The Mona Lisa is voted the greatest work of art of all time: Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece tops the poll among British art lovers, followed by Van Gogh’s sunflowers and the ceiling of the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
- The British have voted Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa the greatest work of art of all time
- Van Gough’s Sunflowers came in second place, with 32% of votes for him
- Banksy’s Angel of the North and Balloon Girl made it into Britain’s top five works
- 74% say they are ‘art lovers’ and the average Brit sees art five times a year
- London has the highest number of art lovers, followed by Birmingham and Leeds
The Mona Lisa has been voted the greatest work of art of all time while the work of two British artists is among the top five works by art lovers, a poll has revealed.
The survey found that the majority of Britons still regard the classics as the greatest works of art and that two-thirds see themselves as ‘art lovers’.
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece has been hailed as the country’s favorite work of art, with 34% of Britons voting it number one.
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece has been hailed as the country’s favorite work of art, with 34% of Britons voting it number one
Considered an archetype of the Italian Renaissance, the approximately 500-year-old painting depicts the subject, whose identity is disputed, and his famously enigmatic smile.
The Mona Lisa has the highest known insurance valuation in art history and is on permanent display at the Louvre in Paris.
Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gough came second, with the series of paintings getting 32% of the vote.
The Mona Lisa has the highest known insurance valuation in art history and is on permanent display at the Louvre in Paris
Painted in Arles, in the south of France, in 1888 and 1889, the series consists of five large canvases representing sunflowers in a vase.
Sunflower paintings are said to have had a special meaning for Van Gogh, communicating “gratitude”.
Third on the list of most admired works of art, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gough came second, with the painting series getting 32% of the vote
With six million visitors flocking to the Vatican each year to gaze at its beauty, the ceiling was frescoed by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512 and is considered a seminal work of High Renaissance art.
But it is reputed that Michelangelo found work on the Sistine Chapel so distasteful that he wrote a poem about his misery while doing it for four long years.
The list of great art also included more contemporary works.
Local examples include Antony Gormley’s The Angel of the North, which came fourth on the list, with 23% of the vote.
Third on the list of most admired works of art, the Sistine Chapel ceiling
Banksy’s Balloon Girl rounded out the top five, with a fifth (20%) of the votes.
The research also found that the majority of the 2,000 Britons polled, 58%, said they had drawn more inspiration from classic and contemporary artworks in recent years.
74% of respondents said they considered themselves art lovers.
Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North, which came fourth on the list with 23% of the vote
Yet the average Briton will only visit five art exhibitions in a year, according to the survey.
Evie Porter, of the Perspectus Global news agency, which carried out the survey, said: ‘It’s interesting how many classics are still considered the greatest works of art, and also that there are has a growing sense among the nation that art can be inspiring.
“It seems that the British embrace both contemporary and classical artists and artwork.”
Banksy’s Balloon Girl rounded out the top five, with a fifth (20%) of the votes
Edward Munch’s The Scream (19%), Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty (15%), The Terracotta Army in Xian (15%) are also in the top 25 of the greatest works of art all time. , and The Thinker by Auguste Rodin (13%).
The data also revealed that London is home to the highest number of avowed art lovers (84%), followed by Birmingham (81%) and Leeds (80%).
Top 25 greatest works of art of all time, according to Britons
1. Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (34%)
2. Paintings of Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh (32%)
3. Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling (26%)
4. Angel of the North by Antony Gormley (23%)
5. Banksy’s Balloon Girl (21%)
6. The Scream by Edward Munch (19%)
The Terracotta Army in Xian got 15%
7. The Statue of Liberty by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (15%)
8. The Terracotta Army in Xian (15%)
9. The Thinker by Auguste Rodin (13%)
10. The Haywain by John Constable (10%)
11. The Kiss by Gustav Klimt (10%)
12. The statue of Eros at Piccadilly Circus by Alfred Gilbert (10%)
13. Go to game by LS Lowry (9%)
7% of people voted for Guernica by Pablo Picasso
14. The Statue of Nelson by Edward Hodges Bailey (9%)
15. Guernica by Pablo Picasso (7%)
16. The Fighting Temeraire by JMW Turner (7%)
17. Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (7%)
18. The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (the marinated shark) by Damien Hirst (6%)
19. The Persistence of Salvador Dali (6%)
20. The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai (6%)
The work ‘The Persistence of Memory’ by artist Salvador Dali ranked number 19
21. The Singing Butler by Jack Vettriano (5%)
22. The Garden of Earthly Delights by Heironymous Bosch (5%)
23. The Spider by Louise Bourgeois (5%)
24. Mares and foals of George Stubbs (4%)
25. The Son of Man by René Magritte (3%)