There are millions of paintings that are created and displayed in galleries and museums across the globe every year. However, there are a select few of these paintings transcend time, impacting the history of art as we know it. These paintings are recognizable by people all around the world, regardless of age, religion, or culture. The paintings that you will find below continue to leave impressions in the minds of people, centuries after their creation. Here are the 10 most famous paintings in the world.


1) Mona Lisa | Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa from the year 1503 or 1504 until shortly before he died in 1519. This iconic painting is the main attraction of the Louvre museum in Paris, where it is seen by six million people every year.

2) The Last Supper | Leonardo da Vinci

This famous painting cannot be found in any museum. That is because it covers the back wall of the dining hall at Santa Maria delle Grazie monastery in Milan, Italy. Painted by the most famous artist of all time, Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper depicts the scene of the the last supper of Jesus with his disciples. Painted during the late 15th-century, the painting still remains one of the best attractions that Milan has to offer.

3) The Creation of Adam | Michelangelo

The Creation of Adam is another work of art that cannot be found in any museum. It was produced by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512. This painting can be found on the ceiling of The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, Rome. It is just one of nine scenes from the book of Genesis that are painted on the center of the ceiling of the chapel.

4) Starry Night | Vincent van Gogh

Starry Night is one of the most well known paintings in modern culture. It was painted by Dutch artists Vincent van Gogh back in 1889, and can not be found as part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

5) The Scream | Edvard Munch

Painted by Edvard Munch around 1893, The Scream was created using oil and pastel on cardboard. This is the most famous piece ever created by Munch. This frightening painting can now be found on display at The National Gallery in Oslo, Norway.

6) The Persistence Of Memory | Salvador Dali

Spanish artist Salvador Dali painted The Persistence of Memory back in 1931. It is without a doubt one of the most recognizable pieces in art history. This work of art is known to make people ponder on their way of life and the way in which they spend their time. Many believe that this painting was inspired by Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

7) Girl WIth A Pearl Earring | Johannes Vermeer

The Girl With A Pearl Earring is considered by many as the Dutch Mona Lisa. This spectacular painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer was completed around 1665. It can now be found on display in the Mauritshuis Gallery in the Hague, Netherlands.

8) The Night Watch | Rembrandt van Rijn

The Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn was completed in 1964, depicting a city guard moving out, led by Captain Frans Banning Cocq, his lieutenant, and the rest of the guard’s armed men. You can find this famous piece on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

9) Self-Portrait Without Beard | Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh painted a number of self portrait, but this is by far the most famous one in existence. This is the last self-portrait and one of the few that depicts him without a beard. This work of art was actually given by him to his mother as a birthday gift. This painting was sold for $71.5 million back in 1998, and is now part of a private collection.

10) Guernica | Pablo Picasso

Guernica is the most famous painting by Picasso. Completed in 1937, this painting was created in Paris and inspired by the bombing of Guernica in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The painting is now on permanent display in Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain.