How Art Influences Society: Artworks that Changed the World

A lot of people overlooked art’s contributions to our present-day society. Subjectively, art has been life-changing and eye-opening. But if you look on a bigger scale, art did so much more than that. Artworks of any form changed society in so many ways and as an art enthusiast, I can say that they’re just as influential as books–they’re revolutionary in a way that it changed how the world of art and society in general works.

A painting gallery of iconic paintings


Ask yourself this question: How can art change society? And then, start to ponder as you read this article. Art isn’t just the paintings and sculpture that we see in museums. Movies, music, dances, literature, theatre plays, etc. are also considered as works of art. Now, have you ever seen any works of art that changed your life in a way that it made you think differently? There are so many paintings that created artistic movements, music that created fandoms and genres, and movies that changed the industry. Indeed, art can change the world of art, but in a bigger perspective, how can it change society? We’ll figure that one out in this article. Thus, we will also dive into the top artworks (not only limited to paintings and sculptures) that changed the world.

How Art Influences Society

A rare view of an art observer


We love to create art and look at different artworks for a lot of reasons. Thus, art has been a part of culture and society in a way that it tells us a story–how it feels living at a particular time in a certain place. Moreover, art helps us to break cultural barriers, preserve history, understand the beliefs and traditions of others, as well change the mindset of people. That being said, let us now look at some of the works of art and how they changed the world we live in.

A Look on some of the Works of Art that Changed the World


    1.  Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci:

Created some time between 1503 to 1519, this famous painting by da Vinci is one of the most influential paintings in the history of art. Accordingly, it is referenced throughout paintings, music, pop culture, books, and movies. This painting revolutionized the art world as well as brought change in the Renaissance art style and the development of art in general.

 A photo of art observers looking at the painting of mona lisa


  2.  The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli:

This painting changed the world because of its symbols during the period of Renaissance or rebirth. A symbol of hope for the new civilization, cultural, political, and social shift that occurred during that time period. 

A painting of the birth of a venus by sandro botticelli


    3.  Marilyn Diptych by Andy Warhol:

This artwork combined three iconic figures: Marilyn Manroe, Andy Warhol, and his famous pop art style. This painting is a very symbolic modern work of art that incorporates several artistic principles such as repetition, emotional flatness, and symmetry.

A painting of marilyn monroe by andy warhol



     1.  The Star Wars movie franchise:

Star Wars is arguably one of the most iconic and successful movie series created in the world. From generations to generations, it never failed to deliver the message of hope, unity, and goodness. From iconic heroes like Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca, to the stormtroopers and the countless parodies, art, toys, and pop culture references, Star Wars is definitely one of the most recognizable films ever to be created.

A picture poster of star wars by matt


    2.  The Wizard of Oz:

Everyone must’ve seen this film during their childhood and surely we can’t get enough of this! This move was adopted from a classic book by L. Frank Baum of the same title. The impact of this movie on our society is pretty self-explanatory. We can see it almost everywhere and everyone knows about this film, as if it’s a mandatory film to watch when you’re in kindergarten.

A picture painting from the scene in wizard of oz


    3.  Jaws:

This 1975 blockbuster film changed the world’s view on sharks and the ocean in general in so many ways. In a negative light, this movie scared people off the sharks so it prompted some people to hunt and kill sharks because of the “dangers,” however, it also changed the field of shark science and ocean safety.

A photo from a scene in jaws



    1.  Symphony no. 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven:

This is one of the best-known compositions in the world of classical music and one of the most played symphonies in history. This music changed the world of composing symphonies and it was used as a symbol in historical events such as World War II, when allied forces used this music to signal victory as its rhythm matches the letter “V” in Morse code which is short-short-short-long.

A photo of a sheet of musical notes


    2.  Imagine by John Lennon:

Surely, everyone knows John Lennon because he is arguably the most famous Beatle, but this solo song changed the world in the 1970s due to its propaganda of peace and love. This song is telling us to imagine a world without division–no religion, no political views, etc. because the world can be a better place if our ideologies and beliefs don’t tear us apart.

A street art graffiti of john lennon


    3.  Smells like Teen Spirit by Nirvana:

This song literally shaped the 90s generation as the band introduced grunge music to the band which appealed to a lot of people, particularly teenagers. It changed the world’s perspective about traditional culture and mainstream media.


    1.  1984 by George Orwell:

This powerful book influenced the world in so many ways. The political propaganda, symbolisms, and the ever-famous “Big Brother is watching you” truly impacted a lot of people’s mindset on politics and ideologies, as well as encouraging readers to be politically active in society.

    2.  On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin:

This work of Darwin is the foundation of evolution and it paved the way to countless theories in biology and life science.

    3.  The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien:

This book (often divided into three parts) which was later on adopted as a film series is one of the best-selling books in the world, until today. This book laid out a blueprint for all the fantasy authors and it also helped shape the fantasy genre we all The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: know and love today.



These arts mentioned above are just a fraction of the millions of arts that truly changed the world and changed the mindset and perception of the people. Truly, art indeed shaped humanity and without it, life and society would probably work differently.

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