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Most Famous Painting of All Time

Leonardo Da Vinci, Mona Lisa, 1503–19

Painted between 1503 and 1517, Da Vinci’s alluring portrait has been dogged by two questions since the day it was made: Who’s the subject and why is she smiling? A number of theories for the former have been proffered over the years: That she’s the wife of the Florentine merchant Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo (ergo, the work’s alternative title, La Gioconda); that she's Leonardo’s mother, Caterina, conjured from Leonardo's boyhood memories of her; and finally, that it's a self-portrait in drag. As for that famous smile, its enigmatic quality has driven people crazy for centuries. Whatever the reason, Mona Lisa’s look of preternatural calm comports with the idealized landscape behind her, which dissolves into the distance through Leonardo’s use of atmospheric perspective.


Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665

Johannes Vermeer’s 1665 study of a young woman is startlingly real and startlingly modern, almost as if it were a photograph. This gets into the debate over whether or not Vermeer employed a pre-photographic device called a camera obscura to create the image. Leaving that aside, the sitter is unknown, though it’s been speculated that she might have been Vermeer's maid. He portrays her looking over her shoulder, locking her eyes with the viewer as if attempting to establish an intimate connection across the centuries. Technically speaking, Girl isn’t a portrait, but rather an example of the Dutch genre called a tronie—a headshot meant more as still life of facial features than as an attempt to capture a likeness.


Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889

Vincent Van Gogh’s most popular painting, The Starry Night was created by Van Gogh at the asylum in Saint-Rémy, where he’d committed himself in 1889. Indeed, The Starry Night seems to reflect his turbulent state of mind at the time, as the night sky comes alive with swirls and orbs of frenetically applied brush marks springing from the yin and yang of his personal demons and awe of nature.


Did you know? Van Gogh was living in an asylum in Saint-Rémy, France, being treated for mental illness, when he painted "The Starry Night." He was inspired by the view from the window of his room.


James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1, 1871

Whistler’s Mother, or Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1, as it’s actually titled, speaks to the artist’s ambition to pursue art for art’s sake. James Abbott McNeill Whistler painted the work in his London studio in 1871, and in it, the formality of portraiture becomes an essay in form. Whistler’s mother Anna is pictured as one of several elements locked into an arrangement of right angles. Her severe expression fits in with the rigidity of the composition, and it’s somewhat ironic to note that despite Whistler’s formalist intentions, the painting became a symbol of motherhood.


Gustav Klimt, The Kiss, 1907–1908

Opulently gilded and extravagantly patterned, The Kiss, Gustav Klimt’s fin-de-siècle portrayal of intimacy, is a mix of Symbolism and Vienna Jugendstil, the Austrian variant of Art Nouveau. Klimt depicts his subjects as mythical figures made modern by luxuriant surfaces of up-to-the moment graphic motifs. The work is a highpoint of the artist’s Golden Phase between 1899 and 1910 when he often used gold leaf—a technique inspired by a 1903 trip to the Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, where he saw the church’s famed Byzantine mosaics.


Did you know? While "The Kiss" isn't for sale, other works by Klimt are bought and sold for huge sums. Oprah Winfrey offloaded the 1907 artwork "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II" for $150 million in 2016 -- for a cool $60 million profit.


Guernica

Inspired by the bombing of Guernica, Spain, during the Spanish Civil War, Pablo Picasso completed this most famous piece, Guernica, in 1937. This piece was originally commissioned by the Spanish government and intended to depict the suffering of war and ultimately stand as symbol for peace.


Did you know? While "The Kiss" isn't for sale, other works by Klimt are bought and sold for huge sums. Oprah Winfrey offloaded the 1907 artwork "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II" for $150 million in 2016 -- for a cool $60 million profit.



The Last Supper

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci Estimated date: 1495 to 1498

Leonardo, the original "Renaissance Man," is the only artist to appear on this list twice.

Painted in an era when religious imagery was still a dominant artistic theme, "The Last Supper" depicts the last time Jesus broke bread with his disciples before his crucifixion.

The painting is actually a huge fresco -- 4.6 meters (15 feet) high and 8.8 meters (28.9 feet) wide, which makes for a memorable viewing.


Did you know? The fresco has survived two wartime threats -- Napoleon's troops used the wall of the refectory on which the fresco was painted as target practice. It also was exposed to the air for several years when bombing during World War II destroyed the roof of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan



More Notes available: - https://cnn.it/3j1rapF

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https://youtu.be/6YSAMo6TmkE

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