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The Excellence in Visual Art: The Best Drawings in the World

The best drawings in the world captivate the imagination with their masterful strokes of creativity and skill. From the intricate details of Renaissance masterpieces like Leonardo da Vinci‘s anatomical sketches to the bold, expressive lines of contemporary artists pushing the boundaries of abstraction, great drawings transcend time and culture. They evoke emotion, tell stories, and invite viewers into worlds both familiar and fantastical. Whether rendered in charcoal on paper or digitally crafted with precision, these drawings showcase the artist’s ability to translate vision into visual poetry, leaving an indelible mark on the canvas of human creativity. Let’s take a look at artworks, that art critics and the general masses consider to be the best drawings in the world.

1. Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa is the most visited and most parodied work of art. The portrait is considered by many, critics and the public alike to be the best drawing in the world. The half-length portrait painting was devised by Italian Renaissance master, Leonardo Da Vinci. The origin dates are a source of debate. Some say it was drawn between 1503 to 1506; some believe that Vinci might have worked on it till 1517. The woman in the painting has popularly been referred to as Mona Lisa, but she was the Italian noblewoman Lisa del Giocondo. It is considered to be the masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance due to the composition‘s monumentality, the subject’s enigmatic expression, the deft form modelling, and the atmospheric illusionism. The Mona Lisa has been housed in the Louvre since 1797. 

Courtesy – Wikimedia Commons

2. The Last Supper

The Last Supper is yet another creation by Leonardo da Vinci. We would go as far as to say that most of da Vinci’s artworks are considered some of the best drawings in the world. As it is a mural, it is considered to be da Vinci’s largest work. The Last Supper is housed in the refractory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan and dated to 1495-1498. It depicts the story of the Last Supper of Jesus and his twelve apostles, as described in the Gospel of John. It is known for its intricate portrayal of human emotion, control over perspective, and handling of motion & space, which is noted by critics as a transition to the High Renaissance.

Courtesy – Wikipedia

3. The Starry Night

Another best drawings in the world, The Starry Night was created by the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, Vincent van Gogh. It was made in June 1989 and depicts the landscape outside of van Gogh’s window at the asylum at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. He was voluntarily committed there when he mutilated his left ear. Since 1941, it has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The painting features a melancholic blue along with recurring motifs of the cypress tree and floating irises in the foreground. He drew the stars and Venus in a swirling motion. However, the village seen at a distance in The Starry Night is a figment of van Gogh’s imagination.

Courtesy – Amazon

4. Girl With a Pearl Earring

The Girl with a Pearl Earring is an oil masterpiece by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, created in 1665. Since 1902, it has been a staple at the Mauritshuis, Hague. The identity of the painting’s subject has been under speculation. Some consider her to be the artist’s eldest daughter, while others claim her to be Sibyl from the Greek myths. Portrayed on a deep green enamel background, the girl’s gaze is of prominence. Despite her unformidable gaze, the viewer’s eyes turn to the pearl earring. It is interesting to note how some critics have questioned the earring’s material in the Girl with a Pearl Earring, based on the reflective property, the size, and the shape.

Courtesy – Muritshuis

5. Guernica

Pablo Picasso’s best drawing in the world, Guernica was created in 1937. It is currently housed in Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. Picasso drew the painting in response to the bombing of Guernica in northern Spain. Disillusioned by violence, Picasso drew Guernica in black and white on a large canvas. The elements of Guernica; the flames, dismembered soldier, a gored horse, a bull, screaming women, and a dead baby, are all metaphors that describe the chaos brought on by the Spanish Civil War.

Courtesy – Britannica

6. The Scream

The Scream is a creation by Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch, created in 1893. Considered to be the best drawing in the world detailing the artistic notions of the Expressionist movement, The Scream features a disoriented figure; a representative of human anxiety. This iconic work is currently displayed at the National Museum, Oslo.

Courtesy – The New York Times

7. Creation of Adam

The Creation of Adam is yet another best drawing in the world; an entry in the extensive magnum opus of the Italian artist, Michelangelo. The fresco adorns part of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling and was made between 1508 to 1512. The Creation of Adam remains the most reproduced religious painting of all time. It details the Biblical narrative of Adam’s creation; how God breathed life into Adam, making him the first human to walk the earth, as depicted in the Book of Genesis. 

Courtesy – Wikipedia

8. The Birth of Venus

Italian artist, Sandro Botticelli devised the Birth of Venus in the mid 1480s. The painting remains an intriguing work for art historians as they explore the influence of Renaissance Neo-Platonism, the context of popular wedding celebrations and the imitation of ancient painters’ styles. The Birth of Venus showcases a fully-formed young Venus arriving at the shore, after the castration of Uranus. It is displayed in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Courtesy – 1st Art Gallery

9. Las Meninas

The Museo del Prado, Madrid houses Diego Velázquez’s best drawing in the world – Las Meninas. The 1656 painting recounts the Spanish Baroque techniques. Because of its intricate and enigmatic composition, which also creates an ambiguous relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted, it raises questions about reality and illusion. The setting of Las Meninas is King Philip IV of Spain’s royal palace, the Alcázar in Madrid. The painting’s central figure is Infanta Margarita Teresa, the king’s daughter. A group of ladies-in-waiting, or ‘meninas,’ indulge her whims. Diego Velázquez takes up space on the left. He is staring into the viewer’s eyes and, consequently, their soul while holding a brush and palette in his hand. A mirror in the background reflects the portraits of Queen Mariana and King Philip IV.

Courtesy – Madrid Cool & Cultural

10. The Kiss

Gustav Klimt’s most recognisable and best drawing in the world, The Kiss was drawn between 1907 and 1908. The symbolist painter ornamented the drawing with gold leaves, silver, and platinum. The Kiss shows a couple holding hands, their bodies intertwined in ornate gowns adorned in a manner reminiscent of the modern Art Nouveau movement. Currently on display is the painting at Vienna’s Österreichische Galerie Belvedere.

Courtesy – Wikipedia

Image Courtesy – Portrait Flip

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