It is perhaps controversial to suggest that some of the greatest works of art might just be a little overrated. But, just to be clear, we aren’t suggesting that these great works aren’t impressive. What we are suggesting is that they have been given so much attention and so much praise that their reality may have become a little warped in the public eye.
We wouldn’t dare suggest that these classics lose their spots on towering pedestals, but it is possible that, upon seeing them in person, you may come to realise you didn’t even know what they really looked like.
There is hardly a person on the planet that doesn’t know the Mona Lisa. It is so widely referenced, and so endlessly praised, that you would think it stood apart as one of the greatest works of art ever created.
Yes, it is a fine work of art, but upon seeing it in person the first thing you may think is that it is rather smaller than you thought. The artwork has been so often depicted without size reference that the majority assume it is much bigger than it really is. You may also find yourself wondering why it is so much more widely known that Leonardo Da Vinci’s other works, some of which many would argue are more impressive than the Mona Lisa.
Compare the Mona Lisa to his other masterpieces, and you perception of it may dwindle, even if just a little. We personally far prefer the more expansive and detailed Last Supper.
You probably know Jackson Pollock, and have likewise seen many of his artworks. They are indeed stirring and mesmerising, especially if you know the troubled artist’s story. However, No. 5 was recently declared as the 5th most valuable artwork in the world, selling for $135 million.
Next time you’re hitting bingo in New Zealand online, take a look at No. 5 and decide if it is worth the money. You may declare wholeheartedly that it is, given the importance of the work in history. On the other hand, you may consider that Pollock did no planning of any kind for the painting, and wonder why his work is considered more valuable than others, some of which took months to complete.
Picasso has long been the centre of attention, and his artwork has fetched exuberant prices for as long as it has been in the public eye. His oil painting Guernica, completed in 1937, is one of his most famous. It is said to depict a scene of war, with a mother crying over her dead infant, an injured soldier beneath a wounded horse, and more.
But a closer look at Guernica, and a quick comparison to his other works, may make you wonder why this is somehow the more superior, and widely known, of his creations.
It should also be kept in mind that Picasso would often pay for cups of coffee, and other small purchases around town, with hastily sketched works of art on napkins, and other random bits of paper.