The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
One of the most iconic artworks of all time, The Starry Night was painted by legendary painter Vincent Van Gogh while he was in asylum at Saint-Remy in 1889. The exact meaning behind the painting has been a subject to debate, since it is almost impossible to sink into the depths of Van Gogh’s mind. The painting is said to be a view from the artist’s bedroom window, capturing the night sky illuminated with a crescent moon, blazing stars, and swirling clouds hovering over the small town of Saint-Remy, against the backdrop of the rolling hills jutting out from the horizon.
Mont Sainte-Victoire by Paul Cézanne
Ranked as the greatest landscapes ever painted, the Mont Sainte-Victoire are a series of landscape oil paintings by French artist Paul Cézanne. All the paintings revolve around the Mont Sainte-Victoire Mountain in Aix-en-Provence, south-eastern France, where Cézanne was born and brought up. These paintings portray numerous versions of the towering peak of Mont Sainte-Victoire, with the lush countryside of Provence sweeping below. In hues of greens, blues and cream, Cézanne showcases his fascination for the mountain, along with the grandeur of Aix’s landscape.
Bal du Moulin de la Galette by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
One of the most celebrated masterpieces of early Impressionism, Bal du Moulin de la Galette was painted by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The painting offers us a glimpse into a typical Sunday afternoon scene at the Moulin de la Galette, from Paris during the 1800s. Depicting a real life scene of the city from the 19th century, the painting illustrates working class Parisians who would dress up on a Sunday afternoon, and have a merry time drinking, dancing and eating galettes.
Poppies in a Field by Claude Monet
The vivid countryside of Argenteuil in France is best portrayed through the painting Poppies in a Field by legendary painter Oscar-Claude Monet, who is considered as one of the founders of French Impressionist paintings. Depicting the rolling wildflower fields outside Argenteuil, what catches the eye are the dabs of red poppies in bloom, in contrast with the lush green field. The painting encapsulates a pastoral scene replete with the beauty and simplicity of nature. Also seen in the foreground are sketches of a mother and child – apparently Monet’s wife Camille, and their son Jean.
Wheatfield with Crows by Vincent Van Gogh
Wheatfield with Crows by Vincent Van Gogh is one of the masterpieces from the Wheat Fields series, a set of dramatic and vibrant paintings depicting landscapes and fields from Saint-Remy, Arles, and Auvers-sur-Oise, in rural France. This particular masterwork depicts a dark cloudy sky buzzing with crows, and a yellow, wind-swept wheat field unfolding beneath. The most intriguing part about the painting is an empty path in the middle, leading to nowhere, making viewers ponder all the more on Van Gogh’s state of mind at that time.
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat
The Island of la Grande Jatte, Paris
One of the most famous paintings by Georges Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is a stunning piece of artwork that illustrates a typical Sunday from the 1800s, on the island of Grande Jatte, located in the western suburbs of Paris. During the time when Seurat created this masterpiece in 1884, La Grande used to be a bucolic retreat away from the urban city centre of Paris. Interestingly, this was the first painting to be done entirely using the ‘Pointillist’ technique, which involves using small distinct dots of colour to form the image!
Water Lillies by Claude Monet
Every legendary painter has a certain muse they are so fascinated about, that it almost becomes an obsession. For the renowned impressionist Oscar-Claude Monet, his muse was his famous water garden and his beloved water lilies, at his property in France’s charming, quaint town of Giverny. The subject was so close to Monet’s heart, that over the last 30 years of his life, he went on to paint almost 250 oil paintings depicting this famous water garden. It was as if Monet literally invested his own mortality in the water lilies!