7 Art Pieces Every High Schooler Should Know Before They Graduate

"A picture is worth 1000 words." There are over 6,500 languages around the world, but only one speaks to all--art. For centuries art has communicated to people from all walks of life. Below are 7 art pieces every high schooler should know before they graduate.

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  1. The Mona Lisa: Leonardo da Vinci

  2. The mystery behind The Mona Lisa leaves many art enthusiast in awe. People love mystery, and Leonardo da Vinci's supplies his fans with this. The Mona Lisa is a mystery because no one knows who the lady is and why she was painted. While most paintings have a story of origin, da Vinci leaves his follower's guessing. da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa in 1503, but it wasn't until 1911, when the painting was stolen from the Louvre, that it's popularity grew.
  3. Important Facts:
  4. 1.) The painting was stolen from the Louvre--a Paris museum--in 1911 and wasn't recovered until 1913.
  5. 2.) Mona Lisa's influence in culture is massive, but the oil-on-wood painting measures just 30 by 21 inches and weighs just 18 pounds.

  6. The Last Supper: Leonardo da Vinci

  7. Similar to da Vinci's Mona Lisa, his world renown The Last Supper wasn't brought to attention until years after it was painted. The painting's permanent residence is at the Santa Maria delle Grazie, where it was painted on a wall in the dining hall. For years, the masterpiece was covered up by another painting; the reason behind its poor quality.
  8. Important Facts:
  9. 1.) Unlike the Mona Lisa, da Vinci's The Last Supper is bigger than you think. The original is about 15 by 29 feet.
  10. 2.) You won't find this iconic masterpiece in a museum. Although The Last Supper is easily one of the world’s most iconic paintings, its permanent home is a convent in Milan, Italy-- and moving it would be tricky, to say the least. da Vinci painted the religious work directly (and fittingly) on the dining hall wall of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie back in 1495.

  11. Starry Night: Vincent van Gogh

  12. On June 19, 1889 Vincent Van Gogh painted Starry Night, the most reproduced painting in the world. Van Gogh was also known for his crazy tendencies and mental disabilities. During a fight with his "frenemy", French artist Paul Gauguin, Van Gogh cut off his ear and was later put into a mental health asylum. Later that year--in the asylum-- Starry Night was painted from his hospital window. The iron bars were left out of course.
  13. Important Facts
  14. 1.) By painting exactly eleven stars in the Starry Night painting, Vincent Van Gogh might have been
    directly referencing Genesis 37:9. – “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun the
    moon and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” – Genesis 37:9
  15. 2.) Van Gogh only sold two paintings in his life time--neither of them were Starry Night.

  16. Scream: Edvard Munch


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