10 best paintings from famous museums—
10 best painting from famous museums like TATE, Britain and Getty, Los Angeles.
The best paintings simply awe us!! Paintings are emotions poured from the artist to make it speak, though they are unvoiced. It touches its viewers the same way it is created.
The paintings addressed here have unique theme, portraying best of expressions possible. To blow you off the ground, we have gone through best of paintings from the year 1600-1900 and picked 10 most amazing paintings ever produced.
Most of them depicts some scene or characters from great plays or narrations of that era.
This piece of art is created by Sir John Everett Millais around 1851.Ophelia is a character from the play Hamlet written by Shakespeare.
While picking flowers she slips and falls into a stream and allows herself to die. She does so as she is grieved by her father’s murder by her own lover, Hamlet.
The flowers she holds are symbolizing her emotional condition. Poppy symbolizes death, daisies innocence and pansies love in vain.
2) The Lady of Shalott–
This beautiful wordless piece of art is created by John William Waterhouse around 1888. She illustrates a character from Alfred Tennyson’s poem, The Lady of Shalott.
On the far left, we see the steps leading down from the tower to the river. She holds the chain for the boats mooring which she’s just about to release.
The two low flying swallows tells something ominous is happening. The lady is cursed and she is dying.
She brought a curse on herself by looking directly at Sir Lancelot. Her mouth is slightly open showing she is singing her last song.
She stares at the crucifix lying in front of her which shows sacrifice. Two out of the three candles have blown out; this suggests that her life will end soon.
This piece of art is created by Sir John Everett Millais around 1851. She is Mariana from Shakespeare’s play Measure for Measure.
The story is about a woman who is abandoned by her husband for many years. She is rejected after her dowry being lost in a shipwreck.
But she is still in love and waits for him to come. Mariana’s tired pose as she is stretching her back, her embroidery, and the fallen leaves depicts her bondage, longingness and wait of years.
4)Claudio and Isabella–
This painting is created by William Holman Hunt Around 1850. Claudio and Isabella are characters from Shakespeare play Measure for Measure.
This is a scene of complex dilemma for both the characters. Claudio has been sentenced to death by Angelo, deputy to the duke of Vienna, under false charges for impregnating his mistress.
Claudio’s sister Isabella is about to become a nun. Claudio can only be saved if his sister, Isabella, sacrifices her virginity to Angelo. Here in this moment Claudio appeals to Isabella to save his life, but she refuses.
The apple blossom blown by the wind at his feet symbolizes his readiness to buy his own freedom with Isabella’s purity. Holman hunt summarizes the moral of the picture as: “Thou shall not do evil that good may come”.
This simply means one should not choose a path of evil to let something good happen.
5)The Awakening Conscience–
This painting is created by William Holman Hunt around 1853. This painting pictures a kept woman in a modern Victorian room. She is sitting on the lap of her lover who is playing piano.
He may be singing some song from her childhood which remember her of the past and innocence which awakens her conscience. Her reflection which can be seen in the mirror behind her shows that she is looking outside the window.
She is awakened by the nature and light coming from the window. This painting depicts how good can come to us in unexpected moments.
Her posture shows her awakening while her lover’s reclining posture and his embrace show the barrier she has to break to move forward towards good in life.
The point Hunt is trying to make is the same person who is source of your sinfulness can be unwillingly the source of your inspiration for your awakening.
6)The Ghost of Flea—
This piece of art is created by William Blake around 1819. He was stormed by visions and one of the most prominent figures was Flea.
Blake explained fleas were the souls of bloodthirsty men, who were confined to the body of insects out of punishment.
If they were the size of horses, they would drink so much blood and kill so much people that most of the country population will be killed. We can see Flea bloodthirsty nature in his tongue and the cup he is carrying for drinking blood.
7)Mars & Venus, Allegory of Peace–
This jewel like painting is created by Louis-Jean-Francois Lagrenee around 1770. This painting pictures Mars, the Roman god of war and Venus, the Roman goddess of love.
Mars throws back the rich green bed curtains and morning light falls on sleeping Venus. Mars gazes at her mesmerized by her beauty. There is an expression of gentleness and calmness in the face of Mars, contrary to the fierce and war-like features of the god.
Her love has changed him and tempered her fierce character. His shield and sword lie abandoned on the floor laying no importance at the point of time & present feelings.
This symbolizes war is defeated by love. Amplifying the lover’s bliss, a pair of white dove, symbolizing peace, builds a nest in Mars helmet.
8)Dante and Vergile–
This piece of art is created by William-Adolphe Bouguereau around 1850. This painting is inspired by a short scene from Inferno, set in the eighth circle of Hell (the circle reserved for those who cheat, falsifiers and counterfeiters), where Dante along with Vergil watches a fight between two cursed soul.
Capocchio, a dissident and alchemist is attacked and bitten on neck by Gianni Schicchi who has taken over the identity of dead man to fraudulently claim his inheritance.
Gianni throws himself on Capocchio, his rival, with a strange fury. This is pictured beautifully by furious muscles, nerves, tendons and teeth, and the struggle between them.
The painting magnificently portrays the feeling of horror, which cannot be seen in any other painting.
9)The Abduction of Europa—
This piece of art is created by Rembrandt around 1632. The picture portrays a scene from The Metamorphoses, a Latin poem by Roman poet Ovid. In this poem Ovid narrates the story of God Jupiter who disguised himself as a white bull to seduce princess Europa away from her companions.
He carries her across the sea to a distant land that would be called by her name. Puzzled, Europa grasps the bull’s horn; tighten her fingers around his neck, and turns back to look at her companions at water’s edge.
One woman falls down, raising her arms to alarm everyone around, dropping the flowers in her hand. The carriage rider rises to his feet and gazes at departing princess in horror. Painting beautifully conveys narrative story through dramatic gestures and landscape effects.
10)The Lament for Icarus–
This piece of art is created by Herbert James Draper around 1898. This painting shows dead Icarus from Greek mythology.
He is surrounded by crying and mourning sea nymphs. His father, Deadalus, a great craftsman and has made him wings made from wax so that he can escape from the island of Crete.
But Icarus flies too near the sun out of pride and the wax melts which kills him. This is one of the best paintings made by Herbert.