Where To Find The World’s Most Famous Paintings: 21 Museums To Visit

Updated On: October 27, 2022

Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.

Top Tips For Visiting The Most Famous Paintings In The World

  • Research busy times – The best way to ensure you get a look at your favourite painting it is best to visit at a time when less people are visiting the museum, Google searches can help you know when is the best time. Mid-week will usually be slower than weekends.
  • Find out more online – You can learn lots about the painting ahead of time to give you a greater understanding of the piece.
  • Take a Tour – Most museums offer up tours either with a staff guide or through an audio guide, they will give you extra information on the displays and help you learn even more about your favourite paintings and museum objects. Staff may even answer questions you have about the conservation and history of the painting or tell you secrets about the peice.
  • Ensure it’s on display – double check it isn’t on tour somewhere else or off display for conservation to ensure you aren’t disapointed.

For more tips to get the most out of your museum trip, read our article here.

What Are The Most Famous Paintings In The World?

  1. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Georges Seurat
  2. American Gothic, Grant Wood
  3. Girl with a Pearl Earring, Johannes Vermeer
  4. Guernica, Pablo Picasso
  5. Las Meninas, Diego Velazquez
  6. Liberty Leading The People, Eugène Delacroix
  7. Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci
  8. Napoleon Crossing the Alps, Jacques-Louis David
  9. Nighthawks, Edward Hopper
  10. Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh
  11. The Arnolfini Portrait, Jan van Eyck
  12. The Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymus Bosch
  13. The Kiss, Gustav Klimt
  14. The Night Watch, Rembrandt  
  15. The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali
  16. The Scream, Edvard Munch
  17. The Swing, Jean-Honoré Fragonard
  18. Sunflowers, Vincent Van Gogh
  19. Whistlers Mother, James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Where Is A Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat?

most famous paintings - A Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grande Jatte
A Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grande Jatte

Museum: The Art Institute of Chicago

Location: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603, United States

Opening Hours:

Monday11am–5pm
TuesdayClosed
WednesdayClosed
Thursday11am–5pm
Friday11am–5pm
Saturday11am–5pm
Sunday11am–5pm

Where Is American Gothic by Grant Wood?

most famous paintings american gothic Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
American Gothic

Museum: The Art Institute of Chicago

Location: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603, United States

Opening Hours:

Monday11am–5pm
TuesdayClosed
WednesdayClosed
Thursday11am–5pm
Friday11am–5pm
Saturday11am–5pm
Sunday11am–5pm

Where Is Girl With A Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer?

most famous paintings girl with a pearl earring Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Girl With A Pearl Earring

One of Vermeer’s most famous paintings is the Girl With A Pearl Earring, which is displayed in the Mauritshuis museum in the Netherlands. The girl from the painting is unknown but can be spotted in the early 2000’s film St. Trinians.

Museum: Mauritshuis

Location: Plein 29, 2511 CS Den Haag, Netherlands

Opening Hours:

Monday1–6pm
Tuesday10am–6pm
Wednesday10am–6pm
Thursday10am–6pm
Friday10am–6pm
Saturday10am–6pm
Sunday10am–6pm

Where Is The Guernica by Pablo Picasso?

most famous paintings guernica Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Guernica

Museum: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

Location: C. de Sta. Isabel, 52, 28012 Madrid, Spain

Opening Hours:

Monday10am–9pm
TuesdayClosed
Wednesday10am–9pm
Thursday10am–9pm
Friday10am–9pm
Saturday10am–9pm
Sunday10am–2:30pm

Where Is Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez?

most famous paintings las meninas Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Las Meninas

Museum: Museo Nacional del Prado

Location: C. de Ruiz de Alarcón, 23, 28014 Madrid, Spain

Opening Hours:

Monday10am–8pm
Tuesday10am–8pm
Wednesday10am–8pm
Thursday10am–8pm
Friday10am–8pm
Saturday10am–8pm
Sunday10am–7pm

