There are two kinds of paintings: those that you look at, and those that seem to touch the very core of your being. The 10 greatest painters of all time were masters of the second type, and, centuries later, their works are still celebrated around the world.
If you had dreams of hanging one of the masters’ original works in the lounge, you would need to win a few of the jackpots at Vegas Palms Casino. The most expensive painting ever was Leonardo da Vinci’s long lost, last artwork, Salvator Mundi. It sold for US$450.3 million at Christie’s in New York in 2017. As impressive as these figures are, not one of the artworks by the world’s best painters can be replaced. They truly are priceless.
1. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, better known as Leonardo da Vinci, was one of the most remarkable people the world has ever seen. His artistic genius is showcased not only by famous high renaissance artworks such as Bacchus, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Last Supper, and La Giaconda AKA the Mona Lisa. It also is evident in his architectural designs, sculptures, and inventive designs. Leonardo also was a polymath and a mathematician, an anatomist, a botanist, a geologist, a cartographer, and a writer – in short, he was the very spirit of the renaissance personified.
2. Michelangelo (1475-1564)
Born Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, Michelangelo has been immortalised through the awe-inspiring works of art he left behind. When not painting, he sculpted, wrote poetry, or worked as an architect or engineer. Among the best examples of his work is the Sistine Chapel, of which the highlights include the Creation of Adam and the Last Judgement.
3. Gustav Klimt (1862-1918)
Born in Austria, the early works of Gustav Klimt reveal a somewhat conventional artist. However, as he developed his own style influenced by Japanese art, that changed. His artistic evolution brought him to the symbolist, Art Nouveau, and Vienna Secession movements. The most enchanting examples of his work include the Kiss, Danaë, and the Adele Bloch-Bauer portraits.
4. Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
Born in the Netherlands, Vincent Willem Van Gogh started painting when he was in his late 20s. Possibly inspired by the artwork he saw when he worked for art dealers as a young man, Van Gogh cultivated a passion for it. His Post-Impressionist works were not well received during his lifetime. However, the Starry Night and Vase With 15 Sunflowers are good examples of why he had so much influence on 20th century art.
5. Johan Vermeer (1632-1675)
Middle class domesticity may not sound like an enthralling subject, but it provided Johannes or Johan Vermeer with the artistic inspiration he needed. He painted during the baroque period and the golden age of Dutch art, and produced artworks characterised by a masterful use of light. His most mesmerising works include Girl With a Pearl Earring, the Lacemaker, and the Kitchen Maid.
6. Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510)
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, AKA Sandro Botticelli, was one of the great painters of the early renaissance. His patron was none other than Lorenzo de Medici, and he was part of the Florentine School. Like many other painters of the time, he focused mostly on religious and mythological subjects. The latter is seen at its most graceful in the Birth of Venus and Primavera.
7. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso was born in Málaga, Spain, but spent most of his life in France, where he co-founded the Cubist art movement, as well as collage and constructed sculpture. In addition to painting, Picasso sculpted, made prints, worked with ceramics, designed stage sets, and wrote poetry and plays. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, the Old Guitarist, and Family of Saltimbanques are among his best works.
8. Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Oscar-Claude Monet not only helped found French Impressionism, he also was one of the movement’s most prolific artists. His works, which encapsulate the philosophy of personal perceptions expressed before nature, were in contrast to the then-popular Salon de Paris. The artistic movement to which he belonged was named for his painting, Impression, soleil levant. Among his other important works are Water Lilies and Giverny.
9. Edvard Munch (1863-1944)
Born in Norway, Edvard Munch is one of the most well known artists associated with expressionism and symbolism. He made prints in addition to painting, and often took psychological themes as his subject. The most famous example of this is his 1893 work, the Scream. Among his other notable paintings are Vampire and Madonna.
10. Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Like his contemporary Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was one of the founding fathers of French Impressionism. However, whereas Monet’s best subject was the natural world, Renoir was inspired by feminine sensuality. His most beautiful paintings include Pont Neuf, the Canoeist’s Luncheon, and Bal du moulin de la Galette.