The Most Famous Oil Paintings You Should Know
The history of oil painting is a long and rich one. There are many famous oil painters from the past, some who are household names and others that are lesser known.
The following are The Most Famous Oil Paintings You Should Know:
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
It is known as one of the most famous paintings in the world. It is said to have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci and it was commissioned in 1503 by Francis I of France as a gift for his wife Diane de Poitiers.
The painting is a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. The subject of the painting is believed to have been modeled by Mona Lisa herself and it has been a source of great controversy among art historians.
The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
One of the most famous painters of his time, Vincent Van Gogh is well known for his paintings.
The Starry Night is an example of one of his masterpieces, displaying a scene with a house in a village surrounded by wheat fields and cypress trees in Netherlands. The bright colors that he used are the reason why this painting is so famous.
The Kiss by Gustav Klimt
A renowned painter, Gustav Klimt depicted a couple embracing in this oil painting. Three copies of this painting exist, with two being displayed in Belvedere Palace and the Museum of Fine Arts.
The girl is wearing a blue dress and is leaning closer to the man than in the other two paintings. The composition of the painting is also different, with her right hand appearing bigger than her left hand, which has been interpreted as an allusion to the ideal of feminine beauty during that time.
Girl with the Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer
Another famous work by a great painter and artist, Johannes Vermeer painted Girl with the Pearl Earring. The painting portrays a young woman wearing an earring while gazing at the viewer and behind her are shelves of books.
The art reflected the Dutch Golden Age, where artists were highly influenced by Ancient Greek and Flemish masters. It is one of the most famous oil paintings in the world with almost 2 million visitors going to the museum each year to look at the painting.
The Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn
Rembrandt van Rijn was a famous Dutch painter who depicted many scenes of biblical stories and the history of his time.
One of these works is The Night Watch, which depicts a group of soldiers marching under the stars. The painting reflects the time of the German inquisition, one of the darkest periods in Dutch history.
Impression, Sunrise by Claude Monet
A master of color, Monet was one of the most famous artists ever. Most of his works are exhibited in Paris museum with some being displayed in other museums worldwide.
He created this work on a boat which is said to be the inspiration behind it. The painting depicts the effect of purple colors on the seascape.
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat
This painting is a pointillist work by the artist, Georges Seurat. It is one of the most famous oil paintings which depict the leisurely life of Parisians. The scene is set on the island of La Grande Jatte which is a peninsula in Paris.
Whistler's Mother by James Abbott McNeill Whistler
A famous American-born painter, James Abbott McNeill Whistler's works are displayed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. He created a portrait of his mother which helped him make a name for himself among the most famous painters.
The Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt van Rijn
Created by the Dutch artist, this painting depicts Jesus Christ and his disciples who were in a boat during a storm.
It is displayed at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.The painting was done twice, first by Rembrandt in 1633 and second in 1658.
The Burning of the Houses of Parliament by Joseph Mallord William Turner
Displayed in Tate Britain, The Burning of the Houses of Parliament is one of the few oil paintings to have been hung on the wall outside.
Joseph Mallord William Turner lived from 1775 - 1851 and was one of England's most famous painters.
The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso
One of the most famous paintings by Pablo Picasso, this oil painting was created in the year 1903. This painting shows a musician playing his guitar while someone watches him. The painting was part of the collection of Martin Gropius, the founder of Bauhaus.
Irises by Vincent van Gogh
This is one of the most famous oil paintings by Vincent van Gogh which was created in the 19th century and is displayed at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. The painting depicts flowers and a path leading to a field.