The 47 Greatest Works That Redefined The Meaning Of Art

Art movements and periods rise and fall as we jump from century to century, and each made its mark in the world. We have become wiser, and the thirst to move forward at all costs has never been quenched and never will be for that matter. The Modern Sciences have given a new face to

Yazmín Veloz

The 47 Greatest Works That Redefined The Meaning Of Art

Art movements and periods rise and fall as we jump from century to century, and each made its mark in the world. We have become wiser, and the thirst to move forward at all costs has never been quenched and never will be for that matter. The Modern Sciences have given a new face to this world and has increased our thirst for knowledge tenfold. Wars continue to ravage entire continents, and amidst the suffering and euphoria that grips the world, the artistic spirit remains untouched.


The Painting of Chauvet Cave

Chauvet famous paintings - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


Laocoön Group,
Agesander, Athenodoros and Polydorus of the Island of Rhodes

Famous paintings lacoonte and his sons - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Arnolfini Portrait” (1434)
Jan Van Eyck

Famous paintings jan van eyck - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art

Each of these works evoke a profound, indescribable feeling, and it is the power they hold over us that has immortalized them in history. Countless philosophers and aestheticians have tried to pinpoint the meaning of art, what distinguishes an art work from other objects in the world. What makes art, art? For Arthur Danto, artworks embody meanings, and as such, they elicit from viewers acts of interpretation, so they can grasp these elusive meanings they embody. Art is born from an idea that has never been materialized, and the artist does the impossible and lands this idea in the material world for all to see and admire.


“The Virgin of the Rocks” (1486)
Leonardo da Vinci

Famous paintings da vinci - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Allegory of Spring” (1478)
Sandro Botticelli

Famous paintings botticelli - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


The Pietà (1499)
Michelangelo Buonarroti

Famous paintings pieta - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Garden of Earthly Delights” (1503–1515)
Hieronymus Bosch
Famous paintings garden of delights - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Knight, Death and the Devil” (1513)
Albrecht Dürer

Famous paintings knight death - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Venus of Urbino” (1538)
Titian

Famous paintings venus of urbino - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Burial of the Count of Orgaz” (1586–1588)
El Greco

Famous paintings el greco - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art

There is a context tied to art, but it is difficult to pin down its exact meaning. How do we interact with art? This too has evolved with the ages. Danto says art is no longer primarily looked at; instead, we stare at it. He goes on to explain his own version of the idea of what art wants, “the end and fulfillment of the history of art is the philosophical understanding of what art is, an understanding that is achieved in the way that understanding in each of our lives is achieved, namely, from the mistakes we make, the false paths we follow, the false images we have come to abandon until we learn wherein our limits consist, and then how to live within those limits.”


“The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist” (1608)
Michelangelo da Caravaggio

Famous paintings caravaggio - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art

Caravaggio is the true master of shadows. His technique is unparalleled, and once you decipher his ingenious play with light, you’re bound to fall in love with his work. He led a tortured life, and his death is still shrouded in mystery. Read how his paintings changed the world and the mysterious life he led here.


“The Night Watch” (1642)
Rembrandt van Rijn

Famous paintings night watch - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Las Meninas” (1656)
Diego Velázquez

Famous paintings meninas - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Death of Marat” (1793)
Jacques-Louis David

Famous paintings marat - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Snow Storm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps” (1810-1812)
Joseph Mallord William Turner

Famous paintings william turner - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Wanderer above the Sea of Fog” (1818)
Caspar David Friedrich

Famous paintings caspar - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art
I wandered lonely as a cloud,
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
-William Wordsworth.

This painting is the epitome of the Romantic period, where nature was the fountain of inspiration. The poet John Keats once said, “if poetry comes not as naturally as the leaves to a tree, it had better not come at all.” So, we see a man looking out into the horizon, in awe of the power of nature. A man who is at the top of the world and who will find new purpose in life.


“Saturn Devouring his Son” (1823)
Francisco de Goya

Famous paintings goya - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Origin Of The World” (1866)
Gustave Courbet

Famous paintings origin of the world - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art

It is a difficult endeavor to classify which paintings stand above the rest. To which standard can they be measured against? Technique, context, lighting, innovation, aesthetics, paradigms, and the list goes on. There is also a matter of culture, clearly this list is focusing only on Western art forms. This small list is but a taste of the wealth of art the Western world enjoys. We simply wish to marvel at the evolution in technique and how the meaning of “art” has evolved with time.


“Impression, Sunrise” (1872)
Claude Monet

Famous paintings monet - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Le Dejeuner des Canotiers” (1881)
Pierre Auguste Renoir
Famous paintings renoir - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Potato Eater” (1885)
Vincent van Gogh

Famous paintings potato eaters - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” (1886)
Georges Seurat

Famous paintings george seurat - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Scream” (1893)
Edvard Munch

Famous paintings munch - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Age of Maturity or Destiny” (1902)
Camille Claudel
Famous paintings camille claudel - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Beethoven Frieze” (1902)
Gustave Klimt

Famous paintings klimt - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Mont Sainte-Victoire” (1905)
Paul Cézanne

Famous paintings cezanne - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” (1907)
Pablo Picasso
Famous paintings picasso - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Dessert: Harmony in Red” (1908)
Henri Matisse

Famous paintings matisse - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Unique Forms of Continuity in Space” (1913)
Umberto Boccioni

Famous paintings boccioni - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Black Square” (1913)
Kazimir Malévich

Famous paintings kazimir - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Composition VII” (1913)
Wassily Kandinsky

Famous paintings kandinsky - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Man with a Guitar” (1914)
Georges Braque

Famous paintings braque - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art

Abstract, Renaissance, Baroque, Chiaroscuro, Surrealism, Dadaism, Pop, Classical, all have a unique essence. Everything changes and the evolution of art is impossible to predict, and some of these paintings irrevocably changed the course.


“Fountain” (1917)
Marcel Duchamp

Famous paintings marcel duchamp - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Cut with the Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany” (1919)
Hannah Höch

Famous paintings hannah hoch - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“La puberté proche ou Les pléiades” (1921)
Max Ernst

Famous paintings max ernst - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“La trahison des images” (1929)
René Magritte

Famous paintings magritte - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Persistence of Memory” (1931)
Salvador Dalí

Famous paintings dali - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Nighthawks” (1942)
Edward Hopper

Famous paintings hopper - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)” (1950)
Jackson Pollock

Famous paintings jackson pollock - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X” (1953)
Francis Bacon

Famous paintings francis bacon - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?” (1956)
Richard Hamilton

Famous paintings richard hamilton - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Brillo Box” (1964)
Andy Warhol

Famous paintings andy warhol - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” (1991)
Damien Hirst

Famous paintings damien hirst - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Au naturel” (1994)
Sarah Lucas

Famous paintings sara lucas - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Petite maman” (1995)
Louise Bourgeois

Famous paintings louise bourgeoise - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“Balloon dog” (1998)
Jeff Koons

Famous paintings jeff koons - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art


“The Rose II” (2008)
Cy Twombly

Famous paintings cy twombly - the 47 greatest works that redefined the meaning of art

You can never know enough about art. If you think you know it all, have a look at these 51 magnificent paintings that all snobs and connoisseurs can spot from a mile away.