5 Arts That Were Never Finished

Every piece of art is a labor of love. It takes immense effort and a considerable period of time to put together an artwork that strikes the chord with the masses, and stays amongst them for generation altogether.  

However, do you know that there have been some artworks in the history of art that never happened to get completed, but still turned out to be enormously beautiful and popular paintings? Yes! These paintings are unfinished, and that is their biggest attraction. For, each of them tells a story and an incident in the past, that no pitch-perfect and complete painting clouds ever do!  

In this article, we introduce you to 5 such striking pieces of art that were never finished. These include portraits, beautiful landscapes, miniatures, and more. Let’s have a look at them one by one.  

1. President Franklin Delano

Elizabeth Shoumatoff was a famous Russian-American artist known for having painted the portraits of many famous individuals. However, what turned out to be her most famous painting is an unfinished portrait painting of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  

President Roosevelt was in awe of Elizabeth’s painting skills in their first meeting itself. Inspired by her past works, the President hired her to paint his own portrait for the White House. By their second meeting, the President’s health was deteriorating. Still, he agreed to pose for the painting. Though the President was in good spirits that day, he fell off his chair in an unconscious state, just as the painting was about to be completed. Roosevelt died a few hours later. 

Interestingly, Elizabeth Shoumatoff decided not to finish the painting and keep it as an authentic representation of the President’s final moments. Even today, the original painting is famously displayed that the place where Roosevelt died and its recreations are popular amongst the masses all over, for its uniqueness.

2. The Entombment


The Entombment, an unfinished artistic depiction of the proceedings of Jesus’ burial, is arguably one of the most controversial unfinished paintings of all time. It’s a historical painting dating back to the 1500s. Some experts believe that painting was commissioned to the famous painter Michelangelo.  

However, there is no evidence that works actually began. The painting’s rawness and lack of depth support the argument that it was not painted by Michelangelo but rather by a lesser-known and naive artist.  

No matter what the origins of The Entombment have been and who its creator was, the painting is certainly an interesting one amongst the vast collection of Renaissance-era paintings.

3. The Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo da Vinci 


Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most famous painters of all time, has some unfinished paintings too to his credit.  Vinci was known for his lack of patience and short attention spans. Therefore, he left in the midway, the painting which did not interest him anymore. One famous example of this is “The Adoration of the Magi”. 

The painting, though unfinished, has all the elements of all famous Leonardo da Vinci masterpieces. Here, he has deviated from the traditional interpretations of the Magi and has created something truly original and new. Apart from virgin Mary, Jesus, and Magi, Leonardo has included whirling horses and some scary frightening human figures in the painting.  

Though other artists attempted to finish the painting after Leonardo abandoned it, Leonardo’s unfinished painting turned out to be more popular than only of those. And why not, though unfinished, the painting has ample of the master artist’s mastery.  

4. The Death of Marat by Jacques Louis David 


The Death of Marat is similar to Shoumatoff’s “Unfinished Portrait”, in the way that the painting’s claim to fame is due to the historical events that it became a part of, rather than the artist’s own popularity. The painting depicts the famous political hero Jean-Paul Marat and was painted in the same year that he was killed. The background of the painting was left unfinished.  

It is believed that this was a deliberate move by the painter Jacques Louis David.  Nevertheless, the artwork is famous for its glorified depiction of the political hero, and for the sheer fact that it was one of the last paintings of him before he died. 

5. Portrait of Ria Munk III by Gustav Klimt 


This artwork, again, goes for an interesting piece of the story. Munk family had commissioned a series of three portrait paintings to capture the memory of their daughter Ria, who had committed suicide. Ria’s mother had appointed Gustav Klimt to recreate a deathbed of her daughter through the painting. Surprisingly, the first two portraits created by Klimt were rejected by the family, and the third one ended up being unfinished.  

However, the very fact that it was unfinished, led to the painting being seen as a living testimony of the artist’s painting methods, style, and approach.  The painting indicated how much of a spontaneous painter Klimt was. Thanks to this interesting piece of information that the painting captured, it was sold for a whopping $27.8 million in 2010.  


Unfinished paintings can be more interesting and exciting than you think. Having a recreation of such paintings in your collection, no doubt will make it truly worthy and unique. So, what are you waiting for? Order a recreation today, and get ready to flaunt these unfinished paintings!