Musement takes a look at ten of the world’s most beloved museums and the must-see artworks on display.
We love museums! From the best of London and Venice to the galleries of Berlin to MoMa’s lesser-known works, exploring these cultural gems simply warms our hearts. Here, in no particular order, we take a look at ten of the world’s top museums and their emblematic works.
1. The Louvre, Paris
The Louvre is the privileged home of the famous Mona Lisa (La Gioconda), an outstanding painting by Leonardo da Vinci that is admired by no less than nine million people a year. Spend a full day here during your stay in Paris so as not to miss the galleries dedicated to Renaissance, Ancient Art, Egypt, and Greece, where, among other masterpieces, you will find the spectacular Venus de Milo.
2. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The well-known Portrait of Madame X” by John Singer Sargent is housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York along with Jacques-Louis David’s “The Death of Socrates”. And these are just two examples as the MET houses one of the world’s most fascinating art collections. Here, too, we also suggest that you allow an entire day to explore this fascinating institution.
3. Vatican Museums, Vatican City
Michelangelo’s spectacular Sistine Chapel is the highlight of the extraordinary Vatican Museums, where you will also find a trove of treasures from renowned artists artists like Caravaggio, Raphael and da Vinci. Indeed, the Vatican’s museum complex is as vast as it is rich, and an unforgettable experience for art lovers.
4. British Museum, London
The British Museum in London houses such important jewels as the Rosetta Stone, the controversial Elgin marbles and the Mummy of Katebet. Want some more? Don’t miss the collections highlighting the Aztec or Rapa Nui civilizations. Altogether, more than eight million objects are stored in one of the most visited museums in the world, undoubtedly one of the most interesting art and archaeological sites there are.
5. Tate Modern Gallery, London
The permanent collection of the Tate Modern, as the British National Museum of Modern Art is known, is one of the world’s most visited. Here, admire iconic works such as “El Caracol” by Matisse and “Los Murales Seagram” by Mark Rothko alongside pieces by icons such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Edvard Munch, and Salvador Dalí, among other greats.
6. Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
Beautiful inside and out, the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg spans five palaces located along the river Neva, including the grand Winter Palace. Founded by Empress Catherine the Great in 1764, the Hermitage has three million works, including archaeological remains, coins, and sculptures. It can seem overwhelming, so plan your visit in advance, but whatever you do, don’t miss Matisse’s “Dance” and Kandinsky’s “Composition VI”.
7. Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid
The Reina Sofia Museum, located in Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art, is home to 22,000 works, the most emblematic undoubtedly being Picasso’s “Guernica”, which is displayed in its own room. While you’re there, don’t forget to admire works by Dalí, Miró and Braque.
8. Prado Museum, Madrid
Also in the Golden Triangle of Art in Madrid is the Prado Museum. The must-sees here are “Las Meninas” by Velázquez and “Los fusilamientos del 3 de mayo” by Goya, among many other Spanish, Italian and Flemish masterpieces. With 2.9 million visitors in 2018, the Prado is not only considered one of the best museums in Spain but also in the world.
9. National Gallery, London
Velázquez’s “RokebyVenus”, Holbein’s “The Ambassadors” and Jan van Eyck’s “The Arnolfini Marriage” are all on display at the National Gallery in the heart of London. These canvases, together with 2,300 other European works of art dating from 1250 to 1900, are the reason this museum is so highly esteemed. It has been open since 1824 and attracts six million visitors a year.
10. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
All of the museums in Amsterdam are quite alluring, yet we believe that the Rijksmuseum takes the cake. Apart from being the largest museum in the country, the art from Dutch Golden Age is a veritable treasure, Works include “The Milkmaid” by Vermeer and “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt. And if the art is not enough, the building is set in a luxurious garden.