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Sister Wendy's 100 favourite paintings

Blog | By Sister Wendy Beckett | Oct 28, 2019

Christ Pantokrator (6th century) - St Catherine’s Monastary, Sinai, Egypt Source: Carulmare

Sister Wendy Beckett, the Oldie's favourite art historian, sadly died last Boxing Day, aged 88. Shortly before her death, she compiled her favourite paintings for a new book, out now, Sister Wendy’s 100 Best-loved Paintings

Part One: 6th – 14th centuries

1 Virgin and Child (c. 6th century) - Was Temple Gallery, now sold.

2 Christ Pantokrator (6th century) - St Catherine’s Monastary, Sinai, Egypt

3 The Lindisfarne Gospels, Carpet Page (7th century) - British Library, London

4 The Egbert Codex, Otto II Receiving Homage from the Four Provinces of the Empire (c. 983) - Musée Condé, Chantilly

5 Vladimir Madonna (c.1125) - Gallerie Statale Trat’Jakov, Moscow, Russia

6 The Bible Moralisee, God the Father Measuring the Universe (c. 1220) - Austrian National Library, Vienna

7 Giotto, St Francis Preaching to the Birds (1299) - Musée de Louvre, Paris

8 Duccio, The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew (c. 1308-11) - National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA

9 Simone Martini, Christ Discovered in the Temple (1342) - Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Part Two: 15th century

10 Masaccio, The Trinity (1425) - Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy

11 Andrei Rublev, Trinity of the Old Testament (c.1425-27) - Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

12 Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Marriage (1434) - National Gallery, London

13 Rogier van der Weyden, Magdalen Reading (c.1435) - National Gallery, London

14 Fra Angelico, Annunciation (c. 1440-1450) - San Marco Museum, Florence, Italy

15 Piero della Francesca, The Baptism of Christ (c. 1450) - National Gallery, London

16 Giovanni di Paolo, Saint John the Baptist Retiring to the Desert (c. 1453) - National Gallery, London

17 Andrea Mantegna, Death of the Virgin (c. 1460-65) - Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

18 Antonello da Messina, Virgin Annunciate (c. 1465) - Galleria Nazionale, Palazzo Abatellis, Palermo, Italy

19 Leonardo da Vinci, Ginevra de’ Benci (1474) - National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA

20 Pietro Perugino, Mary Magdalene (c. 1490s) - Galleria Palantina, Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy

Part Three: 16th century

21 Sandro Botticelli, Mystic Nativity (1500-01) - National Gallery, London

22 Giovanni Bellini, The Madonna of the Meadow (c.1500-05) - National Gallery, London

23 Raphael, Lady with a Unicorn (1505-6) - Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy

24 Giorgione, The Tempest (1506-8) - Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice

25 Michelangelo, the Erythraean Sibyl (1508-12) - Sistine Chapel, Vatican

26 Titian, Nole me Tangere (1514) - National Gallery, London

27 Lucas Cranach the Elder, A Princess of Saxony (c. 1517) - National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA

28 Albrecht Durer, Hieronymus Holzschuher (1526) - Gemäldegalerie of Berlin, Germany

29 Hans Holbein, The Artist’s wife with Katherine and Philipp (1528) - Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland

30 Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Harvesters (1565) - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

31 Tintoretto, Christ at the Sea of Galilee (c. 1575-80) - National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA

Part Four: 17th century

32 El Greco, Christ on the Cross (c.1600-10) - Getty Museum, L.A., USA

33 Caravaggio, Supper at Emmaus (1600-01) - National Gallery, London

34 Peter Paul Rubens, The Entombment (c. 1612) - Getty Museum, L.A., USA

35 Diego Velázquez, The Waterseller of Seville (1619-20) - Wellington Museum, London

36 Goffredo Wals, A Country Road by a House (c. 1620) - Kimbell Art Gallery, Fort Worth, USA

37 Guido Reni, Susannah and the Elders (c. 1620-25) - National Gallery, London

38 Orazio Gentileschi, The Rest on the Flight into Egypt (c. 1620) - Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK

39 Guercino, The Woman Taken in Adultery (c. 1621) - Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, UK

40 Valentin de Boulogne, A Musical Party (1626) - Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA, USA

41 Francesco de Zurbaran, St Serapion (1628) - Wadsworth Atheneum Museum, Hartford, USA

42 Jusepe de Ribera, Democritus (c. 1635-7) - Wilton House, Salisbury

43 Nicolas Poussin, The Ashes of Phocion Collected by his Widow (1648) - Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

