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Must-Visit Art Galleries and Museums Around the World

Any art that has resonated with people and has touched their souls deserve celebration. Art galleries and museums are a manifestation of a celebration of the art that has changed the world. Millions continue to visit famous museums and galleries across the globe to witness the genius and the craftsmanship of some of the finest artists the world has seen. The range of art displayed in the galleries is diverse and includes the works of artists from the past and contemporaries. Here is a curated list of some of the best galleries in the world and a must-visit for any art patron:


Louvre Museum (Paris, France) – Called Musée du Louvre in French, this is the most visited art galleries in the world. Occupying a part of a palace built in the 12th century, this museum contains a large array of artwork from ancient civilisations to the early 19th century. The Louvre is home to the famous painting ‘Mona Lisa’ by Leonardo da Vinci and other popular Italian, French, and Dutch paintings. This museum also contains decorative pieces like tapestries, jewellery, furniture, and miniatures and antiquities from Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian civilisations. Apart from the displays, the architecture of the museum is also a popular attraction among visitors.


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Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA) – Commonly known as the Met Museum, this museum was founded in 1870 and is one of the largest in the world. The speciality of the Met Museum is that it is home to art from across the world including African, and Oceanian countries, art from the Byzantine era, and Islamic art. Apart from this extensive collection, the museum also contains exhibits of contemporary modern art. Aboriginal and Native American art is also featured here.


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Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia) – This is the second-largest museum in the world and was founded in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great acquired an extensive collection of paintings from a merchant in Berlin. However, the museum was open to the public only in 1852 and is the eighth largest visited museum in the world. Hermitage Museum features art and decorative items from multiple civilisations like Egyptian, Greek, and Roman, Italian Renaissance, among others. There are even exhibits from the pre-historic period as well. The display is spread over 120 rooms and various wings of the opulent palace are also a common attraction.


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The National Gallery (London, England) – This museum was founded in 1824 and is home to nearly two thousand paintings from the 13th century to the early 1900s. Most of the paintings featured here are by European artists including the famous ‘Virgin of the Rocks’ of Leonardo da Vinci and ‘Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers’ by Vincent van Gogh, among others. The collection of this museum is smaller compared to other European museums but features paintings that represent the changing art movements in the West.


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Reina Sofia Museum (Madrid, Spain) – Called in Spanish as Museo Reina Sofía, this museum is dedicated exclusively to Spanish art. Inaugurated in 1922, this museum is named after Spain’s famous queen, Sofia. This is the world’s ninth most visited museum and features both national and international art exhibits. The works of popular Spanish painters Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali are featured here. The biggest attraction of this museum is Pablo Picasso’s 1937 painting titled ‘Guernica’.


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Vatican Museum (Vatican City, Italy) – Founded in 1506, this museum is home to an extensive display of art collected by the Catholic church for centuries. There are nearly 70,00 pieces out of which 20,000 are for public display. Several important artworks from the Italian Renaissance and sculptures from the Greek and Roman Empire are present here. Prominent paintings featured here include ‘St. Jerome in Wilderness’ by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael’s ‘Transfiguration’ and Caravaggio’s ‘Entombment’, among others.


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British Museum (London, England) – Established in 1753, this museum has a collection of nearly eight million art pieces and artefacts from around the world. These artefacts were collected during the rule of the British empire. Sculptures from ancient Greek and Roman empires, Egyptian mummies and Assyrian statues are some of the highlights of this museum. Apart from these works of art, there is also a large collection of books and original manuscripts housed here.


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Uffizi Gallery (Florence, Italy) – One of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, this gallery has been open for the public view since 1765. This museum was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 to accommodate the officers of the magistrate. Uffizi Gallery contains some of the most popular paintings from the Italian Renaissance like ‘The Birth of the Venus’ by Sandro Botticelli, ‘Medusa’ by Caravaggio, ‘Doni Tondo’ by Michelangelo, and so on.


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Victoria and Albert Museum (London, England) – Often abbreviated as V&A, this museum is named after the royals Queen Victoria and King Albert. This museum is home to art that has been collected for nearly five thousand years from across the world. The exhibits here are not limited to just paintings but also include jewellery, ceramics, furniture, prints, photographs, among other things. The Islamic art featured here is one of the most extensive collections in all of Europe. Within the museum, there is an exclusive section dedicated to architecture where miniatures of buildings are displayed.


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Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – This museum is dedicated to Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries and was opened for public viewing in 1973 and is the most visited museum in the Netherlands. Unsold paintings of van Gogh that was inherited by his son were donated to the museum and have been in display for the public since the museum’s opening. In 2019, the museum launched ‘Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience’, an immersive tour of the great artist’s life and work.


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Art galleries and museums are a celebration of the lives and works of artists who escaped conventions and dared to reimagine the world. These places are also a reminder that despite the transience of human lives, they are alive and celebrated through their legacies and the beauty they leave behind.

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