header print

8 Art Masterpieces with Imperfections

Edited By: Krista Mc'Farlene
 You are probably familiar with all of these eight world-famous art masterpieces. But as perfect as these works of art are, inaccuracies (be they intentional or not) have been noted. Take a look:
 
 
8. David by Michelangelo
masterpiece imperfection
This infamous statue was carved from a single block of Carrara marble. Michelangelo's sculptures are usually anatomically accurate, though in his most famous statue, David, there is a small flaw: there is a missing muscle between the spine and the right scapula. Nevertheless, this is through no fault of the sculptor. Rather, it is due to a defect in the marble block. 
7. The Ninth Wave by Ivan Aivazovsky
masterpiece imperfection
This painting illustrates waves with curving crests. The artist, Aivazovsky observed this kind of wave from the shore which made him believe that all waves are the same anywhere in the sea. But waves during storms in the open sea are cone-shaped and look different to those in shallow waters. 
6. Moses by Michelangelo
masterpiece imperfection
Due to a mistranslation in the Book of Exodus, the biblical prophet was sculpted to have horns. The Hebrew word karnayim can be translated into 'rays' or 'horns' and the description of Moses having rays of light coming from his head was wrongly interpreted. 
5. A Bar at the Folies-Bergère by Édouard Manet
masterpiece imperfection
Looking closely at the mirror in the painting, it is clear to see that the reflection is not true to the reality. Firstly, the bottles on the counter are placed differently, and the bartender seems to be looking in another direction. Experts cannot agree whether Manet did it on purpose. 
 
4. The Night Watch by Rembrandt
masterpiece imperfection
This painting is full of unsolved riddles. Many debates arose over the gloves of Captain Frans Banning Cocq. The painting shows that in his right, gloved hand, he is holding another right-hand glove. Many art historians believe that this gave the painting a touch of humor. However, others believe that the glove is a left-hand one, and the captain is just holding it by the ring finger, while the thumb is pointed at the viewer.  
3. The Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio
masterpiece imperfection
If you've got an eye for detail, you may have noticed that the basket with fruit is sticking out over the edge of the table but doesn't fall, defying the laws of physics. Art experts have also noticed that the fruit doesn't match the season - the painting is set on the eve of  Easter, before the fall harvesting. All these mistakes are intentional, however. The apples, grapes and fish-shaped shadow from the basket all carry Christian symbolism and evangelical references. 
2. The Birth of Venus by Botticelli
masterpiece imperfection
Renaissance art is characterized by anatomical accuracy. However, the works of Botticelli diverge from realism. His goddess of love, in particular, has conspicuous defects including a swollen foot and an excessively long neck. Supposedly, these mistakes are a deliberate attempt to avoid depicting a perfect female body.
1. The Sistine Madonna by Raphael
masterpiece imperfection
At first, you may get the impression that Pope Sixtus II has six fingers on his right hand. But a more careful inspection will have you realize that what you actually mistook for a sixth finger is actually part of his palm. In another part of the painting, the outgrowth next to the Madonna's little toe can be seen as a sign of polydactyly - an anomaly characterized by an extra number of digits. 
Sign Up Free
Did you mean:
By clicking "Join", you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
Sign Up Free
Did you mean:
By clicking "Join", you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy