roman numerals; the United States’ day of independence from the British monarchy.
Her right arm is stretched high in the air with a torch that signifies that she is leading the American people to freedom. Also, there are broken shackles and chains at her feet, underlining the abolishment of slavery in the States. The statue is located on Liberty Island in Manhattan, New York City. Additionally, it is one of the landmarks of not just New York, but the entire United States; welcoming immigrants who arrive to the city by boat.
Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo
The Nakagin Capsule Tower looks like something you might have seen in a cartoon or a sci-fi movie! The interesting building was designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa and it was completed in 1972. It’s built in the Japanese metabolism style which combines the looks of megastructures with those of organically growing biological lifeforms. The Nakagin Capsule Tower looks like an eerie organism or multiplying cells; some even compare it to a bunch of washing machines stacked on top of each other!
If you want to see the building, you might need to hurry to Tokyo’s Shimbashi district soon because locals are struggling to keep the eye-catching place open! Currently, capsules can be rented relatively cheaply. However, even though the tower is referenced in many movies and video games, it has also been left to deteriorate.
Venus De Milo, the Louvre, Paris
Constantly referenced in art and popular culture through the ages, Venus De Milo is one of the most well-known sculptures, dating back to somewhere between 130 and 100 BC. Although you know her as Venus, the Roman goddess, the statue is actually from Greece; discovered on the island of Milos in 1820. Venus is the Roman name of the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, who the statue is believed to depict.
However, some scholars argue that it could be the sea goddess Amphitrite as well. The armless statue is so famous, today even store mannequins mimic her posture! The artist behind the 6 foot 8 inches tall statue is believed to be Alexandros of Antioch. The gorgeous goddess can be viewed at the Louvre in Paris, France.
Piet Mondrian, National Museum in Belgrade, Serbia
Piet Mondrian is one of the most well-known artists of the 20th century and even if you don’t know his name, you’ve seen his work. His color compositions and abstract combinations of color and geometric shape is a cornerstone of abstract art. “Composition with Red, Blue, and Yellow” is one of the most famous pieces he painted.
The color scheme and the shape placement which was heavily inspired by the early 20th-century cubism movement is recognizable all over the world today and it’s incorporated in many modern designs such as articles of clothing and furniture! The Dutch artist’s work is on display in the National Museum in Belgrade, Serbia.
Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
If you are looking for a building that is a work of art, take a look at the masterful and delightfully colorful Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Situated in the heart of Moscow, Russia, the church looks like it is coming directly from an old fairytale! The Russian Orthodox cathedral was built between 1555 and 1561; consecrated on July 12, 1561. By 1600, its tallest tower, the bell tower was also finished. Additionally, it’s named after Ivan the Terrible, who ordered the construction of the beautiful church.
Its towers are built in the shape of the flames of a bonfire and it is considered an anomaly in Russian architecture! There is nothing like Saint Basil’s Cathedral; you will find no such style or tradition in centuries of Byzantine history. However, by today, the church is considered one of the national symbols of Russia.
American Gothic, Art Institute of Chicago
There are many recognizable artworks in the world, many have been recreated and referenced multiple times. “American Gothic” is definitely one of those images that cut through time and intrigue their viewers even today. The stern looks of the man and woman, the pitchfork curiously held by the man between them; most people today can reference this image.
The famous painting was created by Grant Wood in 1930, using oils on beaverboard, and it illustrates turn-of-the-century rural Americans. The man holds a pitchfork, and his daughter, often mistaken as his wife, is dressed in a colonial print dress. The influential painting is on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.
David, Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence, Italy
“David” is a masterpiece of the Renaissance sculpted by Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504. The 17 feet tall statue is a centerpiece of the Florence Renaissance. The statue represents the ideal man and the first man, David made in the image of God; but in line with the humanistic views of artists at the time.
It is a celebration of male beauty inspired by the classical Greek period. Michelangelo’s masterpiece was originally commissioned to stand on the roofline of the Florence Cathedral. However, it was placed in a public square just outside of Palazzo Vecchio. In 1873, it was then moved into the Galleria dell’Accademia to be kept safe and preserved from the elements. You can view David there today as well!
Starry Night, Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Vincent Van Gogh did not find success when he was alive. However today the post-impressionist painter’s life and artworks are celebrated and studied closely. His unique way of seeing the world is best captured in his most famous artwork, “Starry Night” painted in 1889. The oil on canvas painting is currently displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Also, it is considered one of the most recognized paintings in the history of Western culture. Today, you can see it referenced in movies, repainted in different art styles. It’s also commercialized as earrings, phone cases, and even socks!
Campbell’s Soup Cans, Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Andy Warhol is known and recognized all over the world as the quintessential postmodern artist. His artworks carry commentary about postmodern human, consumerism, and capitalism. It also includes prominent branding and advertising that became part of a person’s life.
You probably heard of his paintings before:
- The Marilyn Diptych
- The Shot Marilyns
- The banana
- Cow wallpapers
One of his most influential works, however, is the 32-piece art installation; made with synthetic polymer paints on canvas. He painted the individual paintings depicting canned soups offered by Campbell between 1961 and 1962. Also, this art project propelled Andy Warhol to fame and spread pop art through the United States. Also, you can take a look at this and other Warhol-works at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain
Basílica de la Sagrada Família is one of the world’s most famous unfinished buildings and a true work of art. Designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, whose imaginative, gorgeous buildings are peppered through Barcelona, gives the city its appeal and charm; one that cannot be found anywhere on the planet. The basilica is considered his best work, influenced by the neo-Gothic movement of the 19th century. However, with a clear twist of Art Nouveau style gives Gaudí’s works an airy, dreamy look.
Also, the incredibly intricate church is riddled with detailed ornaments on its façade which can barely be taken in just by looking at it from afar. Constructions began in 1882 and its completion year is hoped to be 2026; 100 years after Gaudí’s death and 144 years after the first stone of the basilica was laid.
Mona Lisa, the Louvre, Paris, France
If you are asked to name one painting, any painting, the Mona Lisa is probably the first one you can think of! One of the world’s famous art pieces was painted by Leonardo da Vinci; one of the most famous artists and polyhistors. The painting is not only the most well-known work of art, but it is also the most valuable. Amazingly, it was valued at $100 million in 1962, which is around $650 million today.
Interestingly, it is also the most visited picture on the planet. People from all around the world go to the Louvre to take one glance at this masterpiece, which we don’t actually know much about. It is also estimated that da Vinci painted it between 1503 and 1506. However, there are no confirmed details about the model, it is thought to be Lisa del Giocondo. Additionally, the subject’s subtle melancholic expression and the fact that she seems to look at you from any angle were novelties at the time. So, the painting has been fascinating people for decades.
Girl with a Pearl Earring, Mauritshuis Museum, the Hague
If you think about famous paintings, one that certainly pops in your mind is “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer. The picture is a tronie painted with oil paintings on canvas. The famous artwork is not meant to be a portrait, however. Tronie refers to the fact that it’s supposed to be a study of an expression or a head.
Also, it is unknown who sat for the picture if anyone did; however, the painting depicts a white woman posing in an exotic dress and an improbably large pearl earring. Many people debated whether the earring can possibly even be real! The painting is signed by Vermeer, however, not dated, it is estimated to have been painted in 1665. For your convenience, it is on display currently in the Mauritshuis in the Hague, Netherlands.