Top 10 Masterpieces in the Media

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa most talked about oil painting of the decade

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa most talked about oil painting of the decade., released today a list of the top 10 oil paintings featured in the media in the last decade. Topping the list is Leonardo Da Vinci’s internationally revered Mona Lisa. Oil paintings by master artists Frida Kahlo, Gustav Klimt, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, and Johannes Vermeer also made the list. [RAW]
The list was composed according to appearances of the art in newsstands, television shows and motion pictures. The data was gathered using media aggregators and public Google trends statistics.
“Oil paintings were featured across all media platforms throughout the last decade – the most memorable being Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa,” said David Sasson, CEO of “Da Vinci’s iconic masterpiece was at the heart of ‘The Da Vinci Code’ craze and we might see a revival of that as the next Dan Brown thriller comes out in the coming decade.”

The oil paintings that received the most media attention in the last decade are:

  1. The Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci – featured in the #1 best selling book of the decade and the 2006 blockbuster movie “The Da Vinci Code,” starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou.
  2. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, Gustav Klimt – according to Forbes magazine, Adele is the most expensive oil painting in history. The painting was purchased by Ronald S. Lauder, the cosmetics tycoon, in 2006 for a record breaking $135 million. Today it is proclaimed as Manhattan’s Mona Lisa as it hangs in the Neue Galerie in New York City.
  3. Girl with Pearl Earring, Johannes Vermeer – subject of the 2003 film “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” starring Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson.
  4. Starry Night, Vincent van Gogh – according to’s statistics, Starry Night was the most popular and best-selling oil painting of the last decade.
  5. Le Rêve (The Dream in French), Pablo Picasso – In an accident witnessed by a group that included Barbara Walters and screenwriters Nora Ephron and Nicholas Pileggi in 2006, casino magnate Steve Wynn accidentally created a 6-inch tear in Picasso’s 74-year-old painting. Before the incident, he had agreed to sell Le Rêve for $139 million to Steven A. Cohen, thus making it the most expensive sale of all time. Needless to say Wynn kept the painting and has had it restored.
  6. Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress, Frida Kahlo – featured in the 2002 biopic “Frida,” starring Salma Hayek and Mía Maestro.
  7. The Café Terrace, Vincent van Gogh – according to’s statistics, The Café Terrace was the second-highest sold oil painting of the last decade. The small coffee shop in Arles has become one of Southern France’s most sought after attractions.
  8. Untitled, Mark Rothko – has become the talk of the town ever since it has been featured on the AMC’s Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning series “Mad Men.”
  9. The Scream, Edvard Munch – In 2004, the most treasured Modern Art Nordic piece, The Scream, by Edvard Munch, was stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway. The painting was later recovered in 2006. The Scream sustained considerable damage and had to be restored before going back on display in 2008.
  10. Poppies near Vetheuil, Claude Monet – one of the four paintings stolen from the Buehrle Foundation museum in Zurich in 2008. The painting was later recovered by Swiss police.

According to Sasson, there is a connection between sales and media placement, “A lot of people like to keep up with the latest trends in design, and the media is a key influencer in what is deemed hip and desirable.” In 2007 The Mona Lisa was named’s seventh top-selling oil painting of the year. “This is a prime example of the correlation between sales and media placement of oil paintings. The Mona Lisa did not make the annual Top Ten list until after ‘The Da Vinci Code’ film was released and the renowned work of art was featured in it.”

In the past decade sold more than a million oil paintings. They are one of the Web’s most successful distributors of wall décor items with over 10,000 daily visitors and 100,000 loyal customers.

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.