When people talk about classic art and paintings they automatically think of the Old Masters and their work with oils on canvas. Traditional techniques for oil painting begin with a sketch on the canvas and then completed in oils. And the astronomical prices paid for famous oil paintings at auction and privately shows just how well regarded this art form is. It is perhaps regarded as the godfather of all art forms and everything else is secondary, in this blog we look at some of the world’s most beautiful oil paintings that have ever been produced.
Possibly the most recognized and most famous painting in the world, the painting is of a lady named Gherardini and Leonardo da Vinci used possibly his highest level of skill to make the subject’s expression indecipherable. Although the history of this painting is slightly cloudy it was thought to have been painted in Florence sometime around 1503 and was a commissioned work. However, da Vinci took such a liking to it as it was so beautiful he refused to part with it.
No collection of beautiful oil paintings would be complete without a Rembrandt, and possibly his most beautiful work is the Night Watch. Not because the subject is a beautiful woman or a breathtaking landscape, but because of the sheer mastery of the work. Actually the painting depicts a group of armed militia and the colouring is so dark some people say this is why it was called the Night Watch. Part of its beauty lies with the faces of the soldiers, the attention to detail is superb and the colouring exemplifies their intent to do their duty.
Girl with a Pearl Earring
A pure masterpiece by Dutch artist Vermeer, in some respect the piece is similar to that of the Mona Lisa as the expression of the young woman’s face is hard to understand. But the actual portrait of the girl is secondary to that of the pearl earring which is the real focal point of the piece. The young lady in the portrait is a 16-year-old Dutch girl who is a maid in the Vermeer household, their intimacy that followed is well documented, and a scandal of great magnitude followed.
Guernica is perhaps Pablo Picasso’s greatest work, and it depicts the bombing of the Spanish city during the civil war raging in Spain at that time. It was painted not just to celebrate the lives of those poor people who perished in the bombing but also to bring attention to what the German and Italian governments were sanctioning. The painting shows all the futile tragedy of war, and the suffering it inflicts on innocent people for political gain. Originally to act as a political statement, Guernica survives as a brutal reminder of what war really is, and that it should be avoided at all costs. The painting toured the world almost straight after completion, to bring global attention of what was happening in Spain at that time. This is the first foray into the world’s most beautiful oil paintings, in part two we look at works by Da Vinci and Michelangelo.