10 Greatest Artworks of All Time

10 Greatest Artworks of All Time

Over the years, many artists have provided us astonishing paintings, portraits, and sculptures. Considering their technical skills, era, and creative thinking, we have picked the ten greatest artworks of all time including the renaissance and baroque periods! So, let’s see how appealing they are to you.

  1. Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

This masterpiece is one of the most recognized works by Leonardo da Vinci, and it is no surprise that it tops our list. Mona Lisa is believed to be the wife of Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo. Contrary to this, most historians believe it is Leonardo’s mother.

But, what makes this work so controversial yet popular? It is because of the harmony that exists between the painting’s background and the whole body frame of Mona Lisa. Besides, the choice of hue and clothing might not be fashionable but will always be appealing to the future generation. This revolutionary artwork has inspired great artists and musicians.

2. The Fetus in the Womb by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo expresses the condition of a baby in the womb, like an opened horse chestnut. Of course, he draws our minds to how we laid at the beginning. We may not know where he got this inspiration from considering his era, but this depiction of the Fetus in the womb transcends the views of science and religion of his time. It is no doubt it features as our second most excellent artwork of all time.

3. The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo

Located in the Sistine Chapel in Rome, this biblical painting narrates the account where God created Adam. The creator is portrayed as an older man who is floating in the air, along with other human-like beings. Adam appears in the nude while God is draped in a tunic that exposes his muscular body.

The outstretching of God’s hands towards the created depicts the relationship that exists between the heavenly beings and man. This painting is famous for its nudity, which tilts towards Michelangelo’s earliest sculpturing skills. It is believed that the woman tucked in God’s arm is Eve, who was created from Adam’s ribs.

4. Self Portrait by Rembrandt

In this artwork, Rembrandt seems to look into every soul, like God, knowing the beholder’s failings and intents. It goes with the famous saying that ‘you are not looking at Rembrandt instead; he is looking at you.’ He appears pretty serious, such that most people believe that the moral authority with his gaze can provoke a feeling of guilt in the looker’s mind. The original masterpiece is placed in Kenwood’s house, London.  

5. The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli 

This is one of the most outstanding paintings of the Renaissance era. Unlike the Mona Lisa that featured on a wood panel, this artwork used a tempera on canvas, which was a departure from the prevailing painting materials of that time. The painting shows a nude (Venus) in the middle, referencing the early days of primitive man. Here, Venus is seen rising from the sea, riding upon a shell, and guided to the shore by Chloris and Zephyrus. While you can see the Spring goddess Pomona waiting for her arrival, Botticelli desires you to have a glance of Venus’ thick neck and long hair.

6. Chauvet cave paintings

The Chauvet cave paintings dated 30,000 years ago, and since writing was not developed at that time, no one knows the identity of the painter. The artists could have been, men, women, or children, but we understand that this was our human ancestor’s way of preserving information; to tell us of their achievements. The sight of these horse-like mammals speaks much about the level of man’s relationship with animals at this time.     

7. The beheading of John the Baptist by Caravaggio 

This is another biblical portrait detailing the moment John the Baptist was murdered in prison on the orders of King Herod. The scene creates sympathy in the mind of the beholder as the prisoner’s head is severed with a sword. A lady brings a golden tray while others watch in awe and resentment. In this masterpiece, Caravaggio makes efforts at expressing the cruelty and destructive nature of man.

8. Guernica by Pablo Picasso

The painting was inspired following the attack by Hitler’s forces against the people of Paris, killing over a third of the population. Interpreting this artwork is a little difficult for the untrained eye, but the figures depict anger, pain, and grief. On the left, a woman is sobbing heavily for her dead child. At the center is a distressed horse while the bull seems unscathed. People are agonizing and traumatized over their injuries and the numerous dead bodies on the ground. Guernica used this painting to draw the attention of the international community to the war and its effects.

9. Water Lilies by Claude Monet

Quite a few of Claude Monet’s works have been chosen, yet he is one of the most impressive painters of all time. And his Water Lilies is rated as the greatest of his paintings. The portrait defines the marriage between light and nature, giving a glimpse of the beautiful heaven on earth. It is said that the eyes are a window to the soul, and here is one painting that can redefine your view of life and beauty.

10. The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

This seemingly abstract painting is one of the few examples of Van Gogh’s intelligent and innovative use of ink and brush. The artwork is a combination of yellow and blue hues in a dreamy atmosphere. Dated in 1889, the Starry Night was inspired by the view of the evening sky from his window while he was in an asylum in the French city of Saint Remi.


We hope you are intrigued by our presentation of the ten most significant artworks of all time. Many of these artists were considered exceptional because they created remarkable legacies that have endured beyond their time. There is no doubt that their works will always startle us. Though you may have other great names and masterpieces in your mind, you cannot deny that these few selected artists made outstanding impacts in our today’s world.

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