Artistic Masterpieces, Beautiful Museums

Discover the stunning locations some of the world's greatest artworks call home

By Google Arts & Culture

Museums house the world's finest artefacts, but sometimes they're works of art themselves. Click and drag to explore the rooftops of the Guggenheim Bilbao, then scroll on to discover the beautiful homes of some of art history's most famous works.

Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo, known as "Monna Lisa, la Gioconda" or "Mona Lisa", 1503-1519 (1503/1519) by Leonardo di ser Piero DA VINCI, dit Léonard de Vinci (1452 - 1519), Paris, musée du LouvreOriginal Source: Paris, Louvre Museum

'Mona Lisa'

Leonardo da Vinci, 1503 - 1506

But where does she live?

The Louvre

The largest and most visited museum in the world, this former fortified castle was the residence of kings before it was transformed into a museum and conservatory for artwork. There are currently more than half a million pieces housed here, with none more famous than da Vinci’s masterpiece the Mona Lisa

Located right on the banks of the Seine, the building has been extended many times over the centuries, building on the original 13th century fortifications. The iconic glass pyramid entrance way was added in the late 1980s, with further wings and galleries added and refurbishments ongoing. 

Starry Night (1888) by Vincent van GoghMusée d’Orsay, Paris

'The Starry Night'

Vincent Van Gogh, 1888 

Where would you find this nighttime masterpiece?

The Musée d'Orsay

Located on the left bank of the Seine and housed in a former railway station, this museum houses the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist artwork by painters including Degas, Renoir, Monet, Manet and this version of The Starry Night by Van Gogh. 

After the station became obsolete due to the short length of its platforms, the main spaces were turned into a large central nave area which is broken up by sculptures and gallery spaces. 

Puppy (1992) by Jeff KoonsGuggenheim Bilbao

'Puppy'

Jeff Koons, 1992

Where would you find this obedient dog?

The Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao opened in 1997 and is world renowned as a gem of modern architecture. It was designed by architect Frank Gehry, who refused to build the museum in the centre of the city but chose to invigorate another area of Bilbao, becoming a case study in the idea of regeneration through art and culture.

The bold curves and vast metallic sections have changed the perceptions of contemporary architecture and the idea of what a cultural institution can be. Inside the building, you can see some of the best contemporary art in the world, by artists such as Jenny Holzer, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. Koons' Puppy sits happily outside. 

The Death of Actaeon (about 1559-75) by TitianThe National Gallery, London

'The Death of Actaeon'

Titian, 1559-75

Where can you find this masterpiece?

The National Gallery

One of the most visited museums in London, the National Gallery was initially inaugurated in 1824 in a former home of the painter Argerstein. Today, in its third official location, it is home to a vast collection and enjoys a prime London location in the heart of Trafalgar Square.

The National Gallery is especially renowned for its more than 2,500 paintings covering the periods from 1250 to 1900 which charts the development of Western art through the centuries, including the above masterpiece The Death of Actaeon by Titian.

The Night Watch (1642) by Rembrandt Harmensz van RijnRijksmuseum

'The Night Watch'

Rembrandt, 1642

A true classic from the Dutch Golden age but where can you see it?

The Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum is located on Museum Square near to the Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. It was originally founded in the Hague in 1798 but moved to Amsterdam in 1808 and its current home in 1885, in a building designed by Pierre Cuypers. 

This beautiful museum is home to more than one million objects of art and history, with around 8,000 on display at any one time. Included in these exhibits are works by masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. 

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (1994/1997) by Frank GehryGuggenheim Bilbao

Want to explore more?

You can take a guided tour around the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao here

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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