Where Is Liberty Leading The People by Eugène Delacroix?

most famous paintings liberty leading the people Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Liberty Leading the People

Museum: Louvre Museum

Location: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

Opening Hours:

Monday9am–6pm
TuesdayClosed
Wednesday9am–6pm
Thursday9am–6pm
Friday9am–9:45pm
Saturday9am–6pm
Sunday9am–6pm

Where Is Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci?

most famous paintings mona lisa Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Mona Lisa

Museum: Louvre Museum

Location: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

Opening Hours:

Monday9am–6pm
TuesdayClosed
Wednesday9am–6pm
Thursday9am–6pm
Friday9am–9:45pm
Saturday9am–6pm
Sunday9am–6pm

Where Is Napoleon Crossing The Alps by Jacques-Louis David?

most famous paintings napoleon crossing the alps Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Napoleon Crossing the Alps

Museum: Château de Malmaison

Location: Av. du Château de la Malmaison, 92500 Rueil-Malmaison, France

Opening Hours:

Monday10am–12:30pm, 1:30–5:15pm
TuesdayClosed
Wednesday10am–12:30pm, 1:30–5:15pm
Thursday10am–12:30pm, 1:30–5:15pm
Friday10am–12:30pm, 1:30–5:15pm
Saturday10am–12:30pm, 1:30–5:45pm
Sunday10am–12:30pm, 1:30–5:45pm

Where Is Nighthawks by Edward Hopper?

most famous paintings nighthawk Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Nighthawks

Museum: The Art Institute of Chicago

Location: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603, United States

Opening Hours:

Monday11am–5pm
TuesdayClosed
WednesdayClosed
Thursday11am–5pm
Friday11am–5pm
Saturday11am–5pm
Sunday11am–5pm

Where Is Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh?

most famous paintings starry night Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Starry Night

A rare ladnscape in Van Gogh’s collection of work and one of his most famous paintings. This stunning swirling piece is currently at the MoMA in New York.

Museum: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Location: 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019, United States

Opening Hours:

Monday10:30am–5:30pm
Tuesday10:30am–5:30pm
Wednesday10:30am–5:30pm
Thursday10:30am–5:30pm
Friday10:30am–5:30pm
Saturday10:30am–7pm
Sunday10:30am–5:30pm

Where Is The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck?

most famous paintings arnolfini portrait Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
The Arnolfini Portrait

Museum: The National Gallery, London

Location: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

Opening Hours:

Monday10am–6pm
Tuesday10am–6pm
Wednesday10am–6pm
Thursday10am–6pm
Friday10am–9pm
Saturday10am–6pm
Sunday10am–6pm

Where Is The Birth Of Venus by Sandro Botticelli?

most famous paintings birth of venus Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Birth of Venus

Museum: Uffizi Gallery

Location: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

Opening Hours:

MondayClosed
Tuesday8:15am–6:30pm
Wednesday8:15am–6:30pm
Thursday8:15am–6:30pm
Friday8:15am–6:30pm
Saturday8:15am–6:30pm
Sunday8:15am–6:30pm

Where Is The Garden Of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch?

most famous paintings garden of earthly delights Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Garden of Earthly Delights

Museum: Museo Nacional del Prado

Location: C. de Ruiz de Alarcón, 23, 28014 Madrid, Spain

Opening Hours:

Monday10am–8pm
Tuesday10am–8pm
Wednesday10am–8pm
Thursday10am–8pm
Friday10am–8pm
Saturday10am–8pm
Sunday10am–7pm

Where Is The Kiss by Gustav Klimt?

most famous paintings the kiss Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
The Kiss

Museum: Austrian Gallery Belvedere

Location: Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Wien, Austria

Opening Hours:

Monday10am–6pm
Tuesday10am–6pm
Wednesday10am–6pm
Thursday10am–6pm
Friday10am–6pm
Saturday10am–6pm
Sunday10am–6pm

Where Is The Night Watch by Rembrandt? 

most famous paintings night watch Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Night Watch

The Night Watch is one of Rembrandt’s most famous paintings but it also got him in a bit of trouble too. Rembrandt’s Night Watch was commissioned as a group portrait but not all the figures in the portrait are portrayed in the same light or in prominent positions. Some members of the group were very unhappy with the painting’s portrayal. This insult was made worse when the painting was trimmed to fit in a new display space and it cut off members included in the painting entirely. It may be one of his most famous paintings but probably for all the wrong reasons!

