Celebrated artworks are so much more than beautiful pictures. The likes of Michelangelo, da Vinci, and van Gogh were as much masters of allegory and symbolism as they were of paintbrush and canvas, and their masterworks, which hang in revered museums around the world, have been poured over by historians and curators for years. Though instantly recognizable, many contain secret meanings, unsolved riddles, and even hidden images in their many layers of oil and varnish. Read on for 11 paintings worth a closer look.
This piece originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.