Famous Paintings

Written by Sarah Provost
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A certain number of famous paintings are recognized by almost everyone, even people who have had no formal exposure to art. Think of the Mona Lisa, for example. That face with the mysterious smile appears on coffee mugs, t-shirts and cocktail napkins. Nat King Cole sang of her, and New Yorker cartoonists riff on her. This portrait, and other famous paintings such as Van Gogh's Starry Night or Monet's Waterlilies, are universally known and loved.

That may not make them the best choice when you're purchasing artwork for yourself. Before you decide on a piece of art that you've seen enough to feel familiar and comfortable with, browse through the online galleries to look at less well known works. You might even find an original painting that speaks to you, and which you won't see everywhere you go.

Look Beyond Famous Paintings

When people buy artwork for their homes and offices, they tend to choose from the same handful of paintings all the time. One reason for this is that these famous paintings are always available, and it takes little effort to find them. Another may be that the buyer is insecure about his or her taste. Everyone knows that Waterlilies is a great painting, so it's a safer choice than the one you may like better but which is unknown.

It's my belief that you should buy what you love. You live with it, you look at it every day, and it should please you every time you see it. The problem, of course, is that when you fall in love with an obscure painting, it may be hard to find a reproduction. Fortunately, internet shopping makes it much more likely that you'll be able to find exactly what you want.


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