Culture
43 voters

List of Famous Portrait Paintings

Updated August 25, 2021 424 votes 43 voters 162.8k views100 items

List RulesVote up your favorite paintings that are portraits.

List of the most famous portrait paintings in the world, listed as ranked by user votes with pictures of the art when available. The popular portrait paintings on this list are considered to be some of the most recognizable works of art on the planet, so save yourself a trip to the museum and check out this artwork from the comfort of your own home. Portrait is an extremely important genre in the art world, so it's no surprise that some of the most recognizable fall under the portrait genre. You can find additional information about these well-known paintings by clicking on the names of the pieces.

Everything from Mona Lisa to Whistler's Mother is featured on this list, so cast your votes below.

This list answers the questions, "What are examples of portrait paintings?" and "What are the most famous portrait paintings?"

...more
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait of a woman by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, which has been acclaimed as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world". The painting, thought to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, is in oil on a white Lombardy poplar panel, and is believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506. Leonardo may have continued working on it as late as 1517. It was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic, on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris since 1797. The subject's expression, which is  ...more
    • Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
    • Subject: Lisa del Giocondo
    • Genres (Art): Portrait
    • Art Form: Painting
    • Period / Movement: Italian Renaissance, Renaissance
    20
    0
    Good painting?

    #32 of 168 The Most Amazing Pieces of Artwork Ever Made#11 of 15 Historical Events You Most Want To Go Back and See#3 of 23 The Simpsons 'Ruin' Classic Paintings On This Instagram, And The Results Are TRUE Art

  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Girl with a Pearl Earring is an oil painting by 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. It is a tronie of a girl with a headscarf and a pearl earring. The painting has been in the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague since 1902.  ...more
    • Artist: Johannes Vermeer
    • Genres (Art): Portrait
    • Art Form: Painting
    • Period / Movement: Dutch Golden Age
    13
    1
    Good painting?
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Madame X or Portrait of Madame X is the informal title of a portrait painting by John Singer Sargent of a young socialite named Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau, wife of Pierre Gautreau. The model was an American expatriate who married a French banker, and became notorious in Parisian high society for her beauty and rumored infidelities. She wore lavender powder and prided herself on her appearance. Madame X was painted not as a commission, but at the request of Sargent. It is a study in opposition. Sargent shows a woman posing in a black satin dress with jeweled straps, a dress that reveals and hides at the same time. The portrait is characterized by the pale flesh tone of the subject  ...more
    • Artist: John Singer Sargent
    • Subject: Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau
    • Genres (Art): Portrait
    • Art Form: Painting
    9
    0
    Good painting?
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    The Portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Giovanni Bellini, dating from 1501. It is on display in the National Gallery in London. It portrays Leonardo Loredan, Doge of Venice from 1501 to 1521, in his ceremonial garments with the corno worn over a linen cap, and is signed "IOANNES BELLINVS" on a cartellino.  ...more
    • Artist: Giovanni Bellini
    • Subject: Leonardo Loredan
    • Genres (Art): Portrait
    • Art Form: Painting
    • Period / Movement: Italian Renaissance
    10
    3
    Good painting?