The history of paintings also means the history of human being relations to images. From cave painting to canvas painting, the human being has been obsessed with drawing pictures to represent someone or something. Today, we have been left to the puzzling of the genius skilful accomplishment and its artistic beauty of our ancestors.

  1. Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci

Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci

The most famous painting of all time. The smile has become a hallmark of Leonardo’s style. Painted around somewhere 1503 and working it for about four years, and keeping it himself for some years. After his death, the painting entered Francois l’s collection and transferred to the Louvre after the France Revolution. The Mona Lisa is veiled with mysteries that still remain unclear until today.

  1. The Last Supper, Leonardo Da Vinci.
The Last SupperJulyandi | Australia Network News

The Last Supper is the fifteenth -century mural painting and covers the back wall of the dining hall at the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. Painted around 1495 and completed around 1598. The painting was part of the project renovations of the Church and its covenant buildings, commissioned by Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza. The painting represents the scene of The Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, where he announces that one of the disciples would betray him, and the depicted their startled response of astonishment, dismay and recoil.

  1. The School of Athens, Raphel

The School of Athens

The School of Athens is Raphael’s masterpiece that convey perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the Renaissance. He revolutionised the contemporary portrait making. The painting represents all the figures of the greatest scholars, philosophers and scientist that lived in different times, gather together, sharing ideas and learn from each others under one roof. It also represents of how knowledge was passed down from generations to generations.

The Renaissance thinkers were able to harmonise mix with an adoration of Ancient Greek and Roman culture as the roots of European civilization. And also paying tribute to the legacy of knowledge passing down by the Islamic age. The painting dedicated to the path of knowledge, to understanding the causes to drive knowledge. All the philosophers show in the fresco traditionally sought knowledge through an understanding of root causes.

4. The Last Judgment, Michaelangelo

The Last JudgmentJulyandi | Australia Network News

The Last Judgment is one of the most renowned artworks of the High Renaissance. Took four years to complete the painting and done between 1536-1541.  It was commissioned by Pope Paul III to paint on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. It tells the tales of Genesis, embellished with prophet and sibyls, saints and sinners, heroic nude of the immortal Adam at the moment of creation.  The Last Judgment is the reminder of heaven and hell, the resurrected summoned by angels, the saved, the damned and the descent into the underworld.

  1. The Baptism of the Neophytes, Massacio

Baptism of the Neophytes 02

Tommaso di Ser Geovanni di Mone Cassai (Massacio) was the founder of painting in Florence with astonishing realism, the characterisation and communication of form and activity and emotion. Evidently, traces his influence on the work of Leonardo Da Vinci. It depicts the Shievering the Neophystes wait baptism by Peter. ‘

  1. The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli

La nascita di Venere (Botticelli)

The Birth of Venus is a masterpiece of the Renaissance in Florence by Sandro Botticelli and surely one of the most recognisable images in art history, importantly, the first non-religious use since classical antiquity. He painted during 1485 and completed around 1487. The painting depicts the goddess Venus (or Aphrodite a she is known in Greek mythology) emerging the sea upon a shell in accordance with the myth that explains her birth.

  1. Venus of Urbino, Titian

Anonymous Venus of Urbino

Titian has changed the contemporary in the way that he represents its secular subjects, often sexual and mischievously, conveying delight in erotic pleasure. Importantly, move away from patronage ideal which opening a wide range of subjects open to painters. Titian has successfully achieved the depiction of the perfect Renaissance woman, who just like Venus, become the symbol of love, beauty and fertility.

  1. The Calling of St. Matthew, Carravaggio

Caravaggio's The Calling of St Matthew

The Calling of St. Matthew is a masterpiece by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Completed in 1599-1600 for the Contarelli Capel in the church of the French congregation, San Luigi dei Franscesi in Rome, where it remains today. He plays a key role in defining seventeenth-century Italian art. The Calling of St. Matthew was one of the twelve apostles and the author of the first Gospel. The tale of the calling of Saint Matthew is found in the New Testament, Matthew 9.9. In this painting, Caravaggio depicts the very moment when Matthew first realises he is being called.

  1. Las Meninas, Velazquez

Las Meninas 01

Las Meninas has long been recognised as one of the most important paintings in Western art history. It is 1656 paintings. In the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Les Meninas (Spanish for the maids of honour) is a portrait of Infanta Margarita, the daughter of King Philip IV, and his second wife Mariana of Austria. The complex work and enigmatic compositions raise questions about reality and illusion that create an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted.

