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posted on 28th June 2018 by mireille harper

The world is full of art. Across Africa, Asia, Europe and beyond, there are paintings, sculptures, graffiti and more to admire.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed at the vast array of art there is – you can’t see it all! So to help you, we’ve picked seven pieces of art you HAVE to see before you die.


Guernica by Picasso

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid

Made famous for its anti-war stance, this painting by Pablo Picasso was created in response to the 1937 bombing of Guernica, a village in Northern Spain. The piece is an impressive eleven feet tall and five feet wide and is an overwhelming piece of art to behold.


The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1486)

Uffizi Gallery, Florence

This renaissance painting was supposedly commissioned by the wealthy Medici family in the 15th century and depicts the legendary birth of the Roman goddess of love, Venus.


A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains by Wang Ximeng, Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127)

Palace Museum, Beijing

This landscape painting on hand scroll which dates back to the times of ancient China is a masterpiece. Not only is the piece 1, 191.5cm long and wide, it was completed by Wang when he was 18 years old. With vivid depictions of mountains, lakes, villages, houses, bridges and people, it has been considered one of the country’s best works.


The Funerary Mask of Tutankhamun (c. 1323BC)

The Egyptian Museum, Cairo

Egypt’s most iconic treasure, the golden face mask created for the pharaoh Tutankhamun. Despite being a death mask, it is considered one of the most well-known works of art in the world. It weighs nearly 11kg and is constructed by two sheets of gold which were hammered together.


The Masjid-I Shah, (1612-37)

Isfahan, Iran

The Masjid-I Shah, also known as the Shah Mosque, is one of the most famous mosques in Iran and has been regarded as an artistic masterpiece in Persian architecture during the Islamic era. The mosque, which is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts calligraphic inscriptions amongst its seven-colour tile mosaic and glazed-tile decoration.


The Sistine Chapel frescoes by Michelangelo (1508-12)

Vatican, Vatican City

One of the most famed High Renaissance art, the ceiling depicts several scenes from the Old Testament. Michelangelo was hired to paint the ceiling of the chapel and spent four years completing the masterpiece.


The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí

MOMA, New York

One of the most brilliant artistic minds, the Spanish painter, Dalí changed the face of surrealist art with this work. Describing his paintings as ‘hand-painted dream photographs’, his works were a mélange of landscapes, objects and people, all blended in an unfamiliar way. The Persistence of Memory, one of Dalí’s most famous works, which analyses the meaning of persistence, was inspired by a Camembert cheese Dalí had seen melting in the sun.



Written by Mireille Harper

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