The World's Finest Art Museums
Art museums provide a unique glimpse into a nation’s history and its culture. Even the simplest portrait has a grand story to tell in its brush strokes, the artistic style and the choice of palette. These are some of the finest art museums in the world, housing works from the most renowned classical and modern artists.
The Louvre, Paris
It should perhaps come as no surprise that the Louvre comes first on the list. The largest and most famous museum in the world, this Parisian landmark is known for its extensive collection including works such as the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo along with sculptures by Michelangelo and pieces dating back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Vatican Museums, Vatican City
Located in Vatican City, the Vatican Museums house some of the most important works of the Renaissance period, as well as sculptures from ancient Rome divided across 54 galleries. The highlight of the collection and, fittingly, the last stop on a tour of the museums, is the Sistine Chapel and its famous ceiling fresco painted by Michelangelo.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
Opened in 1872, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, more popularly known as the Met, is located at the heart of Manhattan and is a key cultural destination. Aside from housing paintings and sculpture from all over the world, including famous works by Picasso and Van Gogh, the Met aims to educate the general public about art. The museum is also famous for the annual Met Gala, a charity function that attracts some of the biggest celebrities from the world of entertainment.
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
The second largest museum in the United States after the Met, Chicago’s Art Institute is iconic for the twin bronze lion statues outside its main entrance. The museum has a large collection spanning various artistic eras, which was expanded further with the opening of the Modern Wing in 2009. The museum is also a research institution with its own laboratories, conservation departments, an expansive library of architecture and history, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the world’s foremost art schools.
Alongside the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum is one of the most famous cultural institutions in Europe. Among its collection are a staggering 1 million exhibits from between the 13th and 21st centuries, a renowned collection of Asian artefacts and works by Rembrandt and Johannes Vermeer, including Rembrandt’s famous painting The Night Watch. It is also home to the largest research library in the Netherlands.
Tate Modern, London
The United Kingdom has no shortage of fantastic museums and cultural buildings to visit, and one could well devote and entire article to all of them. When it comes to art, perhaps the most popular is Tate Modern, which houses an extensive collection of British art dating back to 1900 and contemporary art from all around the world. Since it first opened in the year 2000, the museum has attracted more visitors than it can accommodate, leading a to a large-scale expansion, the first phase of which was completed 2 years ago.