10 Most Famous Paintings in The World and Where To See Them

Most Famous Paintings in The World: Billions of dollars of art are sold every year through international auction houses, and leading museums hold tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of works of art in their collections. But few contemporary artists achieve world fame.

Since the term famous is subjective, we reached out to Google to find out which paintings are most searched for around the world over the past five years.

Most Famous Paintings in The World

We compared dozens of popular masterpieces, from the classic Mona Lisa, The Big Wave in Kanagawa, and Savior of the World to the more modern Midnights and Dogs Playing Poker. Based on these results, we have compiled 10 of the most popular paintings in the world:

1. “Mona Lisa” – Louvre (Paris, France)

Mona Lisa - Louvre

  • Painter: Leonardo da Vinci
  • Date of creation: 1503-1519 years

It is not surprising that the most famous painting in the world is still the same brilliant woman with an enigmatic smile.

The model in the painting is Lisa Gherardini , wife of the Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocondo.

Did you know that until the 20th century, Mona Lisa was little known outside of artistic circles? So in 1911, a former Louvre employee stole that portrait. So as a result this incident helped bring attention to Renaissance painting to a mass audience.

2. “Last Supper” – Monastery of Santa Maria Delle (Italy)

"Last Supper" - Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie

  • Painter: Leonardo da Vinci
  • Date of creation: 1495-1498 years

Leonardo is the main painter of the Renaissance. Only he is mentioned twice in this list. Written in an era when religious imagery remained the dominant artistic theme, The Last Supper depicts the scene of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples before the crucifixion. The painting is a huge mural 4.6 meters high and 8.8 meters wide.

3. “Starry Night” Museum of Modern Art

"Starry Night" - Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Painter: Vincent van Gogh
  • Date of creation: 1889

Starry Night is an example of van Gogh’s innovative and bold use of broad brush strokes. The dreamy atmosphere has fascinated art lovers for decades.

Did you know that Van Gogh was living in an orphanage in Saint-Remy in France when he wrote Starry Night and was being treated for a mental illness

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4. “The Scream” National Museum

"The Scream" - National Museum

  • Painter: Edvard Munch
  • Date of creation: 1893

According to the British Museum blog, there are many copies of The Scream in the world. There are two paintings, two pastels, and an unknown number of prints. This painting is in the National Museum and in Munch Museum.

As with the Mona Lisa, the theft of two versions of The Scream (1994 and 2004) boosted the artist’s popularity (both were recovered).

Did you know that the figure in the foreground of the painting does not scream, but tries to block the shrill scream emanating from nature?

The plot of the picture was drawn from the real-life experience of Munch during an evening walk along the Oslo waterfront when his senses were overwhelmed from watching a fiery red sunset.

5. “Guernica” – Reina Sofia Center for the Arts (Madrid, Spain)

"Guernica" - Reina Sofia Center for the Arts

  • Painter: Pablo Picasso
  • Date of creation: 1937

This is the most modern piece of art on this list. The painting depicts the bombing of the city of Guernica in the Basque Country by German planes during the Spanish Civil War.

The painting was executed in the unique style of Picasso. The way she portrays the horrors of war has made her an integral part of 20th-century culture and history.

Did you know that during World War II, Guernica was kept in the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York? Picasso asked for an extension of its exposure until the return of democracy to Spain. The painting returned to Madrid in 1981, six years after the death of the Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco.

6. “The Kiss”- Belvedere Gallery

"The Kiss" - Belvedere Gallery

  • Painter: Gustav Klimt
  • Estimated date of creation: 1907-1908

Klimt seems to be saying with this picture that love is the basis of human existence.

Did you know that until “The Kiss” is up for sale, other works by Klimt are bought and sold for huge sums? So in 2016, Oprah Winfrey sold the painting “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II” for $ 150 million.

7. “Girl with a Pearl Earring. Art Gallery. Netherlands

"Girl with a Pearl Earring" Mauritshuis Art Gallery

  • Painter: Jan Vermeer
  • Estimated creation date: 1665

This picture is often compared to “Mona Lisa”. Aside from stylistic differences, “Girl with a Pearl Earring” is technically not even a portrait, but “tronier” – the Dutch word for an imaginary figure with exaggerated features. This masterpiece is ingenious in its simplicity.

Did you know that during the renovation at Mauritshuis from 2012 to 2014, Girl with a Pearl Earring was exhibited in the USA, Italy, and Japan It attracted huge crowds.

8. “The Birth of Venus” Uffizi [Italy]

"The Birth of Venus" - Uffizi

  • Painter: Sandro Botticelli
  • Estimated creation date: 1485

The Birth of Venus is the oldest painting on our list. It was commissioned by a member of the wealthy and art-loving Medici family who ruled Florence and the surrounding area for centuries.

Combining a new interest in classical Greek culture with the early Renaissance, Botticelli creates an unforgettable figure of the goddess of love emerging from a huge shell.

Did you know that Venus Botticelli has two significant differences from the paintings of most of his contemporaries?

Firstly, he painted on canvas, and not on the more popular tree at the time. Secondly, nudity was rare at the time, so portraying Venus naked was a bold move.

9. Meninas – Prado Museum (Madrid, Spain)

Meninas - Prado Museum

  • Painter: Diego Velazquez
  • Date of creation: 1656

Madrid is the only city in this ranking that contains two of the 10 most famous paintings, the first of which is Guernica at number 5 and Meninas at number 9.

Housed in the popular (and ever-expanding) Prado Museum, Meninas is not only Diego Velazquez’s most famous work, but one of the largest. For centuries, the complexity of the work has fascinated art historians and the public.

The painting serves a double purpose. It serves as a group portrait of the Spanish royal family, as well as a self-portrait of Velazquez himself at work (left).

Did you know that the “Meninas” was ordered personally by the Spanish king Philip IV, who ruled from 1621 to 1665 The painting was in the royal palace until 1819

10. “Creation of Adam” Sistine Chapel.Vatican

"Creation of Adam" - Sistine Chapel

  • Painter: Michelangelo
  • Date of creation: 1508-1512 years

The most famous work of the famous painter Michelangelo covers part of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This is one of the most popular images in art history.

The muscular figure of Adam hints at another Michelangelo masterpiece, David, arguably the most famous sculpture in the world. This statue can be seen in the Accademia Gallery in Florence.

Did you know that the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was heavily smoked with candle smoke only after a long and careful restoration, which was completed in 1989, people were shocked by the bright colors of Michelangelo.

Here are five other famous paintings that have come close to being in the top ten:

  1. “American Gothic” – Grant Wood – Chicago
  2. Series of paintings “Water Lilies” – Claude Monet – various museums in the world
  3. “Persistence of Memory” – Salvador Dali – Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, USA)
  4. “Night Watch” – Rembrandt -Netherlands
  5. “Garden of Earthly Delights” – Prado Museum.Madrid

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