Museum: Rijksmuseum

Location: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening Hours:

Monday9am–5pm
Tuesday9am–5pm
Wednesday9am–5pm
Thursday9am–5pm
Friday9am–5pm
Saturday9am–5pm
Sunday9am–5pm

Where Is The Persistence Of Memory by Salvador Dali?

most famous paintings persistence of memory Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Persistence of Memory

Museum: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Location: 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019, United States

Opening Hours:

Monday10:30am–5:30pm
Tuesday10:30am–5:30pm
Wednesday10:30am–5:30pm
Thursday10:30am–5:30pm
Friday10:30am–5:30pm
Saturday10:30am–7pm
Sunday10:30am–5:30pm

Where Is The Scream by Edvard Munch?

most famous paintings the scream Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Development of The Scream

The Munch Museum in Norway has many versions of Munch’s ‘The Scream’, his most famous paintings. In these sketches, paintings, and prints we can see the development of this iconic piece. It even has its own emoji for social media!

Museum: Munchmuseet (Munch Museum)

Location: Edvard Munchs Plass 1, 0194 Oslo, Norway

Opening Hours:

Monday10am–6pm
Tuesday10am–6pm
Wednesday10am–9pm
Thursday10am–9pm
Friday10am–9pm
Saturday10am–9pm
Sunday10am–9pm

Where Is The Swing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard?

Spotted in Disney’s Frozen and in the Wallace Collection in London is Fragonard’s The Swing.

Museum: The Wallace Collection

Location: Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN

Opening Hours:

Monday10am–5pm
Tuesday10am–5pm
Wednesday10am–5pm
Thursday10am–5pm
Friday10am–5pm
Saturday10am–5pm
Sunday10am–5pm

Where Is Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh?

most famous paintings sunflowers Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Sunflowers

Vincent Van Gogh aspired to be an artist known for his paintings of flowers which is why it is a great thing that this beautiful painting is one of his most famous paintings. A small wooden panel at the top of this painting was used by Van Gogh to give the composition of the painting a different aspect. You can even see some of Vincent Van Gogh’s finger prints in the paint at the top of the painting. To have a closer look at the painting and find out how they discovered these secret features check out the Van Gogh Museum’s website.

Museum: Van Gogh Museum

Location: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening Hours:

Monday9am–6pm
Tuesday9am–6pm
Wednesday9am–6pm
Thursday9am–6pm
Friday9am–6pm
Saturday9am–6pm
Sunday9am–6pm

Where Is Whistlers Mother by James Abbott McNeill Whistler?

most famous paintings whistlers mother Museums and galleries work hard to preserve masterpieces so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. So, where are the most famous paintings in the world kept? And whats the best way to plan your trip to a museum to see a famous painting? Read on to find out more about the most famous paintings in the world and where they are kept.
Whistler’s Mother, also known as Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1

This painting was originally named Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 but is better known by the name ‘Whistler’s Mother’, what a nice gesture for the artist’s mum. Note to self for next mother’s day.

Museum: Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Location: 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France

Opening Hours:

MondayClosed
Tuesday9:30am–6pm
Wednesday9:30am–6pm
Thursday9:30am–9:45pm
Friday9:30am–6pm
Saturday9:30am–6pm
Sunday9:30am–6pm

Conclusion – Most Famous Paintings

The most famous paintings in the world are spread through many museums which conserve, display, and protect those works for the future. Why not experience them in person through visiting museums in person or through online tours. Read more about museum experiences in our guide to visiting museums.