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  • peter8172

    “The Rape Of Europa” by Italian Artist Titian (1477-1576) which hangs at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston Massachusetts.

  • peter8172

    As of February 2012, The most expensive painting ever sold at Auction is now “The Card Players” by Paul Cezanne at $250,000,000 which now bumps Jackson Pollack’s “No. 5” into second place.

  • little_sam

    Art is so subjective that it is hard to criticize this list. However here are my thoughts. I am not a big fan of 20th century art and so the Pollock and Malevich do very little for me. In my opinion Picasso did far superior works to Guernica, but because of its historical significance I don’t have a big problem with it being on the list. A similar comment applies to American Gothic and Campbell’s Soup Cans. I would have put something by Vermeer on this list, but that is just me. I might have added Whistler’s Mother because of its historical significance as well. Finally I don’t think there is any question that the Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world and definitely should be number one.

    • peter8172

      “Mona Lisa”, the most popular ?……YES. Impressive ?……….BIG TIME NO !! I saw it at the Louvre and found much more beautiful paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci alone in that museum

    • peter8172

      @ little_sam : You mentioned on your post about the painting “Whistler’s Mother”. I was in Paris in June of 1988 and went to the Musee D’Orsay. Going through that museum is like a maze of adventure. I just happened to turn a corner there, and lo’ and behold, there it was, “Whistler’s Mother” I stood almost frozen as I stared at it. That was certainly one of my big highlights of visiting Paris.

    • ed

      Mona Lisa: Most overrated and yet also under appreciated. I know there coflicting, but what I mean is Lisa’s smile is not all that impressive. In fact, I suspect it was accedental. What I do find astonoshing is the backdrop. It, like my statement, is confllicting. The foredrop is simpe, pleasent, and direct. The backdrop is full of ominous moutains, whick spike like flames and fade into a murky yellow sky that looks mor like a polluted lake, full of oppressing clouds. On MONA’S (NOT YOUR’S) right, we see a winding and steep path, but on the other side, we se nothing where it should continue. Also, now this I’m less sure about so don’t quote me this time, we see on HER right a strange dark gray light black bulge, which could be anything. This conflict is what I view as Da Vinci’s porpuse, but i could be horribly wrong. I dont know (and neither do you!).

      • Hello Ed. I enjoyed reading your post on the MONA LISA. Its either this month’s or last month’s issue of National Geopgraphic that has an article on a recently found Da Vinci and going to experts and curators to find out about its authenticity. One very important point that was made in the article is that you can identify a Da Vinci by observing the lips of the person that he painted. There were close views of the MONA LISA’S lips and for some reason he (Da Vinci) was an expert at painting. The painting is no bigger than a regular sized sheet of paper (8 1/2 x 11), but its a great and interesting story that you should read. I saw the MONA LISA at the Louvre in Paris, and quite frankly in my opinion, I was not very impressed with it. I did visit the Musee D’Orsay which is the “annex” to the Louvre and saw “Whistler’s Mother” which in a way was exciting to see as its popularity rivals other famous paintings as well.

        • ed

          I know im about 6 months late, but thanks for the reply. I’ll see if i can manage to fish out that article.

  • tim

    i can not comprehend why anyone likes Jackson Pollock.

    • peter8172

      Well, there was one thing that Jackson Pollock did like. And that was consuming MAJOR AMOUNTS OF BOOZE !!!. Rent out the movie entitled “Pollock” starring Ed Harris as Pollock and Marcia Gay Harden (who won the Academy Award for best supporting actress) as Pollock’s Long suffering wife, and also artist Lee Krasner. It’s a very good movie in my opinion whether or not you like Pollock or not.

  • I love this list, being an art major, but my favorite painting didn’t make the list. So here it is for my own amusement, Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

    Vincent Van Gogh – “At present I absolutely want to paint a starry sky. It often seems to me that night is still more richly colored than the day; having hues of the most intense violets, blues, and greens. If only you pay attention to it you will see that certain stars are lemon-yellow, others pink or a green, blue and forget-me-not brilliance. … it is obvious that putting little white dots on the blue-black is not enough to paint a starry sky.” (Letter to Wilhelmina van Gogh, 16 September 1888)

    • peter8172

      My Computer Mouse Pad is of this painting of Van Gogh

    • Love this one too- I remember seeing it in real life (at the MOMA I think?) and just standing there for a long time, grateful for the opportunity.

      • Yes, it is at the MOMA, I saw it too.

        • rajimus123

          absolutely one of my favourite paintings, I had the opportunity to see it at the van gogh museum in amsterdam when it was on loan in 2009. the van gogh museum is probably one of the most inspiring collections of a single artisits work, you definitely need to go there if you get a chance.

    • Rajan

      So many versions available on Net in different colors. How to guess which is the original one. Anybody help me.

  • Okay, sorry to do this again, but my 2nd favorite painting, which I saw in Chicago last year is “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte,” which has been the background on my iPhone ever since. They actually let you take photos of the original. I was shocked. It was difficult to get a shot because so many people were going right to it see study the dots of paint up close.

    • peter8172

      @ TopTenz Master. Just a friendly tidbit for you. The painting that you have posted was by the French Impressionist Georges Seurat, completed in 1884. Translated literally into French, it is called : “Un dimanche apres-midi a L’ile de la Grande Jatte”

      • I am very familiar with the impressionists, (Art History at 8am to 11am every M-W-F at Virginia Commonwealth University) but Seurat was the only artist I connected with. You can see something new in this painting every time you look at it. Ferris was onto something, I tell you.

        • rajimus123

          thanks for this one TTM, i actually hadn’t seen or heard of this painting until I saw a reference to it in Family Guy ( I know, I know, just don’t flame me for it) and always wondered what it was called and where it was housed, amazing, thanks!

