With so many inspiring and influential works of art in galleries, museums, and yes, even caves, around the world, it's no easy task to choose five works of art worth travelling to. But here are some that we think should be on everyone's list.
There's nothing quite like coming face to face with an exquisite, ancient or classic piece of art. It comes in so many forms, and every piece is timeless and unique. Whether you are seeing it in a museum with a crowd of art lovers, or you are out in the great outdoors seeing it on the side of a rockface. The experience will often stay with you forever.
1. San Rock Art - Cederberg, South Africa
Attributed to the San people who settled in the Drakensburg area of South Africa some 8000 years ago, the remarkable San 'Bushmen' paintings and engravings date back thousands of years. The paintings depict animals and humans, and are thought to represent shamanistic religious beliefs and spiritual rites. The rock paintings are found in caves and rock formations all around South Africa with some of the best examples in the Cederberg Mountains near Cape Town and at Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park.
2. One:Number 31, Jackson Pollock
Abstract Expressionist art anti-hero Jackson Pollock created One: Number 31, an immense network of overlapping lines, drips, and splatters of paint on canvas as he did his other iconic drip paintings, from above, laying out huge rolls of canvas on the ground and throwing, flicking, pouring and dribbling paint on them. One: Number 31 is considered one of Pollock's supreme works.
See it: MoMA, New York
Trip: Appalachian Trail Walk
3. Terracotta Army - Xián, China
The Terracotta Army is a collection of intricately crafted terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China that was buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC for the purpose of protecting the emperor in the afterlife.
The life-sized terracotta figures dating from 3rd century BC include warriors, chariots and horses. It's estimated that there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits.
The figures were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers who were digging a water well in Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi province, near the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor.
4. The Dance (Second Version), Henri Matisse
The Dance, is a large decorative panel, painted in 1910 by French artist Henri Matisse for a Russian businessman and art collector. The painting is one of Matisse's most iconic works and depicts five dancing figures in red set against a simplified green landscape and deep blue sky, reflecting Matisse's fascination with primitive art, and the use of strong bold colours. The rhythmical succession of dancing nudes in The Dance conveys the feeling of emotional liberation and hedonism. The painting is often associated with the "Dance of the Young Girls" from Igor Stravinsky's famous musical work The Rite of Spring.
See it: Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
Trip: St Petersburg to Beijing Overland
5. Primavera, Sandro Botticelli
Primavera, also known as Allegory of Spring, was painted by Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli around 1482, and is described as one of the most popular and one of the most ananlysed paintings in the world. It also one of Botticelli's most elaborate works. The painting celebrates the arrival of Spring and depicts a group of mythological figures including Venus, Goddess of Love in a lush Orange Grove. The paitnings elaborate graden setting includes 500 identified plant species with about 190 different flowers. A great work for botanists and art lovers alike!
See it: Uffizi Gallery, Florence (pictured above)
Trip: Florence to Amalfi
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