The One Artwork You Must See in These Bucket List Cities

Sagrada Familia nave roof detail
Sagrada Familia nave roof detail | © SBA73/WikiCommons
Rachel Gould

Art & Design Editor

So, the time has come for you to cross yet another city off your travel bucket list. Whether you’re pressed for time or your itinerary is overflowing, we’ve chosen one must-see artwork in some of the world’s most popular destinations.

1. The First Hen Fabergé Egg (1885), St. Petersburg...


Crafted from gold, rubies, diamonds, and white enamel, the First Hen (or Hen Egg) was the first of 50 exquisite Fabergé eggs exchanged amongst the Russian imperial family. Exclusively commissioned by the Romanov royals and expertly crafted by House of Fabergé, the Hen Egg was the first objet d’art of its kind gifted to the Empress Maria Feodorovna by her husband, Alexander III, and can be seen at the Fabergé Museum in St. Petersburg.

2. Hieronymous Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights (1515), Madrid...

Art Gallery, Museum

Hieronymous Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights (1515)
© WikiCommons

Located at the Museo del Prado, The Garden of Earthly Delights is one of the most whimsical works of art on record. When Bosch completed his masterpiece 500 years ago, it terrified and captivated God-fearing audiences with curious creatures and otherworldly vessels. Five centuries on, the timeless triptych’s surreal dreamscapes retain the power to utterly enrapture.

3. John Everett Millais' Ophelia (1852), London...

John Everett Millais, Ophelia (1851) | WikiCommons

4. Mario Testino's Traditional women's costume (2007), Lima...

Art Gallery, Museum

Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino opened MATE—Museo Mario Testino in Lima’s artsy Barranco neighborhood in 2012 to support and contribute to Peru’s rich cultural heritage. Examining “festive” fashion in the mountainous region outside of Cusco, Alta Modais a five-year photographic project on view at the museum until October 25, 2017. Traditional women’s costume, rural community of Chahuaytire, district of Pisac, province of Calca, Cusco, Peru, 2007(pictured above) is a prime example of Testino’s remarkable ability to capture tradition with a contemporary, high-fashion eye.

5. Piet Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie (1943), New York City...

Art Gallery, Building, Museum, Opera House

Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie (1943)
© WikiCommons
A visual symphony of blinking lights, Broadway Boogie Woogie captures New York City’s electric spirit. Piet Mondrian fled Europe during World War II, and arrived in New York to find himself completely captivated by the city’s zeitgeist; from the rhythms of jazz to the perpetual motion of stop-and-go traffic. The Dutch painter was a founding member of the De Stijl movement, by which works of art and design were distilled into to their most fundamental essences: shapes and colors, with the je ne sais quoiof a modern visionary. See it for yourself at the Museum of Modern Art.

6. I.M. Pei's Louvre Pyramid (1989), Paris...


Louvre Pyramid, Paris
© Benh/WikiCommons
Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei’s glass and metal pyramid is a modern Parisian landmark notably (and controversially) juxtaposed with the historic Louvre Museum. The pyramid was commissioned to serve as a new entrance to the museum, but when it was unveiled in 1989, the design was widely criticized for being harshly modern and curiously evocative of death. While some still believe the pyramid is out of place, no trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the Louvre and at least one photo with its futuristic counterpart.

7. The Berlin Wall (1961—1989), Berlin...

© canadastock/Shutterstock

8. Gustav Vigeland's The Fountain (c. 1947), Oslo...

Museum, Park

A stroll through Oslo’s Vigeland Park is nothing short of a surreal experience. The sprawling space exhibits over 200 sculptures by Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland, who portrayed exclusively nude subjects in some rather unusual positions. A highlight of the park is The Fountain, surrounded by 20 peripheral sculptures depicting the stages of life, from birth to death—a central theme that ties all of his sculptures together.

Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss (1908), Vienna…

Gustav Klimt, ‘The Kiss’ (1908)

A stunning combination of Art Nouveau and Symbolism, Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss employs an arresting confluence of geometric patterns with natural adornments and a timeless sentiment. Painted during the Austrian artist’s so-called “Golden Period,” Klimt’s magnum opus is on view in the Österreichische Galerie in Vienna’s grand Belvedere Palace.

Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Schloss Belvedere, Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Vienna, Austria

Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia (1926—), Barcelona…

Though it remains unfinished nearly a century after Antoni Gaudí’s death, the Sagrada Familia is widely regarded as the Catalan architect’s most important work. Standing tall at the harmonious convergence of art, architecture, religion and nature, the Spanish temple is a prized landmark that is hopefully due for completion, under the guise of architect Jordi Faulí, in 2026—100 years after Gaudí’s death.

9. Marino Marini's The Angel of the City (1948), Venice...

Art Gallery, Museum, Building

Marino Marini, The Angel of the City (Langelo della città), 1948 (cast 1950?)
Courtesy of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

Marino Marini’s sexually-charged sculpture greets the Grand Canal with arms outstretched. Part of Peggy Guggenheim’s landmark collection of modern art, The Angel of the City depicts a figure in euphoria atop what appears to be a stunted, strained horse. The sculpture is not only a must-see as a seminal work by the celebrated Italian artist, but for its breathtaking location on the bank of the Grand Canal.

10. Prague Astronomical Clock (1410), Prague...

11. Johannes Vermeer's The Milkmaid (c. 1658), Amsterdam...

Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid (1658) | Google Cultural Institute/WikiCommons
Google Cultural Institute/WikiCommons

12. Michelangelo's David (1504), Florence...

© lornet/Shutterstock

Forged from a singular block of white Carrara marble, Michelangelo’s depiction of the Biblical hero as a standing nude is a must-see at Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia. Pensive, David prepares for his legendary battle with Goliath, his eyes gazing towards Rome. Sculpted at a time when Florence was threatened by rival city-states and powerful families, a then-26-year-old Michelangelo made history with his breathtaking portrayal of the male form.

Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50121 Florence, Italy

Want more art inspiration? These American artworks were so controversial they shocked the world! Or, check out our list of the most expensive paintings in the world.

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