Historical Paintings that Rule the World

Like big waves have swamped the canoes on the high seas over time, the past has been flooded with paintings, of which a few art pieces have transcended time and culture and have slated their place in art history. While we are inundated with art day-in and day-out, there happen to be a few world paintings that have expressed restraint to the grace of style with a monumentality of their own, which germinates their essence in every point of time since these found expressions on the canvas.

With a virtuoso display of the artist’s power of invention and execution, staged in an imaginary version to express realities and idealism,a few paintings have surpassed an intensity to arouse admiration and charm and delight the onlookers, often with fascination and enchantment. The path breaking achievements of the success of these paintings are undoubtedly credentials to the paint, brush, canvas and the able hands that got these together to present to the world in sublimity. Below is a gallery of a few most famous paintings of all time – historical paintings that rule the world from the ages and will never be forgotten.

1. The Starry Night

This piece developed by Vincent Van Gogh was a subject of more criticism than praise, for it adopted an art style that was sloppy and non-methodical and done with thick and crude brush strokes. In the painting, the moon and stars in the night sky are surrounded by large halos of light while a church steeple stands out above the smaller, less detailed buildings in the town below. Art critics have found a religious overtone to this painting in reference to a statement that the creator of this painting made, where he described it as a great starlit vault of heaven…one can only call God. Submerged in criticism, this work went on to redefine art styles in the 20th century and paved the way to expressionism.

2. The Scream

Endowed with private feelings and experience, Edvard Munch’s Scream, created in the 20th century comes across as a reflection of existential angst and emotional turmoil. The painting shows a character in the foreground with hands held to its head and its mouth wide open in a silent scream, which is amplified by the undulating movement running through the surrounding landscape. The figure is ambiguous and the two other figures strolling in the background are taken to be friends in walk. This painting with its flowing lines and salient overall effect is said to serve as the spark that ignited the big paradigm shift in art that occurred around this time. Modern art analysis elucidates this piece as decidedly ugly, even hideous, sounds of living beings undergoing both physical and emotional suffering in the modern age. The records from his diary which read “Then the sun went down – The sky suddenly turned to blood and I felt a great scream in nature” settles us with the idea that Munch’s definition of nature was more Gothic, or if we may say scream-like?

3. The Night’s Watch

The Night’s Watch

This static military portrait of colossal size bears a lot of emotional association with Amsterdam. The painting depicts the eponymous company moving out, led by Captain Frans Banning Cocq and his lieutenant, Willem Van Ruytenburch. The civic guards who are depicted had, by the time Rembrandt painted them, become quite pacific. Het Rembrandthuis, a monotonous colorist who invariably worked with a low-keyed palette, evolved this with the technique of chiaroscuro, with its emphasis on the mysterious, evocative qualities of shadow, something which has always disturbed certain critics, and so occasionally has his subject matter. With in-numerous dilapidation that the painting got succumbed to, this art piece nevertheless failed to arrest public attention in line with the historical importance of the same. Now we understand why Shakespeare said, ‘How far that little candle throws its beams, so shines a great deed in a naughty world’.

4. The Birth of Venus

The Birth of Venus

Prepared with a deep perspectival space, Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’ depicts the goddess Venus having emerged from the sea as an adult woman, arriving at the shore. This painting lacks precise imagery to be taken out and art historians who specialize in the Italian Renaissance have found a Neo-platonic interpretation, which was most clearly articulated by Ernst Gombrich, to be the most enduring way to understand the painting. Now we might infer that Divine love as the painter might have tried to paint through the canvas, was the sentimental taste of the era, and looking at Venus-the most beautiful of goddesses, it is only fair that the viewers might at first raise a physical response in which minds are lifted towards love than the godly.

5. Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa

The ambiguity of the subject’s expression, frequently described as enigmatic, the structuring of the composition, the subtle modeling of forms and the atmospheric illusionism were novel qualities that have contributed to the continuing fascination and study of this great piece of art that the world knows as Mona Lisa. Created during the Renaissance, the sensuous curves of the sitter’s hair and clothing, created through sfumato are echoed in the shapes of the valleys and rivers behind her. The sense of overall harmony achieved in this 16th century painting—especially apparent in the sitter’s faint smile—reflects Vinci’s idea of the cosmic link connecting humanity and nature, making this painting an enduring record of Leonardo’s vision. Enigma is all that illuminates in our minds when Lisa features in our vision. To Vinci and to Renaissance, may Lisa survive long, as did she through the ages.


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