Art is so much more than what you see. It’s the words that describe an artwork, the thought behind its creation, and the story behind each scene. It comes to life as you listen to it unfold, but like a good book, sometimes you never want it to end.
The best way to view an artwork is to read the message behind each stroke and shadow. The elements, textures, and colors help tell a story in every painting. Each piece comes with its unique backstory and hidden meaning. Today we will look at six such examples with some bewildering backstories that add real value to the paintings.
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The Mona Lisa, a well-known artwork by Leonardo Da Vinci, is one of the famous paintings of people and holds the Guinness World Record for receiving the highest recorded insurance valuation in history in 1962 at $100 million. Mona, a formal Italian salutation comparable to Madam and derived from the name Lisa, served as the painting’s title.
This painting has been the subject of much speculation and discussion due to its mysterious and ambiguous facial expression.
The wife of a prosperous silk merchant, Lisa del Giocondo, is said to be the subject of this well-known artwork. After giving birth to their second kid, she and her husband relocated to a new house.
Francesco del Giocondo, the husband, asked Leonardo to paint a portrait of his wife to commemorate the couple’s transfer to their new home and the birth of their second child.
The Starry Night
The Starry Night – three words that characterize a timeless and exquisite artwork by Vincent van Gogh created in 1889. During his 12-month rehabilitation stay at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum in France, Van Gogh made the painting. A few months after he suffered a mental breakdown, he cut off a piece of his ear with a razor.
Early one morning during the summer of 1889, van Gogh awoke to a beautiful view of the morning star from his room, and he wrote about it to Theo, his brother and art dealer. Since he was forbidden from painting in his bedroom, he likely recreated the scene from memory or drawings.
He used his imagination to draw a small village in the painting that, in reality, did not exist.
Van Gogh was unsure about painting from his imagination, so when he completed Starry Night, he thought it was a failure. However, Theo said it was more about style than composition.
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The Last Supper
The “Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci is one of history’s most well-known and continually endangered artworks. It’s a masterpiece of the Renaissance that has been admired, studied, and reproduced for half a millennium and counting.
Unfortunately, the painting has deteriorated and lost its uniqueness over time due to several environmental and medium-based conditions. However, this biblical masterpiece is now accessible to the public thanks to several restoration efforts.
It was painted on the refectory wall, also known as the dining room, of the Milan Dominican convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie. The Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, commissioned the painting as a component of a family mausoleum rebuilt from a church. However, It was not a refectory when da Vinci began painting there.
The Last Supper portrays a famous scene from Holy Thursday, in which Jesus and his Disciples share their last dinner before his death and resurrection. The painting captures the moment when Christ reveals to his Apostles that one of them will betray him; “Very truly I tell you, one of you will betray me” (Gospel of John 13:21). Each apostle is seen reacting distinctively in the painting.
The Scream is among the most renowned artworks ever created; it is terrifying, expressionistic, and vibrant. Edvard Munch portrayed the fear of the contemporary man in The Scream. The Scream, regarded as one of the earliest instances of expressionism, has had a nearly exceptional influence on popular culture.
On January 22, 1882, Munch went on a jog with friends, and the experience sparked the idea for his painting The Scream. Munch describes the incident in his diary:
“I was strolling along the road with two friends — the sun was sinking — when suddenly the sky turned blood red… I hesitated, feeling fatigued, and leaned against the fence… there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjörd and the city… my companions moved on, and I stayed there shaking with dread… and I experienced an unending scream running through nature”.
Later, Munch elaborated: “I perceived a scream going through nature; it seems to me that I heard the scream. So I created this image, depicting the clouds as blood. The hue screamed. This turned into the scream”.
Portrait of Dr. Gachet
This painting is yet another of Van Gogh’s well-known masterpieces. Before committing suicide in 1890, Van Gogh painted this famous portrait as his final work. Dr. Paul Gachet, who cared for Van Gogh in his final months of life, is depicted in the artwork. They allegedly had a boisterous but cordial friendship. He was curious about his doctor’s painting that was painted of him.
Vincent Van Gogh was a character in his own right, and his most well-known artworks depict the pain, worry, and frequent, severe mental struggles that this young artist endured throughout his brief life.
Theo Van Gogh, the artist’s brother, learned about Dr. Gachet’s interest in dealing with artists while looking for a pleasant place for his brother to live after being released from the institution, according to the legend surrounding “Portrait of Dr. Gachet.”
Van Gogh created this portrait to remember the doctor’s residence, where he stayed after being discharged from the hospital.
Grant Wood produced one of the most enduring symbols of Americana and maybe the most well-known artwork of 20th-century American art. This deceptively simple painting of a stern-looking agricultural couple has caught the country’s imagination and is frequently imitated in popular culture.
Yet, even though Wood intended American Gothic to be a positive vibe about rural American ideals, the painting’s meaning has evolved through time.
However, the tale behind the painting’s creation and journey to prominence makes it all the more captivating. It all began with the residence. Wood, born and raised in rural Iowa, witnessed it in August 1930 when visiting Eldon.
Intrigued by the existence of Gothic windows in such a modest house, he sketched it immediately. What surprised him was the strangeness of the architecture, as these kinds of windows are often seen in massive ancient stone Gothic churches.
As for the characters who appeared in the painting, Wood convinced his sister Nan and the family dentist, Byron McKeeby, to pose for the painting separately.
For ages, many great painters have blessed the world with exquisite works of art. Some gained a lot of attention due to their enduring relevance, while others did so due to their influence on other movements.
Among these are works of art that have come to be widely recognized even today. In this article, we tried to present the most famous artists of people in the entire globe, in no particular order, and we hope you enjoyed it.
Erin is the mother of identical twin girls and their slightly older brother. She is a domestic engineer, and previously had a career leading customer service teams for a major HVAC company. Cleaning without harsh chemicals, and cooking easy and usually healthy meals are part of Erin's daily life. She volunteers with youth leaders, and genuinely wants to help others win. Erin has a degree in Communications, with a focus on Broadcast Journalism.