There’s no doubt that art — in all its forms — is one of the most important aspects of human culture.
It has been used to express our thoughts and feelings, document our history, and bring us together as a community. Over the years, art has evolved into many different forms from oil paintings to chiselled stone statues. Today, you can find some of the most historically important pieces of art in galleries and museums around the world, each with its own unique style, eliciting different feelings and emotions in each person. Pieces you wouldn’t otherwise be able to view and experience, like da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or Raphael’s Saint George and the Dragon.
If you’re someone who appreciates the finer things and would like to add some art and culture to your next holiday, here is our selection of the ten best art galleries from around the world.
The Louvre, Paris, France
The Louvre is one of the most famous and celebrated art galleries in the world, and for good reason. It’s an art gallery that includes some of the world’s most famous pieces of art, like Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Michelangelo’s David.
You don’t even need to be an art buff to have the Louvre as a must-visit destination. With centuries of artwork on display, you’ll want to allow yourself a lot of time to spend here. Chances are, you still won’t see everything which means you can already start planning a follow-up trip to Paris.
Famous artwork you’ll find in The Louvre
- The Raft of the Medusa
- Mona Lisa
- Venus de Milo
- Wedding at Cana
- Coronation of Napoleon
The British Museum, London, England
If you’re looking for a more traditional art gallery experience, the British Museum in London is a great choice.
This museum has been around for centuries — since 1759 to be exact — and it houses an incredible collection of artwork from throughout England’s history, driven by an insatiable curiosity for the world. From paintings and sculptures to pottery and coins, a visit to the British Museum will have you immersed in a world of art and history.
Famous artwork in The British Museum
- Rosetta Stone
- The Parthenon Sculptures
- Hoa Hakananai
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, United States
This institution houses one of the most diverse art collections you’ll ever see. From ancient Egyptian artefacts to modern and contemporary pieces, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will have you wanting to enrol in an art history class to learn about all of the pieces you’ve just been staring at for hours upon hours. This museum is also just as well known for being where the famous Met Gala is hosted, possibly an indictment of the society in which we live.
Famous artwork in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Autumn Rhythm
- Death of Socrates
- Washington Crossing The Delaware
The Vatican Museums, Vatican City
There’s a reason why The Vatican Museum is considered one of the best tourist attractions in the world with over seven kilometres of art galleries, making it one of the largest galleries in the world.
The Vatican Museums in Vatican City is home to some of the oldest and most important artwork in the world — featuring many ancient artefacts and religious paintings, making it a memorable experience for anyone who visits. Whether you’re religious or not, these museums are an incredible place to see some of the most well-known pieces of artwork from throughout history.
Famous artwork in The Vatican Museum
- The Sistine Chapel
- The Rosetta Stone
- The Spiral Staircase
- Raphael’s Transfiguration
The Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
With hundreds of Renaissance paintings on display, this gallery is home to some of the most famous works from all over Europe. So if you have a passion for history and art, there’s no better place to visit than the Uffizi Gallery.
Famous artwork in Uffizi Gallery
- The Birth of Venus
- Coronation of the Virgin
- Venus of Urbino
Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain
With centuries of artwork on display, this museum houses both famous works as well as unknown ones – essentially representing all aspects of Spanish history. So if you want to learn more about Spain and its culture through art, the Prado Museum is one destination you can’t miss!
Famous artwork in Museo del Prado
- Las meninas
- The Garden of Earthly Delights
- The Third of May 1808
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dedicated solely to the work of the renowned Vincent Van Gogh, considered one of the greatest artist of all time – the Van Gogh Museum in Netherlands has 1,300 pieces that include his iconic sunflower paintings and is definitely one of the best art galleries in the world you need to tick off your bucket list.
It’s highly regarded and appreciated by people living in Europe, so if you want to do like the locals do then this is the place to be.
Famous artwork in the Van Gogh Museum
- The Potato Eaters
- The Bedroom
- Women on the Peat Moor
The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., United States
The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., United States is yet another great option that’s worth checking out when you travel.
This museum houses centuries of artwork from around the world – including both classical paintings and modern pieces. So whether you’re into Renaissance art or modern contemporary pieces, there’s something that will catch your eye.
Famous artwork in The National Gallery of Art
- Ginevra de Benci
- Saint George and the Dragon
- Woman Holding a Balance
The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands is one of the most renowned art galleries.
With a collection that spans centuries, this museum houses some of the most important and iconic pieces of art from all over Europe. If you’re a fan of Dutch art, or just want to see some of the most famous pieces from history, the Rijksmuseum is a must-visit destination.
Famous artwork in The Rijksmuseum
- Woman Reading A Letter
- The Merry Family
- The Night Watch
The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, United States
The Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA, is a world-famous art museum located in New York City. This museum was founded in 1929, and it is home to a large collection of modern and contemporary art.
The museum’s collection features many famous works by artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol.
Famous artwork in the Museum of Modern Art
- The Starry Night
- The Persistence of Memory
- Campbell’s Soup Cans
- Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
So if you love travelling and seeing all that the world has to offer in terms of art, be sure to put these most famous and best art galleries in the world on your bucket list.
Whether you’re interested in classical paintings or modern installations, there’s something for everyone at these fantastic institutions.
And who knows – maybe you’ll even find your next favourite artist while you’re there.
Feature Image: The Vatican Museums | @biankarumanova
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