10. La Liberté guidant le peuple, Eugène Delacroix.

Eugène Delacroix - La liberté guidant le peuple

La Liberté guidant le peuple (English: Liberty Leading the people) portray to honouring the day during 1830 revolution, which widespread revolt to toppled Charles X regime and the people rose and fought for their liberty. depicting by the personification of a goddess of liberty leads the people forward over the bodies of the fallen, holding a flag of the French revolution and a bayonetted. Delacroix painted in the aftermath of Paris ‘Three Glorious Days’ of July, 27-29 July 1830. Liberty becomes the primary example of a painting that can explore both political and social contexts. 

11. Starry Night, Van Gogh

VanGogh-starry night ballance1

Starry night is a perfect example of the Impressionist painting movement. It completed in 1889. In the aftermath of Van Gogh’s 1888 breakdown that resulted in the self-mutilation of his left ear, and suffer from mental illness. He voluntarily admitted himself into an asylum. The scene unfolding before us in Starry Night depicts the view from the east facing the window of Van Gogh’s asylum room at Saint Remy de Provence just before sunrise. The painting is the ultimate combination of direct observations, imaginations, memories and whimsical emotions.

12. The Scream, Edvard Munch

The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893 - Nasjonalgalleriet

The Scream is one of the most vivid, haunting and iconic pieces of art ever made. Painted in 1893. Munch is a Norwegian Expressionist, evidently created work from a fragment  his imagination overrun with a very dark subject matter. The central figure is clearly suffering from a private moment of anguish in despair while the people surrounding him appear to be blissfully unaware of his anxieties and demons.

13. The Night Watch, Rembrandt van Rijn.

The Night Watch - Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Rembrandt is one of the famous Dutch painters. Completed in 1642, at the peak of the Dutch Golden Age. Depicted a city guard moving out, led by Captain Frans Banning Cocq and his lieutenant, Willem van Ruyenburch.

14. Guernica, Pablo Picasso

Mural del Gernika

Guernica is a mural sized oil painting on canvas, completed by June 1937. It is considered to be his most powerful political statement, painted as an immediate reaction to the Nazi’s devastating casual bombing practice on the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. Guernica shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. The painting has become  universal and powerful symbol warning for humanity against the suffering and devastation of war.

15. Campbells Soup, Andy Warhol


Warhol was expertly able to show contemporary artists that they couldn’t ignore the foundational social changes affected by mass media. The Soup cans produced in 1962. It artistically for their role in firmly entrenching Pop art as a notable movement, one that combined image and themes for consumer and commercial media.

16. Lavender Mist, Jackson Pollock

Lavender MistJulyandi | Australia Network News

Lavender Mist is the most recent painting that the artist embodies the artistic revolution. Pollock moved away from figurative representation and challenge the Western tradition (and foundation) of using an easel and brush. This painting is the most expensive painting ever sold (at over $140 million dollars).

17. Alexander Mosaic

The Alexander Mosaic depicting the Battle of Issus between Alexander the Great & Darius III of Persia, from the House of the Faun in Pompeii, Naples Archaeological Museum (15045954695)

Dated back from c. 100 BC is a Roman floor mosaic originally from the House of the Faun in Pompeii. The painting depicts the battle between the armies of Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia. The mosaic is believed to be a copy of an early 3rd century BC Hellenistic painting, possibly by Philoxenos of Eretria.

18. Lascaux Cave Painting, France

Lascaux painting

Lascaux is the setting of a complex cave in Southwestern France famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. It contains one of the best -known Upper Paleolithic Art. It is estimated to be around 17,000-20,000 years old. Lascaux is one of the world rich examples of cave art with over 1500 engravings and 600 drawings have been documented.

Picasso is quoted as saying,; “We have invented nothing new”, after seeing the cave paintings at Lascaux France. “After Altamira, all is decadence”, when he exited the infamous caves in his native Spain.

19. Stencil of hands and the Spot of Babirusa, Indonesia Island of Sulawesi

Sulawesi Cave PaintingJulyandi | Australia Network News

It was founded around 50 years ago, but the origin is remaining unknown. However, the style shows similar to other art in other area found to be around 40,000 years old. And making it among the oldest Images in the world. Archaeologist reported in a study that rewrites the history of art.  According to archaeologist Thomas Sutikna of Australia University of Wollongong, “the fact that people in Sulawesi were doing the same things s contemporaries in Europe indicates cave art may be have emerged independently at about the same time around the world, including Southeast Asia”.


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