There is something mystical about viewing a brilliant work of art. Perhaps it’s the fact that a few different combinations of paint strokes, colors, and textures have the power to make you feel deep emotions.
Whether it be love, anger, sadness, or joy, those feelings come from the very depth of who you are. Another beautiful aspect of looking at art is that it doesn’t take much effort to simply enjoy. All you need to do is gaze at the masterpiece.
For as long as humans have been on earth, art has been an essential part of life. Some of the earliest pieces of art were images of bulls, bison, and horses painted on a cave wall almost 17 thousand years ago. Ever since then, art has continually evolved.
Some of the most brilliant works of art worth seeing in person range from the early Renaissance period to the modern 21st century.
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Inspiration of St Matthew
In 1602 Michelangelo Caravaggio was asked by the French Cardinal Matteo Contarellito to create a piece of artwork for the Contarelli Chapel. The Inspiration of St Matthew is one of the three masterpieces that made it into the chapel.
The stunning painting depicts a floating angel appearing to give Saint Matthew divine inspiration. Centuries later, the painting can still be seen in the church of the French congregation San Luigi de Francesi in Rome, Italy.
Oscar-Claude Monet, a French painter, is the founder of French Impressionist paintings. His soft, angelic depictions gracefully express his philosophy of nature. His Water Lilies series consists of approximately 250 oil paintings.
Monet’s inspiration for his masterpiece came from a pond near his home in Giverny, France. Pieces from his series can be found in museums all over the world
Michelangelo’s David sculpture is considered one of the most recognized works of the Renaissance period. The heroic male nude statue stands about 17 feet tall.
Art historians believe it was created to symbolize strength, youth, and beauty. The original sculpture is located in the Accademia Gallery of Florence, Italy. There is also a second copy located in Piazza Della Signoria.
The Lady With an Ermine
Leonardo da Vinci perfectly depicts Ludovico Sforza’s favorite mistresses. When the Italian prince’s wife found out about his relationship with Cecilia Gallerani, she banished her from the Porta Giovia castle immediately.
One of the reasons that she is seen holding an ermine in the painting is because it symbolizes purity. The famous Renaissance painting can be found in the Main Building of the National Museum in Krakow, Poland.
Michelangelo Buonarroti created the Pietà, which was the first sculpture of his series specially made for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères.
The beautiful Renaissance sculpture depicts Mother Mary sorrowfully holding her son Jesus’ dead body in her lap. The masterpiece can be found at St. Peter’s Basilica located in Vatican City.