44 Nicolas Poussin, The Holy Family on the Steps (1648) - Cleveland Museum of Art

45 Georges de la Tour, St Sebastian and Irene (c.1649) - Louvre Museum, Paris, France

46 Pieter de Hooch, A Dutch Courtyard (1658-60) - National Gallery of Art, Washington D. C.

47 Jan Steen, Skittle Players Outside and Inn (c.1660-63) - National Gallery, London

48 Rembrandt van Rijn, The Jewish Bride (c. 1662-8) - Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

49 Johannes (Jan) Vermeer, Allegory of Faith (c. 1670) - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

50 Bartolome Esteban Murillo, Two Women at a Window (c. 1670) - National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA

Part Five: 18th century

51 Antoine Watteau, Gilles (c. 1718) - Louvre Museum, Paris, France

52 Canaletto, The Stonemason’s Yard (1726-30) - National Gallery, London

53 Jean-Simeon Chardin, The Young Schoolmistress (1738-39) - National Gallery, London

54 Thomas Gainsborough, Me and Mrs Andrews (1748-49) - National Gallery, London

55 Giovanni Tiepolo, The Olympus (1761-64) - Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain

56 Sir Henry Raeburn, The Revd Robert Walker Skating (c. 1784) - National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

57 John Singleton Copley, The Three Youngest Daughters of George III (1785) - Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, Buckingham Palace

58 Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, Portrait of Countess Golovine (1797-1800) -the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham

Part Six: 19th century

59 Marie-Denise Villers, Young Woman Drawing (1801) - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

60 Jean-Auguste Ingres, The Bather (1808) - Louvre Museum, Paris

61 Francisco de Goya, The Colossus (c. 1808) - Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

62 Caspar David Friedrich, Monk by the Sea (1809) - Staatliche Museum, Berlin

63 John Constable, Wivenhoe Park, Essex (1816) - National Gallery of Art, Washington D. C.

64 J. M. W. Turner, Norham Castle, Sunrise (c.1834-40) - Tate Britain, London

65 Rosa Bonheur, The Horse Fair (1852-55) - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York – reduced version in National Gallery, London

66 Gustave Courbet, Bonjour Monsieur Courbet (1854) - Musee Fabre, Montpellier, France

67 John Everett Millais, The Blind Girl (1854-56) - Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

68 Jean Baptiste Camille-Corot, Ville d’Avray (c. 1867-70) - National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

69 Berthe Morisot, The Harbour at Lorient (1869) - National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

70 James Whistler, Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander (1872-4) - Tate Museum, London (not on display)

71 Auguste Renoir, Le Coup de Vent (1872-5) - Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

72 Camille Pisarro, The Climbing Path, L’Hermitage Pontoise (1875) - Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York

73 Mary Cassatt, Mother about to Wash her Sleepy Child (1880) - Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA

74 John Singer Sargent, The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1882) - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA

75 Georges Seurat, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (1884) - The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

76 Edgar Degas, The Tub (1886) - Musée d’Orsay, Paris

77 Vincent van Gogh, The Artist’s Bedroom (1888) - Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam

78 Paul Cezanne, The Bathers (1890-2) - Musée d’Orsay, Paris

79 Paul Cezanne, Still Life with Apples (1893-94) - Getty Museum, L. A.

80 Edouard Manet, The Bar at the Folies-Bergere (1892) - The Courtauld Gallery, London

81 Frederic Leighton, Flaming June (1895) - Museo de Art de Ponce, Ponce, Puerto Rico

82 Paul Gaugin, Where do we Come From? What are We? Where are We Going? (1897) - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA

83 Claude Monet, The Waterlily Pond (1899) - Louvre Museum, Paris

Part Seven: 20th century

84 Georges Rouault, Prostitute at Her Mirror (1906) - Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris

85 Henri Matisse, The Conversation (1909) - Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg

86 Vassily Kandinsky, Composition VI (1913) - Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg

87 Egon Schiele, Embrace (1917) - Österreichische Galerie, Vienna, Austria

88 Pierre Bonnard, The Bath (1925) - Tate Gallery, London

89 Paul Klee, The Golden Fish (1925-26) - Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany

90 Georgia O’Keefe, White Rose with Larkspur No. 2 (1927) - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

91 Pablo Picasso, Girl Before a Mirror (1932) - Museum of Modern Art, New York

92 Stanley Spencer, Christ Rising from Sleep in the Morning (1940) - Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada

93 Max Beckman, Nude in Studio (1946) - St Louis Art Museum, St Louis

94 Willem De Kooning, Door to the River (1960) - Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

95 Mark Rothko, Number 1, White and Red (1962) - Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

96 David Hockney, A Bigger Splash (1967) - Tate Museum, on loan to Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea

97 Joan Mitchell, Two Sunflowers (1980) - Private Collection

98 Albert Herbert, Jonah and the Whale (c.1988) - England & Co Gallery, London

99 Craigie Aitchison, Christmas Painting (1988) - ???

100 Agnes Martin, Untitled 9 (1990) - The Pact Gallery, New York


Sister Wendy’s 100 Best-loved Paintings is published by SPCK (£19.99)