The Ten Most famous Masterpieces Ever by guest blogger Geoff Jackson
The Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci in the first part of the 16th century. It is a portrait of a woman who is believed to have been Lisa Gherardini. Da Vinci used oils to create the masterpiece on a panel made of poplar. In the painting the subject is sat in front of a faint landscape in the background. The painting is famous for the indecipherable expression on the woman's face, which many scholars have debated the meaning of.
The Scream is a painting which features a figure with a screaming face in its forefront. It is an example of Expressionism and was painted by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch in 1893. There are four different versions of this work with each created using a different medium, including oils, pastels and tempera. The original piece is currently displayed in the National Gallery in Oslo, Norway.
The Laughing Cavalier
The Laughing Cavalier is a portrait of an unknown man, who was believed to be in the military. It was painted in 1624 by the Dutch painter Frans Hals and is famous for the way in which the eyes of the subject appear to follow you in every direction. The image has been reproduced many times over the years and the original is now displayed as part of the Wallace Collection in London.
Guernica is a masterpiece by the artist Pablo Picasso. It was created in 1937 following the Spanish Civil War and depicts the aftermath of war. It appears to be a mass of figures and was painted in grey, black and white oils on a very large canvas. Guernica was taken all around the world on a tour, being displayed so as to bring the Civil War to everyone's attention.
The Hay Wain
John Constable painted The Hay Wain in 1821. It is a landscape painting of the River Stour in Suffolk and depicts a hay wain being pulled across the river by two horses. There is a cottage to the left of the picture which is known to be located near Flatford Mill which was owned by Constables father. The Hay Wain is considered to be a British masterpiece and is currently displayed at the National Gallery in London.
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Girl with a Pearl Earring is a Dutch masterpiece by Johannes Vermeer. It was painted around the middle of the seventeenth century and features a girl with her hair pulled back from her face, wearing a pearl earring. The painting was created in oil on canvas and has been restored many times over the years. Girl with a Pearl Earring has also been represented in both literature and film, most notably the 2003 film starring Scarlet Johannson and Colin Firth.
Sunflowers is a series of paintings depicting sunflowers by the Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. There are two groups of paintings in this series. The first group were painted in 1887 in Paris while the second set were created the following year in Arles. In the Paris paintings the sunflowers are lying on the ground, while in the second set the sunflowers are arranged in vases. Sunflowers were painted in oil and are currently displayed in the National Gallery in London.
Impression, Sunrise is an Impressionist painting by the French artist Claude Monet. It was painted in 1872 and was the primary work of the Impressionist movement. It is an oil landscape of the La Havre harbour in France. As was popular within this movement, the painting merely suggests the landscape using soft loose brush strokes. The painting was stolen in 1985 but was recovered and has been displayed in the Musee Marmatton Monet in Paris since 1991.
The Last Supper
The Last Supper is a mural painting of the scene of Jesus and his disciples at the last supper. It was painted at the end of the fifteenth century by Leonardo Da Vinci as part of the renovations of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. It has been restored many times as well as being mentioned frequently in literature and film, most recently in the book and film adaptation “The Da Vinci Code”.
Whistler's Mother is an oil painting of a seated woman from a side view. It was painted by the American painter James McNeill Whistler in 1871. It was painted in grey, black and white and is one of the most famous works by an American artist. It was purchased in 1891 by the French state and is displayed at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.
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