Our galaxy is, on average, a hundred thousand light-years across but only a thousand light-years thick.
Within this flattened (though somewhat warped) disc, the sun and its planets are embedded in a curving arm of gas and dust, putting the solar system about 26,000 light-years away from the galaxy’s turbulent core. A bulge of dust and stars swaddles the galactic center, looking like a dollop of whipped cream plopped on both sides of a pancake.
Painting is an ancient medium and even with the introduction of photography, film and digital technology, it still has remained a persistent mode of expression. So many paintings have been limned over dozens of millennia that only a relatively small percentage of them could be construed as "timeless classics" that have become familiar to the public—and not coincidentally produced by some of the most famous artists of all time. We, of course, have our opinion of what makes the grade and we present them here in our list of the best paintings of all time.