50 works of art to see before you die

The ScreamIn an interesting article for The Guardian, Jonathan Jones takes a look at 50 works of art you really ought to see.   I’m ashamed to say I’ve seen only a few of them.  Making the list are, in no particular order:

  • Piero della Francesca The Baptism of Christ (1450s), National Gallery, London
  • Antony Gormley The Angel of the North (1998), Gateshead
  • Masjid-i Shah (now Masjid-i Imam) Mosque (largely 1612-1630) Isfahan, Iran
  • JMW Turner Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway (exhibited 1844), National Gallery, London
  • Claude Monet Nymphéas (1914-1926), Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris
  • Robert Smithson Spiral Jetty (1970), Great Salt Lake, Utah
  • Tikal (AD300-AD869), Late Classic Maya site, Guatemala
  • Jackson Pollock One: Number 31, 1950, Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • John Constable The Hay Wain (1821), National Gallery, London
  • The Alhambra (mostly 14th century), Granada
  • Mark Rothko The Rothko Chapel (paintings 1965-66; chapel opened 1971), Houston, Texas
  • Matthias Grünewald The Isenheim Altarpiece (1509-1515), Musée Unterlinden, Colmar
  • Masaccio The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise (c. 1427), Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence
  • Edvard Munch The Scream (1893), National Gallery, Oslo
  • Giotto Fresco cycle in the Scrovegni Chapel (1305-1306), Padua
  • Vincent van Gogh The Starry Night (1889), Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Terracotta Army of the First Qin Emperor (c. 210BC), Shaanxi province, China
  • Sandro Botticelli Primavera (1481-1482), Uffizi Gallery, Florence
  • Stonehenge (2950BC-1600BC), Salisbury Plain, UK
  • Limbourg brothers Les Très Riches Heurs du Duc de Berry (1413-1416), Musée Condé, Chantilly
  • The Book of Kells (c. AD800), Trinity College Library, Dublin
  • Ishtar Gate (c. 575BC), Pergamon Museum, Berlin
  • Pieter Pauwel Rubens Descent from the Cross (1611-1614), Antwerp Cathedral
  • Hieronymous Bosch The Garden of Earthly Delights (1505-1510), Prado, Madrid
  • Jan van Eyck The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin (c. 1435), Musée du Louvre, Paris
  • Jan Vermeer View of Delft (c. 1660-1661), Mauritshuis, the Hague
  • Caravaggio The Burial of St Lucy (1608), Museo di Palazzo Bellomo, Syracuse, Sicily
  • Rembrandt Aristotle with a Bust of Homer (1654), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Francisco Goya The Third of May 1808 (1814), Prado, Madrid
  • Edouard Manet The Dead Torero (1864), National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
  • Paul Cézanne Mont Sainte-Victoire from Les Lauves (1904-1906), Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow
  • Michelangelo Sistine Chapel ceiling and altar wall frescoes (1508-1541), Rome
  • Leonardo da Vinci The Adoration of the Magi (c. 1481), Uffizi Gallery, Florence
  • Pablo Picasso, Guernica (1937), Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid
  • Titian Danaë (1544-1546), Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples
  • Raphael The School of Athens (1510-1511), Stanza della Signatura, Vatican Palace, Rome
  • Parthenon Sculptures (Elgin Marbles) (c. 444BC), British Museum, London
  • Henri Matisse The Dance (1910), Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
  • Théodore Géricault The Raft of the Medusa (1819), Louvre, Paris
  • Katsushika Hokusai Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (1829-1833), series of woodblock prints, copies in major museums worldwide
  • Pieter Bruegel the Elder Hunters in the Snow (1565), Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
  • Ice Age paintings (about 30,000 years old) in the Chauvet Cave, Ardèche
  • Richard Serra Torqued Ellipses (1996), includes works on permanent view at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
  • Jasper Johns Flag (1954-1955), Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi The Annunciation (1335), Uffizi Gallery, Florence
  • Jean-Antoine Watteau Gilles (1718-1719), Louvre, Paris
  • Hans Holbein, The Dead Christ (1521-1522), Kunstmuseum, Basel
  • Diego Velázquez Las Meninas (1656), Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
  • Funerary Mask of Tutankhamun (1333BC-1323BC), Egyptian Museum, Cairo
  • San Rock Art, South African National Museum, Cape Town, and at open air sites

Comments (1)

  1. Emily M says:

    Have seen about 14 of these, some artworks definitely have more impact in real life! I’d have to add a trip to the Miro Foundation in Barcelona, it’s such a brilliant gallery and the paintings really have to be seen first hand.

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