Who Says It’s A Masterpiece? The Masterpiece Of Arts

According to a British Museum’s blog, there are two paintings, two pastels and then an unspecified number of prints. The paintings reside in the National Museum and the Munch Museum, and in 2012, one of the pastels sold for almost $120 million at auction. Every year, billions of dollars’ worth of art passes through international auction houses, while leading museums each hold tens of thousands — even hundreds of thousands — of artworks in their collections. But precious few ever achieve the fame required to truly be considered household names.

Registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales , and the Scottish Charity Regulator . Find out more about the arts by becoming a Supporter of The Arts Society. The androgynous figure in the forefront of the Art Nouveau-style painting isn’t producing the scream but rather is trying to block out a piercing shriek coming from nature. It was inspired by an actual experience Munch had while taking in a sunset stroll in Oslo when a dramatic red hue overwhelmed his senses. 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. The comparatively abstract painting is the signature example of van Gogh’s innovative and bold use of thick brushstrokes.

The painting’s striking blues and yellows and the dreamy, swirling atmosphere have intrigued art lovers for decades. Leonardo, the original “Renaissance Man,” is the only artist to appear on this list twice. This article appeared in the Winter 2003 print issue of LINEA.

  • As this cultural norm became part of our basic art education, it shaped our taste and expectations.
  • This sculpture has survived for over 2100 years, with the exception of the original arms.
  • The tragic power of these prisoners as they struggle to emerge out of raw stone is an expression of the human condition that equals Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
  • This masterpiece had been missing for so long that some people doubted its existence.
  • It’s now believed that Trachte forged the painting around 1973 during a bitter divorce.
  • Some feelings must be evoked, whether it’s curiosity, awe, or disgust.

It represents an ideal of perfection for aspiring artists to emulate , and art lovers to admire and collect. As this cultural norm became part of our basic art education, it shaped our taste and expectations. Much like the case of “Mona Lisa,” daring thefts of the two painting versions of “The Scream” helped elevate the public’s awareness of the artworks. We compared dozens of popular masterpieces — from classics such as “Mona Lisa,” “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” and the “Salavator Mundi,” to more modern works like “Nighthawks” and even the “Dogs Playing Poker” series.

Encounters With Nice Artistic Endeavors

A masterpiece can also refer to an outstanding performance by a very skilled actor. One might appreciate an artist because he’s captive to his knowledge base in whatever art history. But seeing more broadens the understanding and appreciation of the evolution of taste, scholarship, and personal development. By looking at exhibitions, people can continue to develop and expand their knowledge of what a masterpiece can be.

For the many not of the elite, the masterpieces forming the canon of art may feel at odds with their lived experience and collective history. It is tempting to abandon the idea of the masterpiece as an obsolete concept tailored for a bygone world, and adopt a more relativistic approach. As Elizabeth Gibson walked to get coffee one morning in March 2003, she saw a colorful abstract painting sandwiched between two large garbage bags in front of a Manhattan apartment building. She felt the painting was powerful but never suspected it was a masterpiece, especially with its cheap frame. But the painting she rescued from the garbage that day was Three People, a 1970 work by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo. It had been stolen in the 1980s from the true owners, a married couple in Houston.


Like a solo by Charlie Parker or Jimi Hendrix, his freeform improvisations loop and lurch and yet achieve a profound unity. Pollock only held this together for a short period of brilliance. The authority of genius and age gaze out of this autumnal masterpiece with a moral scrutiny that is terrifying.

If you don’t have an account, sign up to explore exhibitors’ artworks and register for exclusive events and benefits. The most famous work by renowned artist Michelangelo covers a section of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling — you have to look up to view it. The scene depicts God and Adam with outstretched arms, their fingers nearly touching. Madrid is the only city in this roundup where you’ll find two of the most 10 famous paintings, the first being “Guernica” at No. 5 and “Las Maninas” here at No. 9. From Klimt’s “Golden Period,” Byzantine artistic influences can be seen in the highly decorative robes worn by the passionate, life-sized couple. The painting has that distinctive Picasso style, and its unflinching examination of the horrors of war made it an essential part of 20th century culture and history.