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Famous Oil Paintings

Some of the most famous oil paintings were painted during the Renaissance period. The Renaissance period, occurring from the 14th century to the 17th century, was marked by an explosion of knowledge. It was during this period that great advances in painting were made. In 1410, a Flemish painter known as Jan Van Eyck developed a stable varnish based mainly on Linseed oil. Later he developed a secret mixture which he used to paint the wedding portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife (National Gallery, London) in 1434 is one of the first and the best example of the new technique. Later Antonello Da Messina and Leonardo Da Vinci improved on Van Eyck's technique by adding lead oxide to the pigment oil mixtures to improve their drying properties.

Some of the most famous and widely acclaimed oil paintings of the Renaissance period include:

  • The last supper by Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci
  • The creation of Adam by Michelangelo
  • Young Woman At Her Toilet by Giovanni Bellini
  • The Crucifixion by Giovanni Bellini
  • Virgin And Child by Giovanni Bellini
  • La Primavera by Sandro Botticelli
  • Mystic Nativity Sandro Botticelli
  • Pallas And The Centaur Sandro Botticelli
  • The Martyrdom Of Four Saints by Antonio Allegri Correggio
  • Ganymede Antonio Allegri Correggio
  • Madonna And Child With Saints by Piero Dela Francesca
  • Portrait of the Gentleman by Castelfranco Veneto Giorgione
  • Judith by Castelfranco Veneto Giorgione
  • Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de' Medici and Luigi de' Rossi, 1518-1519 by
  • Raffaello Sanzio Raphael
  • Portrait of a Young Woman by Raffaello Sanzio Raphael
  • The Vision Of Ezekiel by Raffaello Sanzio Raphael
  • The Alba Madonna by Raffaello Sanzio Raphael
  • Madonna of Loreto by Raffaello Sanzio Raphael
  • Crowning with Thorns by Tiziano Vicellio Titian
  • Girl with a basket of fruits by Tiziano Vicellio Titian
  • Venus and Adonis by Tiziano Vicellio Titian

After the Renaissance period there were also the famous oil paintings of the classical 18th century and the impressionist 19th century. Some examples of these include:

  • Kaizer Franz I by Friedrich von Amerling
  • Frau Nadassy by Franz Eybl
  • Ein Bettler by Franz Eybl
  • A Dutch Village in Winter by Willem Koekkoek
  • A Street Scene In Haarlem by Willem Koekkoek
  • View Of Warsaw from the Royal Palace by Bernardo Bellotto
  • New Market Square in Dresden by Bernardo Bellotto
  • Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
  • The Prison Courtyard by Vincent van Gogh
  • A Pair of Shoes by Vincent van Gogh
  • Café Terrace at night by Vincent van Gogh
  • Autumn by Edouard Manet
  • The Balcony by Edouard Manet
  • The Harbour Of Dieppe by Joseph Mallord William Turner
  • Fable by Gustave Klimt
  • Idyll by Gustave Klimt

Recent famous oil paintings include:

  • Dream caused by the flight of a bee around a pomegranate by Salvador Dali
  • Corpus Hypercubus by Salvador Dali

Interestingly, the trend is that paintings including oil paintings rarely become famous during the lifetime of the artists. A case in point being Vincent Van Gogh, who died poor after spending some time in an asylum, yet his works today auction for millions of dollars.



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