Art

Most famous paintings and sculptures were made by incredible painters and sculptors that handled the symbology very well. When we look at them very quickly we may not see much, but there's a lot of history behind those pieces of canvas or marble. They tell a lot about a way of thinking, a moment in history and in the lives of the artists. Some of them lived centuries ago but they still amaze us. We gathered fifty of the most famous paintings and sculptures of all times and we made a little research to tell you the stories and mysteries that they hide. Take a look, they are incredible.

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PORTRAIT OF DR. GACHET

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Dr. Gachet was the actual doctor of Vincent Van Gogh, who painted this portrait. He hated at first, saying that his Doctor was sicker than he was, but they ended up being really close friends.

THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING

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This Johannes Vermeer painting is so famous that it has both a novel and a movie about it. But some say that the pearl earring was actually made of tin.

THE RAFT OF MEDUSA

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This incredible work of art by Theodore Gericault hides a lot of secrets. But maybe the creepiest one is the fact that the painter borrowed a human head from a mental asylum to study the skin texture.

GUERNICA

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When this painting made by Picasso was exhibited in New York, a protester broke in and sprayed the words "Kill Lies All" all over it. Luckily, they could manage to save it.

CAMPBELL’S SOUP

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A friend of Andy Warhol told him that he should paint something that he saw everyday. After a quick thinking, Warhol went to the market to get some Campbells Soup, that are now an icon of his work.

THE THINKER

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This sculpture made by Auguste Rodin can be found nearly everywhere. That's because the artist made molds of his works to give them to his students, and they made thousands of copies that are now all over the world.

STARRY NIGHT

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Some astronomers studied this painting and though it seems like the opposite, they discovered that this painting shows a very accurate version of how the sky looked the day it was painted, in 1889.

AMERICAN GOTHIC

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If you ever wondered who are these people, we have the correct answer. The models were Byron McKeeby and Nan Wood, the dentist and the sister of the painter, Grant Wood.

WHISTLER’S MOTHER

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This is one of the most famous paintings in american art history, and it happened by accident. The model that was supposed to pose for Whistler that day didn't show up so he asked his mother to do the job.

THE GREAT WAVE

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The Great Wave, a print made by Katsushika Hokusai is the most famous japanese work of art, and it inspired a lot of artists in occident. Painters like Claude Monet, composers like Debussy and even the guys that made the wave emoji for Apple, all of them were inspired by this amazing print.

NIGHTHAWKS

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A lot of people asked Edward Hopper if the restaurant he painted was real and he said that it was real, but never confessed which one it was, only that it was located in Greenwich Village.

THE SCREAM

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Edvard Munch's iconic painting inspired a horror movie franchise, but Munch's inspiration was a peruvian mummy that he saw in a parisian museum short before he started painting The Scream.

DAVID

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David, the incredibly famous sculpture by Michelangelo, exists only because another artist left a huge block of marble, an unfinished sculpture, in the town square of Florence. They then hired Michelangelo to make something out of it, and sure he did!

THE KISS

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This gorgeous painting made by Gustav Klimt between 1907 and 1908 looks like its painted with gold, and it actually is. The artist used gold leafs, inspired by byzantine mosaics.

THE LAST SUPPER

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Leonardo Da Vinci was a genius and that's no secret. He mastered the perspective like no other painter of the time, and he was very into what he did. To make a realistic Judas, he went through the local prisons looking for the perfect model.

A SUNDAY ON LA GRANDE JATTE

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Pointillism is all about being extra. And this painting, considered one of the most influential pieces of art of the nineteenth century has it all: 48 people, three dogs, eight boats and a monkey.

THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY

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There are people whose job is to analyze paintings, and they said that Salvador Dali was inspired by Albert Einstein's theories when he painted this. But the artist said that the answer was much easier: He was thinking about camembert cheese melting in the sun.

OLYMPIA

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The people who first saw this painting made by Edouard Manet freaked. They couldn't believe that Manet had the guts to paint a naked parisian prostitute. But in fact, the model of this painting was Victorine Meurent, a famous painter and model.

THE THIRD OF MAY

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Sometimes the most important thing about a painting is the symbolism. Experts said that the figure standing with his arms up represents Jesus Christ. And that theory can be confirmed if you look at his hands, that look like they have estigmas.

THE ARNOLFINI WEDDING

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We don't know who started calling it that way, but this painting has nothing to do with a wedding. The Arnolfinis had been married for a while when they were portrayed. It has nothing to do with a pregnancy either: It is the dress that makes that effect.

WATERLILIES

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The water lilies were the subject of a bunch of paintings made by Claude Monet. He imported them from egypt, and they were in the private pond he had in Givenchy. But when the people in Givenchy found out about the importation of plants they freaked out because they thought water lilies would poison the town's drinking water.

THE CREATION OF ADAM

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Experts have been looking for hidden symbols in this painting since its conception. Some say that the shape from God is reaching has the shape of a human brain, meaning the creativity and genius. And some others say it is an uterus. It remains a mystery.

LA PRIMAVERA (THE SPRING)

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Painters had to pay tribute to their investors, and Botticelli wasn't the exception. He made an homage to his patrons in this painting, since the figures are dancing under an orange tree, that was the symbol of the Medici Family.

A BAR AT THE FOLIES-BERGERE

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This painting has a lot to say. First, the background is a reflection, and that's genius. Look at all the details, including a trapecist in the upper left corner and a woman with yellow gloves.

NIGHT CAFE

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Artists can be very severe with themselves. Vincent Van Gogh said that this was the worst painting he had ever made. Of course this painting is now worth more than 200 million dollars.

THE LADY OF SHALLOT

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The Lady of Shallot is an impressive, gorgeous painting made by John William Waterhouse in 1888. He was inspired by the poem of the same name written by Alfred Tennyson in 1832.

JEANNE HÉBUTERNE (AU FOULARD)

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This is one of the many portraits that Modigliani made of Jeanne Hébuterne. They were a couple and she killed herself two days after his death, being pregnant with their second child.

THE ANATOMY LESSON

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This painting made by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn in 1632 is actually a commissioned portrait of the class of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, a very well known surgeon of the time. Rembrandt was just 26 years old when he painted it.

WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWARE

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This may be a beautiful painting made by Emanuel Leutze, but it is also quite inaccurate. First of all, that flag that's waving behind Washington wasn't created at the time.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW

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Brueghel was known for his paintings full of little details. This painting has so many details that you probably missed the hunters. If you look closely to the people in the back they are playing some sort of primitive hockey.

LE DÉJEUNER SUR L’HERBE

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Look at the woman in the back, Do you see her? Look closely. Do you see any resemblance to any painting we've already seen? Well, that's Victorine Meurent, the same model of Olympia and apparently Manet's favorite.

CHRISTINA’S WORLD

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There's something quite unsettling about this painting. Andrew Wyeth was inspired by a girl with a degenerative disease he once saw crawling towards her house. And his wife stand in as the model.

THE NIGHT WATCH

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Someone thought that the name "The Night Watch" would fit Rembrandt's painting perfectly, but in fact, the original name is The Legend and the Man and it's not even nighttime.

VENUS DE MILO

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This marble sculpture is famous for being armless, but she use to have her two arms. In fact, she had more than her arms: they were adorned with metal jewelry.

THE BEHEADING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

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Back to when this painting was made, artists didn't sign religious works. But this is the only one signed by Michelangelo Da Caravaggio, who also choose to write his name using St. John's blood.

LAS MENINAS

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Las Meninas is probably the most famous painting made by Velazquez. Maybe because he got the inventive of painting himself in it. What we see in here is the backstage of the King and Queen portrait, and they are seen in a mirror in the back.

PIETÁ

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In 1972 a man managed to reach this masterpiece made by Michelangelo and broke Virgin Mary's nose with a hammer while he screamed that he was Jesus Christ. He was sent to a mental asylum and the painting was restored.

FLAG

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In the 1950's Jasper John decided that he was going to be a painter. He threw away all the paintings he had to be "free of perceptible debt to another artists" and painted this flag.

MONA LISA

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The Mona Lisa is definitely the most famous painting of all time. But this would not have happened if Guillaume Apollinaire had not stolen it in 1911. From then until its appearance in Italy, people would visit the Louvre Museum to see where the Mona Lisa was supposed to be.

SALVATOR MUNDI

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The Mona Lisa can't be sold, but another painting by Leonardo Da Vinci, called Salvator Mundi, was sold in 2017 for 450 million, the highest price ever paid for a painting.

LES DEMOISELLES D’AVIGNON

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In one of his most famous paintings, Pablo Picasso depicted five prostitutes from Barcelona. The 1907 society considered it immoral. Picasso made over 100 sketches of this painting, and in some of them, one of the figures was a man.

AUTUMN RHYTHM

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Jackson Pollock is famous for his technique, that consisted of dripping painting over an horizontal canvas. In this one in particular, he used sticks, trowels and knives to work the paint.

BROADWAY BOOGIE WOOGIE

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Dutch artist Piet Mondrian is famous for his geometrical paintings. When he moved to New York he painted this iconic piece of art that represents the grid layout of the city's streets.

MANNEKEN PIS

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Manneken Pis (meaning "Little Man pee") is one of Denmark's most famous landmark and it's been around since 1388, though it was stolen or destroyed at some point. The current one was installed by Jerome Duquesnoy in 1619.

THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY

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Despite being over 900 years old, The Bayeux Tapestry is in perfect conditions, being an iconic piece of art of the Middle Ages. It is 70 meters long and some say that the last section is missing.

THE BUST OF LENIN

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There are busts of Lenin everywhere, but this is probably the most iconic. The soviets installed it in a nearly inaccessible point of the Southern Pole. You need to travel by foot over 49 days to see it.

THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI

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This is probably Giotto most famous painting, and it is incredible detailed. But the one detail we are interested at is the Star of Bethlehem. Experts say that it is actually the Halley comet.

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

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Because of its name, most people think that this painting shows the exact moment when the United States' Independence was signed, but it actually depicts Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger German and Robert Livingston presenting the first draft of the declaration to John Hancock.

ROKEBY VENUS

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When Diego Velazquez painted this beautiful piece of art in 1651, Spanish Inquisition was at its highest point and this kind of art was forbidden. Velazquez got away with it because his patron was the King of Spain.

SELF PORTRAIT WITHOUT BEARD

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We can say Vincent Van Gogh would be obsessed with selfies if he lived today. He painted over 43 self portraits, and this one in particular is his last one, and it was a birthday gift for his mother.


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