Most of those great nineteenth-century painters rode the tide of modern art, which began with realism and progressed to impressionism. Alongside with 10 Most Expensive Paintings in the World and 20 Most Famous Artworks You Must See at The Metropolitan Museum of Art we would like you to check the top 10 of the most important paintings in art history that you should be aware of!
1. Cafe Terrace at Night by Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most well-known artists of the nineteenth century. Vincent Van Gogh was a post-impressionist painter from the Netherlands who, unlike many other prominent artists, had little critical or financial success during his lifetime. Bold colors, forceful and frenzied brushstrokes, and profound perceptions of humans and nature are all hallmarks of his work. Within a decade, Van Gogh created almost 2,100 pieces, but the majority of his 860 oil paintings were created in his final two years.
In 1888, he painted Cafe Terrace at Night, which depicted a view of the charming boulevard in the late hours of the evening. Warm, yellowish light colors from oil painting brushes illuminate the street and the café, giving off a pleasant warmth to anybody who recognized the famous spot. The painting was one of Van Gogh’s most well-known cityscapes, but he would subsequently suffer from severe despair and bipolar disorder, which had a significant impact on his physical health.
2. The Card Players by Paul Cezanne
Paul Cezanne is regarded as one of the most prominent artists of the nineteenth century and a key player in the late-nineteenth-century Post-Impressionist movement. Many well-known art critics of the time saw this and other paintings by Cezanne, which portrayed groups of men and women typically engaged in casual drinking, as undeserving of being represented in a painting, especially by a recognized artist like Cezanne.
The Card Players was one of a series of paintings in which he depicted French residents engaging in common pastimes such as card games and other lighthearted pursuits. This painting was completed in 1895 and depicts two guys seated at a tiny table, playing cards. On the table next to them is a bottle of wine. The works by Cezanne were dubbed "human still life" paintings because they frequently depicted men playing card games while staring closely at their own hands.
3. The Hay Wain by John Constable
The Hay Wain is regarded as one of the best landscape Romantic paintings ever made by an English artist John Constable in 1821, as well as one of the greatest landscape Romantic paintings ever created. It was rated the second most popular picture in any British gallery after The Fighting Temeraire in a BBC survey conducted in 2005.
Landscape painting was popular among Romantic English artists, with John Constable being the most prominent. The Hay Wain portrays a pastoral landscape on the River Stour, which runs through Suffolk and Essex in England. It is the area near Constable’s birthplace, which is shown in his most famous works, and which has come to be known as Constable Country.
A wooden wain, or huge wagon, is at the center of the image, being dragged over the river by three horses. The action takes place near Constable’s father’s mill, Flatford Mill. The scenery on the left bank is in Suffolk, while the right bank is in Essex.
4. The Kiss by Francesco Hayez
In mid-nineteenth-century Milan, Francesco Hayez was the most prominent Romantic artist. Since its debut in 1859, the Kiss has commanded enormous attention, particularly in Italy. It’s also been the topic of a lot of discussion and analysis. In the history of Western art, it is one of the most passionate and vivid depictions of a kiss.
This picture, which is his most well-known, portrays a couple from the Middle Ages embracing and kissing one other. It exemplifies the fundamental characteristics of Italian Romanticism and has become a symbol of the period. In keeping with Romanticism’s ideas, the artwork places a greater focus on feeling than rational reason. It has come to symbolize the spirit of the Risorgimento, or Italian unification, which took place between 1815 and 1871. It’s also known for its intricate detailing and vibrant colors.
5. The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault
The French warship Méduse served during the Napoleonic Wars. It survived the wars, but in July 1816, while transporting passengers to Senegal, it crashed into a sandbank. The 400 passengers on board were forced to escape, with 151 being placed on a raft. The men aboard the raft had to endure a dreadful situation. A storm washed several soldiers into the sea; others revolted and were slain by commanders, survivors indulged in cannibalism; and when supplies ran out, disabled men were dumped into the water.
The raft was discovered after 13 days at sea, with just 15 men alive. The incident created a worldwide embarrassment. Before painting this masterwork, Théodore Géricault meticulously researched the situation. The Raft of the Medusa influenced French art greatly, is regarded as an iconic work of French Romanticism, and has immortalized the catastrophe it represents.
6. The Gleaners by Jean-Francois Millet
Jean-Francois Millet is regarded as one of the most well-known artists of the Realism movement that swept Europe in the mid-nineteenth century. His paintings frequently depicted peasants and ordinary French citizens who worked every waking moment of the day to scrape together enough money to get by.
His work The Gleaners encapsulates his efforts to bring to light the problems of the poor French peasant class during a time when the nobility enjoyed far better living conditions.
Three peasant ladies are seen in the picture gleaning, or gathering crops left behind by those who first reaped the field. Gleaning was a common practice among peasants, and it was regarded one of the most unappealing chores in the French farming culture at the time. This painting achieved Millet’s purpose of portraying the misery of existence for many French peasants throughout the nineteenth century.
7. Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
During the latter several decades of the nineteenth century, many painters painted images from the busy Parisian social scene. Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who was noted for his ability to portray joyful social exchanges amongst young and rich French people of the time, was one of the few artists who were able to capture it in a more affecting way.
Luncheon of the Boating Party is a painting by Renoir depicting a group of his friends resting in the balmy noon atmosphere of the Maison Fournaise dining, which was a popular location in 1881 when the piece was completed. This picture has the same brilliant color scheme as the majority of Renoir’s works, which were known for depicting the bustling social life among several young French inhabitants at the time.
8. Wanderer Above The Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich
Caspar David Friedrich is often regarded as Germany’s most influential Romantic artist. He is well renowned for paintings that depict humans under night sky, morning mists, barren trees, and other settings, expressing man’s lost might in the grand scheme of things. A guy, dressed professionally and wielding a walking cane, stands on a rocky protrusion with his back to the spectator in this artwork. As a result, the viewer is able to observe the countryside, which is shrouded in a dense sea of fog, and at which the guy gazes thoughtfully. Friedrich’s use of space emphasizes man’s insignificance un the natural world.
9. The Absinthe Drinker by Edgar Degas
Among the most famous circles of Parisian painters, there were a good number of people who were considered outsiders. Edgar Degas faced a lot of criticism from his colleagues for paintings like The Absinthe Drinker, which he painted in 1876.
This artwork depicts a man and lady sat side by side in a Paris café, apparently drunk by the effects of their preferred beverage, which was known to cause emotions of lethargy and solemnity. While many famous painters scorned Degas for depicting intoxicated people in his paintings, others complimented him for his ability to show French life as it was at the time.
10. The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse
John William Waterhouse was a 19th-century artist who was recognized for his meticulous attention to detail and ability to depict settings that were colorful and alive. Waterhouse’s ability to portray a scene with such beauty which seemed to harken back to the Italian Renaissance period received a lot of appreciation for the picture.
His 1888 picture The Lady of Shalott is widely regarded as one of the most renowned paintings of the period since it depicts the conclusion of one of Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poems of the same name. The Lady of Shalott is depicted in a boat gliding around a tranquil lake, as described in Tennyson’s poem.