I’m starting to get the itch to travel overseas again. In thinking about where we might go I was pondering where we’ve been. One of the things I that I have really enjoyed in our past 3 trips has been seeing the art museums. This got me to thinking about what we’ve seen and what we haven’t so I went out on the WWW and looked for a list of the 100 must see paintings and found Piero Scaruffi’s “The Greatest Paintings of all Times”list. This lead to finding his top 100 reposted on Listology, complete with pictures of the actual paintings.

I took the top 50 and have highlighted the one’s we’ve seen in our travels:

1. Bosch: The Garden of Earthly Delights (1504) – Prado, Madrid
2. Michelangelo: Il Giudizio Sistine Chapel (1541) – Cappella Sistina, Roma
3. Ernst: Europe After the Rain II (1942) – Sumner Collection, Hartford
4. Klimt: Beethovenfries (1902) – Sezession, Wien
5. Dali: Persistence of Memory (1931) – Museum of Modern Art, New York
6. Klimt: The Virgin (1913) – National Gallery, Prague
7. Bosch: The Last Judgement (1505) – Gemaldegalerie der Akademie der Bildenden Kunste, Wien
8. Klimt: The Kiss (1908) – Belvedere, Wien
9. Botticelli: Allegoria della Primavera (1478) – Uffizi, Firenze
10. Monet: Nimphee (1926) – Orangerie, Paris
11. Dali: Metamorphose de Narcisse (1937) – Tate Gallery, London
12. Leonardo: Il Cenacolo/ The Last Supper (1497) – S.Maria delle Grazie, Milano
13. Rubens: Fall of the Damned – The British Museum
14. Uccello: Battaglia di San Romano/Part I (1456) – Uffizi, Firenze
15. Van Gogh: Starry Night (1889) – Museum of Modern Art, New York
16. Raffaello: Sposalizio della Vergine (1504) – Piancoteca di Brera, Milano
17. Dali: Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (1936) – Museum of Art, Philadelphia
18. Bruegel: Triumph of Death (1562) – Prado, Madrid
19. Botticelli: Nascita di Venere (1485) – Uffizi, Firenze
20. Rubens: The Adoration of the Magi – Prado, Madrid
21. Monet: Cathedrale de Rouen – Musee National d’Orsay, Paris
22. Greco: Toledo (1599) – Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
23. Giotto: Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padova (1305)
24. Cranach: Flugelaltar mit dem Jungsten Gericht (1524) – Gemaldegalerie, Berlin
25. Seurat: La Parade du Cirque (1888) – Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
26. Ernst: La Ville Entiere (1936) – Kunsthaus, Zurich
27. Rembrandt: Militia Company (1642) – Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
28. Van Eyck: Madonna in the Church (1425) – Gemaldegalerie, Berlin
29. Bruegel: The Battle Between Carnival and Lent (1559) – Kunsthistorisches Museum – Wien
30. Leonardo: Gioconda/ Mona Lisa (1505) – Louvre, Paris
31. Raffaello: Trasfigurazione (1519) – Pinacoteca Vaticana, Roma
32. Rousseau: Sleeping Gypsy (1897) – Museum of Modern Art, New York
33. Piero della Francesca: Leggenda della Vera Croce (1460) – S.Francesco, Arezzo
34. Van Gogh: Potato Eaters (1885) – Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
35. Bruegel: Dutch Proverbs (1559) – Gemaldegalerie, Berlin
36. Greco: La Crucifixion (1594) – Prado, Madrid
37. Seurat: La Grande Jatte (1886) – Art Institute, Chicago
38. Altdorfer: The Battle of Alexander the Great (1529) – Alte Pinakothek, Munchen
39. Monet: The Grainstack (1896) – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
40. Klee: Ad Marginen (1930) – Kunstmuseum, Basel
41. Rembrandt: Belshazzar’s Feast (1635) – National Gallery, London
42. Van Gogh: Cypresses (1889) – Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
43. Rubens: St Agustine, National Gallery, Prague
44. Van Eyck: Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife (1434) – National Gallery, London
45. Renoir: Bal du Moulin de la Galette (1876) – Musee National d’Orsay, Paris
46. Renoir: Le Dejeuner des Canotiers (1881) – Phillips Collection, Washington
47. Goya: Aquelarre/ Il Grande Caprone (1821) – Prado, Madrid
48. Velasquez: Las Meninas (1656) – Prado, Madrid
49. Chagall: I and the Village (1911) – Museum of Modern Art, New York
50. Van der Weyden: Deposition (1435) – Prado, Madrid

Of course there is really no way to make a truly comprehensive list and there’s certainly some pieces we’ve seen that didn’t make this particular cut. It’s more a frame of reference for me in thinking about past and future destinations.

That being said, if I weight the decision based on this list, Berlin, Vienna and Prague are starting to look VERY interesting.

Travel For Art’s Sake
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5 thoughts on “Travel For Art’s Sake

  • February 26, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Hi Jay,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a bit now but this is my first time commenting…if you do find yourself in Prague and are also interested in Art Nouveau, you might want to check out the Mucha Museum. When I was visiting family in the Czech Republic last May, it was a nice little diversion.


  • February 26, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Well, you could have seen Starry Night and Persistence of Memory right here in Houston a couple of years ago. Seeing the Van Gogh was a wonderful experience. The Dali… was too small.

  • February 27, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Prague, definitely. Half the city is a museum, and it has probably the only intact Jewish ghetto in Europe. It’s where the Golem is from. Some of the streets of the old town are recognizeably the same as in Kafka’s day. You go up to Hradcany Castle and sort of work your way down the hill. There’s a sort of secret garden towards the bottom.

    It’s a beautiful town. I’ve been there twice. Tourisy as hell but well worth the trip.

    By the way, at some of the tourist trap restaurants, the waiter totes up your bill on a calculator and automatically gives himself a 20% tip. It should be 5%, maybe 10%. And the absinthe is crap. So’s the Lobkowitz beer. All the other beers are fantastic.

    Also, Vienna’s a few hours away by train, so you could do a twofer. I’ve never been, so I can’t say much about it.

    And Berlin’s wonderful too. If you have anough time, you could fly into Berlin then take trains to Vienna and Prague.

  • February 27, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Hi Jay –

    It’s Prague….. The Charles bridge is not to be missed! We’ll be there in July playing festivals, etc….

    BTW – I’m getting a new PC laptop suitable for audio editing -of course money is no object! Recommendations?

  • March 12, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Hi Jay,

    If you want to try for something a little more exotic, Singapore Air has a heck of a deal to inaugurate their new Houston to Singapore route with a stop in Moscow. When 2 travel together, the round trip to Moscow is only $599 all inclusive.

    Once in Moscow, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg is ~400 away by rail or air.

    It’s not the destinations you discussed, but wow, $599. to Moscow has to be a great deal to take in one of the world’s great art collections.

    Happy trails.


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