Face it; reproductions in books or online are no match for viewing original artwork in person. With a nod to the recent popularity of “bucket lists,” here is my personal short list of seven paintings to see before you die. What’s on your list?
1. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer, 1665
At 18.5” x 15.7”, this work is relatively small but demonstrates Vermeer’s mastery of light and figure. It is currently located at the Mauritshuis in the Hague.
2. The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, 1510-1515
Not much is known about the artist, but this triptych is one of Bosch’s most famous and most recognizable works. It is located in Madrid at the Museo del Prado.
3. Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X by Francis Bacon, 1953
This dark and haunting portrait is one of 45 works done in the 1950s and 60s which were influenced by Diego Velazquez’s portrait of Pope Innocent X. View it at the Des Moines Art Center in Des Moines, Iowa.
4. The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse, 1888
Based on a scene from Lord Alfred Tennyson’s 1832 poem bearing the same name. Located at The Tate Gallery, London, England.
5. Braids by Andrew Wyeth, 1979
Part of The Helga Pictures, a group of 247 studies that the artist did of the German model Helga Testorf. Most of the paintings were purchased by millionaire Leonard E.B. Andrews in 1986.
6. Madonna by Edvard Munch, 1894
One of the five versions of the Madonna painted between 1894 and 1895. This version was stolen from the Munch Museum of Oslo in 2004 but was later recovered and remains there to this day.
7. Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, 1942
At The Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois since its completion in 1942, this painting not only displays Hopper’s love of extreme perspective and effects of light, but also his deep sympathy for the unique scenes and characters of New York City.
Brian Sylvester is a guest blogger on WallSpin, and an artist on Zatista.
- Vermeer draws us into a secret world (guardian.co.uk)
- Think Small Art (Zatista.com)
- Maddie On Things – A Dog As Art? (Zatista.com)