10 Best Canvas Paintings in the World to Captivate You
Painters are some of the most talented artists in the world. Since day immemorial, paintings have drawn our attention and given us a glimpse of ages gone by. Some canvas paintings have travelled through time and are as famous today as they were hundreds of years ago.
Several ideas and inspirations are available in the universe and it is to the credit of an artist to catch them and turn them into works of art. Talented painters from all over the world have given us a wide selection of paintings to choose from. They have woven magic through their brushes and paints and left us with wonderful paintings that will never go out of the limelight.
Here is a list of the top 10 most famous and brilliant canvas paintings in the world.Learn about them and just rejoice in their wonder.
The Starry Night
This oil painting was created by Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh in the year 1889. You can view this great work of art on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It describes the east skyscape from van Gogh’s room in the asylum at Saint Remy-de-Provence just before sunrise.
The fascinating portrait shows a beautiful sky full of stars, with a glimpse of the city below. The motif has been used and reproduced in works of entertainment throughout the years. Art critics have come up with their own interpretation of the painting over the years. However, if you do not want to analyze it, just bask in its glory.
The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
Italian artist Caravaggio painted the beheading scene of Saint John the Baptist, who, scholars believe, had baptized Jesus Christ. The legend of his arrest, execution, and burial in a tomb has been reproduced in this 1608 painting. It depicts a picture of human cruelty and has a surreal captivating quality about it. Considered Caravaggio’s masterpiece, the painting is12 feet by 17 feet and has life sized depiction of the characters. You can see Salome carrying a golden platter for John’s head, while Herodias stands by with an expression of shock. The executioner stands over John with a dagger. The artist’s signature is hidden in the blood spilling out from John’s throat.
The Persistence of Memory
The Spanish artist Salvador Dali painted this masterpiece in 1931. It has been known as “Melting Clocks”, “The Soft Watches”, and “The Melting Watches” as well. It is on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City since 1934. It is a symbol of Dali’s theory of softness and the watches represent the relativity of space and time.
The painting depicts an abstract human figure in the center and melting clocks. The orange clock in the painting’s bottom left is covered in ants, which may symbolize decay. The surreal structure of the painting perfectly captures the sense of reality of the modern world.
Girl with a Pearl Earring
This beautiful oil on canvas painting is a 1665 creation of Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. Its home is among the Mauritshuis collection in The Hague and it has been displayed there since 1902. It has been called the most beautiful painting in the Netherlands.
This work of art depicts the portrait of a European girl with her head turned sideways from the back. She is seen wearing an exotic dress with a turban and very beautiful pearl earrings. The girl’s deep gaze has been a subject of interest for art lovers all over the world. Although its original enamel background has faded, the new look is captivating enough to rest in your mind for a long time.
The Birth of Venus
This oil painting by Sandro Botticelli is believed to be painted in the mid 1480s and depicts the birth of Goddess Venus. According to Roman mythology, Venus,the goddess of love and beauty, was born fully grown under the sea. This painting is on display at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Venus is depicted standing nude on a giant sea shell, with gods surrounding her and providing wind to guide her towards the shore. The painting has been created on two pieces of canvas sewn together and gives a soothing picture of the mythical scene.
This modern painting by Austrian Symbolist artist Gustav Klimt is made with oil and gold leaf on canvas and was completed in the year 1908. It has a theme of love and sexuality that is prevalent is many of Klimt’s works. It is said to be influenced by the contemporary Art Nouveau style and now hangs in the ÖsterreichischeGalerie Belvedere museum at Vienna’s Belvedere Palace.
The painting depicts a couple locked in a kiss against a background of gold. It is strangely beautiful to look at, although the man’s face is not shown. The posture of the couple suggests passion, love, and warmth. It is said to imbibe qualities of the Arts of Crafts movement in the artistic world.
The Raft of the Medusa
Widely considered the most famous symbol of French Romanticism, this oil on canvas painting was completed in 1819 by painter Theodore Gericault. This huge painting depicts the wreck of the French naval frigate Meduse, which was grounded near the coast of Mauritania in 1816.
The story surrounding the grounding of this ship includes dehydration, starvation, and eventual cannibalism by the survivors. The painting is a dramatic depiction of a tragic incident and perfectly captures the tumultuous situation. It is displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
This unbelievably beautiful painting by Sir Frederic Leighton has a magnetic quality to it and has a classicist influence. It is painted on a square canvas and was created in 1895. The painting was auctioned off in the 1960s and is currently at the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico.
It depicts a woman in a flaming orange dress half-lying in a fetal position and she seems to be sleeping. It is unclear who the woman in the painting is based on, but several guesses have been made as to her identity. People have also alluded this painting to the figures of sleeping nymphs in Greek mythology.
The Son of Man
This 1964 painting by Belgian artist Rene Magritte is a very well-known work of art of the Surrealist Movement. It is currently the part of a private collection. Considered Magritte’s self-portrait, the painting perfectly depicts the crisis of man’s identity in the post modern world.
The Son of Man shows a man in an overcoat with a bowler hat on his head, standing before a wall, with the sky and sea visible behind. An apple covers the man’s face, with his eyes slightly peeking out. His left arm is bent backwards at the elbow, which is probably a concept of arm twisting. It depicts the idea that something is hidden in every scene we see.
The Night Watch
The Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn is an oil painting of 1642 and is one of the most famous works during the Dutch Golden Age. It is now displayed at the Rijksmuseum of the Amsterdam Museum. It also goes by the names of “Militia Company of District II under the command of Captain FransBanninckCocg” and “The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocg and Willem van Ruytenburch. The painting depicts the company moving out under the leadership of Captain Cocg and his lieutenant Ruytenburch. Its use of light and shade gives an impression of movement and lifelike quality.
There are several other equally brilliant canvas paintings in the world which will make you wonder at the creativity of man. Not only do these paintings serve as a treat to our eyes, they also help us learn about the people and tastes of the age they were created in. Their artistic quality remains unparalleled and they will remain immortal long after and I are gone.
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