Mona Lisa the Instagram hit

Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is by far the most popular work of art on Instagram, according to research by the printer supplier Cartridge Save.

While museums and galleries worldwide have been closed to the public, art lovers have been viewing their favourite works online.

Mona Lisa has been shared 1,787,366 times compared with the next most popular, Klimt’s The Kiss, which registered more than 1.5m fewer hashtags at 247,346.

Next in the top ten was Leonardo’s The Last Supper (146,604); Munch’s The Scream (111,140); Van Gogh’s The Starry Night (60,223); Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (52,652); Velázquez’s Las Meninas (28.650); Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus (22,206); Rembrandt’s The Night Watch (11.476); and, the first British  painter in the list at ten, Frederic Leighton’s Flaming June (10.159).

CartridgeSave.co.uk surveyed 2,083 people worldwide to find the top 15 most recognisable paintings worldwide, and then used Instagram analytics to calculate the number of times images or videos had been posted with the hashtag of each painting. The next five in the 15 were Van Gogh’s Café Terrace at Night (6,458); Whistler’s Arrangement in Grey and Black No 1 (also known as Whistler’s Mother) (6,111); Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott (4,150); Monet’s Impression Sunrise (1,840); and Millet’s The Gleaners (1,605).

Meanwhile Artfinder, the online visual art retailer, teaming up with Google, reports a rise in searches for “feel good” images, with a 370% increase for rainbows, 94% for beaches and 74% for trees during the March to June lockdown of 2020.

In the latest lockdown, however, there has been a growth in interest in less restful art such as abstracts and intense landscapes.

“Pablo Picasso once said that ‘art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life’ and all over the UK, and indeed all over the world, we can see that people have been washing away the dust of stay-home orders by seeking out art that depicts soul-soothing settings such as beaches, forests and oceans” said Artfinder’s Michal Szczesny. “By the beginning of 2021 we can see that buyers are turning from familiar, often comforting scenes, to artworks that may in some instances feel more intense, more profound, and which are not rooted in those sights that people are missing as a result of still being stuck indoors.”

 

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