  • Nixcell

    From American Gothic: ” It became a symbol of an unwavering spirit in the face of diversity”

    Shouldn’t that be “in the face of adversity?”

    • rajimus123

      well one could argue that today it could be representative of the “traditional american” spirit in face of the adversity of diversity…if you’re a republican i mean.

    • Thanks for catching this. We have made the change. Although diversity was absurdly humorous.

  • rajimus123

    great list! i love art and love your writing style! I lived in Madrid for a year and had the opportunity to see Guernica at the Reina Sofia. it might jsut seem like an abstract bunch of doodles when you see it on your computer screen but when you are standing right in front of you can actually feel the chaos and tension of the spanish civil war coming off it. breath taking.

    also for the mona lisa, some recent research in 2008 (well not so recent) connects a charcoal sketch in Spain called La Giaconda as a preliminary sketch of the same model. a german researcher discovered a diary from a student of Da Vinci’s making a connection between the subject of both pieces and Lisa Gherardini, wife of Giuliano de Medici. speculation is that he had commissioned it as a wedding gift for her. although i’m not sure all of this has been 100% certified, most of the links of research on google and news stories point to this being the most compelling answer to the Mona Lisa question.

  • peter8172

    I must comment again. No.9 “The Arnolfini Wedding” by Jan Van Eyck (and its my understanding that there are only 22 Van Eyck paintings that remain to exist on earth). If you look between the man and woman holding hands, you will notice an object shaped like a “gear” behind them which is a mirror. If you take a magnifying glass and look at that gear shaped mirror behind them, you will see the BACKS of the man and woman holding hands. This is testimony to the attention to detail in which Van Eyck put into each and everyone of his paintings. Its almost of photographic quality.

  • TJ

    A Most Important Paintings list with Andy Warhol at number one? Without Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Rembrandt…hell, even Caveman Paintings are a lot more important than Warhol’s. Only hipsters think that Warhol’s art matters.

    • ed

      Absolutly agree. Somthing so recent cannot yet be judged because you havn’t yet seen what effect it will make. Sure, the bowl of fruit parody idea was clever, but if thats all it takes, there’s more than one clippings of “The Farside” that are voucheing to be the most importent work of art ever. Honestly, Warhol?

  • Chris

    Seriously? Slagging off Pollock. A bit poor.

    Interestingly, analysis of his work shows the presence of fractal structure, which is not present in similar works by any other artist. There’s definitely something to what he was doing.

  • Chris

    Oh, and Las Meninas by Velasquez is arguably more Easter Eggy. Top painting, that.

  • peter8172

    I don’t know about anybody out there who has his or her opinion of each of these paintings, but if it we’re me, if I could own just one of the Top Ten listed here, I wouldn’t have NO financial problem for the rest of my life !! Reading about a Jackson Pollock painting that fetched over $150 million dollars last summer sounds pretty good to me !!

  • Jay

    Congratulations for being the only person to make me appreciate Andy Warhol, whom I formerly disliked… the art of.

  • brian

    No Dali. Yet another fail. Pollack is complete garbage.

    • Brian, do you like any lists on this site? It seems every list is a failure. I’m not sure why you continue to frequent toptenz.net if we are constantly “failing”. The negativity is getting to be a bit much. Try finding a list you like and giving some positive comments. You might find it suits you. Have a great evening and a better tomorrow.

  • katood

    “the black square” by Malevich is actually more important then just the start of a new genre in art. It goes back to Stalin and communism. Stalin hated Malevich and his simplistic art, since it was an expression of creativity. He banned the painter from painting, and because of that Malevich painted the black square. It was the painting that defied the Soviet Union.
    its also pretty interesting that there have been many duplicates, but the one hanging in russia’s state heritage museum is the real one because it has the artists fingerprints on the back.

  • mast

    american choice one more time … you have such a little and biased knowledge of paintings

    • Broken record meet mast, you both have much in common.

  • Mike

    No, just no. I am glad you are trying to bring proper respect to The Arnolfini Wedding but you might wanna get rid of this to save face. Call them your favorites and i might not laugh.

  • Oggisonoio

    The three main innovator in the whole Art-history to me are:
    1. Giotto (di Bondone): the very first “humanizator” of the human figure he’s also considered the “father” of the perspective applied to the paitinting (…I mean what would be the entire Occidental Art without him? Whatever we see in pictures, we owe it to him).
    2. Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi), the lyrical painter of poverty. Not only Popes and rich or noble aristocracy’s memebers in his Art but also women (a prositute?) drowned in the Tiber River (Rome) and featured as the Holy Mary, like in the “Death of The Virgin” (Louvre museum, Paris).
    3. Vasilij Kandinsky, the contemporary poet of the shapes. every colour and every shape in his painting recalls a sound, a motion; that’s all on the basis of the synesthesia.
    Furthermore: we still don’t know that much about the painting (mainly fresxcoes but also woods) of the Roman Age but for sure there were famous and amazing painters also at that time.
    P.S.
    i do like a lot Monna Lisa but I’d say Leonardo’s “Virgin of the Rocks” is ceratinly the more “masterpiece” among his many masterpieces (there are two versions but I think the Louvre’s is somehow more “complete” than the one kept in the Nation gallery of London).
    P.P.S.
    Sorry for my bad english!!!

  • Most parodied work is Mona Lisa, and not American Gothic.

    Second, most expensive currently is the “The Card Players” by Paul Cezanne allegedly costing around $259 million!

  • Jurjen

    Where is Van Gogh?

  • Any top ten list that does not include Michelangelo seems deficient. American Gothic has not relevancy outside of the United States. A better choice for Picasso is Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, which most art historians regard as the first truly modern painting. Selecting one Goya would have been one too many, but two?

  • jeet kumar

    very nyc and beautiful this drauing