Famous art pieces every adult should know


If you want to be recognized as a smart adult, you should know a little something about art and music. For some reason, art and music appreciation is often equated with your intellect. So, here are some of the most famous art pieces that every adult should know.

The Kiss (Gustav Klimt, 1907)

The Kiss is a 1907 oil painting by Gustav Klimt, currently located in Vienna’s Austrian Art Gallery. This painting has a powerful presence thanks in part to its nearly 71 in x 71 in dimension. Klimt drew his inspiration for this painting from his travels to Ravena, Italy, where he noticed the Byzantine influence in the mosaics of San Vitale. The use of gold is inspired by his past as a metal worker.

Starry Night (Vincent van Gogh, 1889)

Easily placed among the best known pieces of art in the world, this magnetic piece of art is everywhere – on your t-shirts, coffee houses, and mugs. This masterpiece is timeless as it resonates with people everywhere. It was painted at a time when Vincent van Gogh was at the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. His depression, darkness, and hallucinations come alive in this dreamlike and ethereal painting.

The Scream (Edvard Munch, 1893)

The Norwegian expressionist Edvard Munch created this work in 1893. The composition was given a popular name, The Scream. The work shows an agonized face, said to depict the anxieties of a modern man. Munch is said to have suddenly sensed “an infinite scream passing through the nature” while taking a walk after sunset.

Girl With a Pearl Earring (Johannes Vermeer, 1665)

This work is easily counted among Vermeer’s most famous paintings. When they first see it, many people think that it is a portrait, but it is actually a “tronie,” or imaginary figure. Tronies highlight a set of characteristics, which in this case include a large pearl earring and a turban that the girl is seen wearing. Johannes Vermeer, recognized as the master of light, shows this skill in the girl’s bright face and moist lips.

Persistence of Memory (Salvador Dali, 1931)

Salvador Dali, the Spanish surrealist painter is recognized as highly outlandish and weird in the choice of his subject matter. These characteristics place him among some of the most enigmatic 20th century artists. The Persistence of Memory is a masterpiece in surrealism. This work, often mistakenly called “Melting Clocks,” depicts such clocks on a barren landscape. In a surrealist vein, the painting possibly symbolizes the dreamlike state, in which time has erratic behavior. In other words, it shows our notion of time as arbitrary and irrelevant.

No 5 (Jackson-Pollock, 1948)

Jackson-Pollock, an American painter, is recognized for his role in the abstract expressionist movement. This painting was done on a fibreboard measuring 8′ x 4′ with lots of yellow and brown paints drizzled over it, giving its resemblance to a nest. It’s certainly not a senseless paint splatter. This is among the most revolutionary works coming from Pollock. He never sketched out or test-ran his larger sized works, unlike many other artists. Instead, emotion and intuition were his guiding forces. It was among the most expensive paintings in the world when it sold a second time for $250 million in 2011.