The Biggest Conversational Art Pieces in History

Mona Lisa Painting Being Observed by Visitors

Art is one of the easiest ways to spark conversations. Whether it is the movie you watched last week or the painting that has fascinated you since you were a little kid, there is always something to say about every piece of artwork.

With so many amazing paintings and sculptures in history, it is quite difficult to pick a handful of the most conversational and contemporary art pieces in history. Nevertheless, there are some paintings that have sparked more conversations than others and still remain relevant after years or even centuries.

1. Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

It would be almost blasphemous to start this list with anything but the timeless masterpiece by Da Vinci. Not only is Mona Lisa the most easily recognized artwork in the world today, but it is also the most frequently visited. It is believed that the painting is made to illustrate the wife of Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo – a wealthy Florentine merchant. Other theories suggest that it was Da Vinci’s mother.

Irrespective of who the subject was, Da Vinci rendered her so well with the distant backdrop that it created a perfect harmony in the perspective. The slightly less fashionable yet timeless fashion choices also help it stay relevant through the years.

2. Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

Another extremely well-known art piece is Van Gogh’s magnum opus, Starry Night. In fact, it is so popular that it has been constantly replicated on mugs, tapestries, bags, umbrellas, and countless other items. Other artists have also tried to give their own spin to this timeless painting. It is believed that Van Gogh captured the view from his room during his at a sanatorium through this painting.

The strong color palette, along with the energy created by the unusual swirl of the brush, is what makes Starry Night stand out. A number of artists in the future generations have been influenced and inspired by these characteristics, making Van Gogh arguably the most influential painter in Western Art.

3. Fountain by Marcel Duchamp

First revealed in 1917, this artwork sparks still dominates conversations over a century later, but for very different reasons than the above two paintings. When a porcelain urinal was unanimously submitted to the Society of Independent Artists as a ‘readymade’ sculpture, the unthinkable happened: it got rejected. Despite the fact that the anonymous person was actually Marcel Duchamp, one of the cofounders and board members of the group.

Some of the members even considered the submission to be a hoax. However, Dada Journal, The Blind Man, claimed that the Fountain was art because the artist chose it to be. Whether you agree that it should be counted as art or not is a different story, but it did spark conversations about what actually constitutes contemporary fine art – a question that has still not been fully answered.

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