The Top Ten Art Museums in the World

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There are thousands of museums in the world housing amazing collections of art and antiquities. However you don’t want to spend your holidays visiting them all. The following museums are among the most notable and important for their collections, particularly if you are looking to view famous art works. Even if you do not have any real art knowledge you will not fail to be impressed by these outstanding collections:


1. Musée de Louvre, Paris, France

The Louvre is now the most famous museum in the World. Two centuries ago, before it became a museum, it was a fortified Palace that was once home to Kings of France. The museum was modernised several years ago with the addition of the plaza and the glass pyramid, but this merely adds to the worldwide image of the museum. The museums collections range from antique civilizations to early 19th century paintings. Most famous art works exhibited are the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa. It is said that if you spend 2 seconds in front of each art work it will take you 3 months to visit every art work in the museum.



2. Vatican Museums, Vatican City, Rome, Italy

Spanning almost nine miles the collection of the Vatican owned by the Roman Catholic Church is one of the largest and most important in the World. It contains more than 22 collections from Etruscan to Egyptian art and maps to modern religious works. The museums feature also work by Raphael and Leonardo de Vinci as well as the famous spiral columns by Bernini. Even if you aren’t a great art fan or religious in the least you can’t fail to be blown away by the majesty of the Sistene Chapel by Michelangelo.


3. Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, USA

With over 2 million pieces of art work this is one of the largest museums in the world. Created in 1870, the Beaux-Art façade building houses everything from Islamic Art and European paintings, to collections of armour and weaponry. One of the most recognizable artworks is the engraving of Adam and Eve by Albrecht Durer.


4. The Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy


One of the oldest museums in the World featuring works by Michelangelo and Leonardo. One of the most notable items being the ‘Birth of Venus’ by Botticelli. The Uffizi Gallery is certainly one of the finest collections of fine art in existence. It is said by UNESCO that 60% of the World’s art is to be found in Italy and over half of those in Florence.


5. The British Museum, London, England

Founded in 1753 the British Museum is now one of the greatest collections in the world and well known for its outstanding ancient history collections. It attracts over 6 million visitors a year. It owns over 7 million artworks with only 4 million on display. The Egyptian collection is second only to that in Cairo.


6. The Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain

The Prado is one of the most respected and visited collections in the world in the neoclassical design of 18th century Madrid. It Houses an outstanding collection of Spanish art, from Goya and Velazquez to El Greco. Although specializing in paintings it has excellent collections of drawings, medals, coins and decorative arts.


7. The Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt

Before 1853 Egypt lost a large number of antiquities to overseas museums and collections. The ‘Service des Antiques de l’Egypte’ saw the Government look to keep artefacts in Egypt. The museum was built in 1900 and now houses over 120,000 objects from pre-historic era to the Greco-Roman period. Most notably, it includes sculptures of the sphinx and the artefacts from the tombs including that of Tutankhamen.


8. The State Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia

Despite Russia’s isolation from the European art world, it has acquired a stunning collection of over three million objects over the last three centuries. It presents the development of world culture and art from Stone Age to 20th century. In particular, it owns ten of the twelve original art works by Leonardo de Vinci known in the world today.


9. Musée D’Orsay, Paris, France

A former train station built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. With a spectacular glass ceiling it was converted to a modern art gallery in 19.. Specializing in 19th and 20th century artwork, most notably a stunning collection of impressionism, from Monet, Manet, Renoir and Van Gogh.


10. The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The largest art collection in the Netherlands with over 1 million pieces. Renowned for its paintings of the Dutch masters from 17th century. It also displays art from the middle ages and 18th and 19th centuries. The most famous painting is probably the ‘Nightwatchmen’ by Rembrandt.

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