Posts Tagged ‘Culture’

Most Popular Museum

Monday, April 6th, 2009

It’s no wonder the Musée du Louvre is the most popular museum in the world. The historic Parisian fortress became the first museum accessible by even the lowest caste when the royal collection of King Louis XVI was opened to the public one year after his imprisonment during the French Revolution. Under the auspices of such rulers as Napoleon, Louis XVIII and Charles X, the Louvre’s collections only grew.

World's Most Popular Museum

The Louvre holds over 380,000 objects, including famous works such as the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa. Only a fraction of them is on display at any given time in the Louvre’s eight curatorial departments—Egyptian antiquities; Near Eastern antiquities; Greek, Etruscan and Roman; sculpture; painting; decorative arts and, most recently, Islamic art.

The most popular museum ranked first place with 8.3 million visitors when The Art Newspaper compiled its first list based on admissions data collected throughout 2007. It retained its place as the final tally for 2008 came to 8.5 million patrons.

Most Popular Books

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

This may come as a surprise for you but, back in the old days, people used to read books. They were made out of paper and cardboard or something. Sometimes they had pictures, but people would make fun of you for reading those. More often they were just words on paper.

Of course, in the old days we also fought dinosaurs with sharpened rocks.

Basically, people who read books are savages.

Now that we got that out of the way, take a look at the most popular books of all time.

World's most popular book - A Tale of Two Cities

5. Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

Copies sold: 200 million

Victorians, were known for pioneering, the usage of, the comma—and the dash. Dickens was known for his humor but, strangely enough, nobody thought this book about the years leading up to the French Revolution was funny.

World's most popular book - Qur'an

4. Allah (featuring Muhammed and the Angel Gabriel) – The Qur’an (around 610-632)

Copies sold: 200 million

The rich and powerful never have to do anything for themselves. This is just as true for the omnipotent as the fabulously wealthy. That’s why, when Allah wanted to write his book, he had his people talk to our people. They had lunch. Then they wrote the third most popular book of all time.

World's most popular book - Xinhua Dictionary

3. Various Artists – The Xinhua Dictionary (1957)

Copies sold: 400 million

Why is a dictionary the third most popular book of all time? It might have something to do with the fact that Chinese has about as many characters as China has people—and China has a lot of
people.

World's most popular book - Quotations from Chairman Mao

2. Chairman Mao – Quotations from Chairman Mao (1964)

Copies sold: Somewhere between 800 million and 6.5 billion

Distributed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in which Chinese citizens were all but officially required to carry a copy of the book at all times, the book sometimes acted as a Get Out of a Beating Free card. Mao Zedong was also responsible for Chairman Mao’s Poems (400 million copies) and Selected Articles of Mao Zedong (another 400 million).

World's most popular book - Bible

1. God (featuring a bunch of other guys) – Bible (1 BC – 1 CE)

Copies sold: 2.5 – 6 billion

The most popular book of all time (unless you actually believed that Quotations sold 6 billion copies), Bible is the tale of a ragtag group of holy men and their scrappy leader taking on the world in the name of God. At least, part of it is. There’s also a bit about the apocalypse and seals and horsemen. Being over 2,000 years old, it had a head start on all the other books on the list. Some might call that an unfair advantage, but those people are all losers.

Most Popular Artist

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

by Dave Klemencic

Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” has long been considered the most recognizable painted image to emerge from the art world. Van Gogh, who lived mainly in France, Belgium and Holland, past in 1890 after a final period of great productivity. Van Gogh’s work is a great mixture of expressionism, naturalistic observation, and not surprisingly a draftsmanship he learned in studying the works of other artists such as Millet. His work is passionate and bold, and highly contrasting color patterns are often laid down to create a real sense of movement. “Starry Night” is also said to be the most often reproduced of any painting, and vendors such as OverStockArt claim it is their most popular print.

Van Gogh's Starry Night
Van Gogh’s Starry Night

Claude Monet, oft regarded as the founder of the impressionists is also among the most popular artists. His work is much less direct even then Van Gogh’s at times, and is more about color harmony and the sensations of memory then observation. He created many legendary works throughout his career, including a series of painting of the Rouen Cathedral in the lightings of a variety of different times of day. He is said to have set up a dozen canvases and worked on each for 7 or 8 minutes each day, before switching to the next as the light changed. There is likely some embellishment to that fable, as the paintings were probably greatly reworked in the studio after the fact. His “Garden at Giverny” and “Poppy Field at Argenteuil” are probably his most recognizable, and the atmospheric quality that runs through the majority of his oils makes them easily identifiable.

While Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Gustav Klimt and Wassily Kandinsky are also among the most popular, we must look at a variety of factors that have led to this. Van Gogh in particular was not successful in his lifetime. His work, though frequently reproduced now did not sell, he was virtually unknown to the Europe as a whole, and considered a bit of an outcast to his peers and those around him. The other artists mentioned existed as painting reached a pinnacle at the turn of the 20th Century, and generally as technology and the advent of photography changed the needs and demands for painting. Today, paintings are easily and cheaply reproduced, and enjoyed in a way the artists likely never would have imagined. Modern artists are able to spread their work around with greater ease thanks to the internet and mainstream publishing, and it is conceivable that the public may learn of an artist in their lifetime. Such noted painters as Jack Vettriano, while scorned by the art establishment for his populist, almost commercial approach, are fast competing for the most recognizable images. More art is now likely purchased at Target or Costco then from artists themselves, or even commercial galleries. The images considered most popular or recognizable have been beaten into our subconsciousness via calendars, mugs t-shirts and other bizarre licensing, and it is a wonder they haven’t lost some of their edge.

Most Popular Religion in the World

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Religion has many different definitions and people often philosophize over the many definitions on a daily basis. While there are quite a few major religions there is only one most popular religion in the world.

Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are the most popular world religions today. Approximately 1 billion people adhere to irreligious beliefs which include humanism, atheism and agnosticism, making this category of beliefs more popular than Hinduism but less popular than Islam.

Christian Bible and rosary

Christianity is the most popular religion in the world with about 2.1 billion adherents as of 2005. The most popular religion only comprised around 33% of the total world population. Christianity considered as such a group includes differing denominations such as Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, and Mormons.

In ranking religious denominations, the Roman Catholic Church is the most popular denomination within Christianity.