From the Tallest Statue to the Largest Drawing, Here Are 24 Astonishing Tidbits of Art Trivia From Guinness of World Records

Giant paintings, towering sculptures made from snow and flowers, and more unusual art superlatives.

Workers work to make snow sculpture Romantic Feelings at the 20th International Snow Sculpture Art Expo on December 17, 2007 in Harbin of Heilongjiang Province, China. Photo by China Photos/Getty Images.
Workers work to make snow sculpture Romantic Feelings at the 20th International Snow Sculpture Art Expo on December 17, 2007 in Harbin of Heilongjiang Province, China. Photo by China Photos/Getty Images.

To set a Guinness World Record is no easy accomplishment—there are currently some 47,000 record titles, with more than 1,000 incoming applications to set new records each week. (Wait times can be up to four months.) Tucked inside these tomes are some extraordinary art superlatives, from the world’s most expensive painting at auction to the largest artwork ever painted… with coffee.

In honor of Guinness World Record Day on November 19, here are some of the most outrageous art records on the books.

 

Largest Art Lesson

Students with work they created in the world's largest art lesson. Photo courtesy of Expressions Stationery Shop Inc.

Students with work they created in the world’s largest art lesson. Photo courtesy of Expressions Stationery Shop Inc.

Who: Expressions Stationery Shop Inc.

Where: Quezon City, Philippines

When: February 24, 2018

What: No fewer than 16,692 people, mostly students, took part in a 45-minute art lesson to learn how to draw one of the colorful masks that celebrate the MassKara Festival, which has been described as the Philippines’ answer to Brazil’s Carnival.

 

Largest Origami Flower

Arbnora Fejza Idrizi with the world's largest origami flower. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Arbnora Fejza Idrizi with the world’s largest origami flower. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Who: Arbnora Fejza Idrizi

Where: Skenderaj, Kosovo

When: September 1, 2018

What: A 10-year veteran of making origami art, Arbnora Fejza Idrizi captured the record for the largest origami flower with this delicate 28-and-a-half-foot paper sculpture.

 

Tallest Statue

Ram V. Sutar, Statue of Unity. Located in India, this is the world's largest statue. Photo courtesy of the Statue of Unity Monument.

Ram V. Sutar, Statue of Unity. Located in India, this is the world’s largest statue. Photo courtesy of the Statue of Unity Monument.

Who: Ram V. Sutar

Where: Kevadia colony, Gujarat, India

When: October 31, 2018

What: India built the world’s largest statue, topping out at 597 feet tall, as a monument to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who served as the nation’s first deputy prime minister. Building it took four years, cost 29.9 billion rupees ($430 million), and required 7,416,080 cubic feet of cement, 25,000 tons of steel, and 1,700 tons of bronze. (Despite rumors, the Indian government did not, in fact, put the artwork on the market in response to financial troubles earlier this year. But admittedly, the collector base for such a sculpture is quite narrow.)

 

Largest Bead Mosaic

The world's largest bead mosaic, from Cámara de Comercio, Servicios y Turismo de Guadalajara. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

The world’s largest bead mosaic, from Cámara de Comercio, Servicios y Turismo de Guadalajara. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: Cámara de Comercio, Servicios y Turismo de Guadalajara

Where: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

When: August 20, 2018

What: Measuring 877 square feet, this massive bead mosaic took 780 hours to create, with 15 artists using a total of 66 pounds of glue and approaching 1,000 pounds of beads.

 

Smallest Handmade Sculpture

Willard Wigan holds the record for the smallest sculpture with this figure of an embryo inside a hollowed out strand of hair. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Willard Wigan holds the record for the smallest sculpture with this figure of an embryo inside a hollowed-out strand of hair. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Who: Willard Wigan

Where: Warwick, UK

When: September 5, 2017

What: Master micro-sculptor Willard Wigan created a sculpture of an embryo measuring just 78 microns long and 53 microns tall, and placed it inside a hollowed-out strand of hair. He made the microscopic work from a carpet fiber.

 

Largest Display of Crochet Sculptures

The largest display of crochet sculptures was amassed by Mother India's Crochet Queens. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

The largest display of crochet sculptures was amassed by Mother India’s Crochet Queens. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: Mother India’s Crochet Queens

Where: Chennai, India

When: January 21, 2018

What: Subashri Natarajan spearheaded the collection of 58,917 crochet sculptures created by Indian people around the world in this record-breaking effort by Mother India’s Crochet Queens.

 

Largest Glass Sculpture (Supported)

Dale Chihuly's glass sculpture, <em>Fiori di Como</eM> (1998) on the ceiling of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Photo by torbakhopper, via Flickr Creative Commons.

Dale Chihuly’s glass sculpture, Fiori di Como (1998) on the ceiling of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Photo by torbakhopper, via Flickr Creative Commons.

Who: Dale Chihuly

Where: Las Vegas

When: October 15, 1998

What: An eye-popping—and much-Instagrammed—sculpture of 2,000 glass flowers hangs overhead in the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, the work of master glass blower Dale Chihuly. The entire installation measures 29-and-a-half feet by 65-and-a-half feet.

 

Most Expensive Painting Sold at Auction

<i>Salvator Mundi</i> before it is auctioned at Christies. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

Salvator Mundi before it is auctioned at Christies. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

Who: Leonardo da Vinci

Where: New York

When: November 15, 2017

What: Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi took a winding road to the auction block, lost for decades, dismissed as a copy, and then rediscovered and heavily restored before selling for an astounding $450 million at Christie’s sale of postwar and contemporary art in November 2017. Controversy still surrounds the work, which hasn’t been seen since.

 

Longest Painting by an Individual

Images of Gurmej "Mr. Caution" Singh's <em>The Transcendental</em>, the world's longest painting by an individual. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Images of Gurmej “Mr. Caution” Singh’s The Transcendental, the world’s longest painting by an individual. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: Gurmej “Mr. Caution” Singh

Where: Grand Rapids, Michigan

When: September 14, 2013

What: For his 2013 entry to the art festival ArtPrize, Gurmej “Mr. Caution” Singh spent 38 days creating The Transcendental, a more than 11,300-foot-long painting. The only problem? He had been approved to create a 30-foot mural, not a three-mile display that blocked traffic and violated public safety. Not only did Singh not win any prizes for his efforts, he was given a lifetime ban from the contest. But hey, he did make it into the Guinness Book of World Records!

 

Largest Professional Oil Painting by a Single Artist

The National Water Museum of China and Li Hangyu set the record for largest professional oil painting by a single artist. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

The National Water Museum of China and Li Hangyu set the record for largest professional oil painting by a single artist. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: The National Water Museum of China and Li Hangyu

Where: Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

When: July 21, 2020

What: The National Water Museum of China commissioned Li Hangyu to paint this nearly 1,521-square-foot oil painting. It took five months to finish and features the Yellow River, the Yangtze River, Three Gorges Dam, and other waterways and large-scale water conservancy projects.

 

Tallest Sandcastle

The Skulptura Projects GmbH built the world's tallest sand castle at Sandskulpturen Festival in 2019. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

The Skulptura Projects GmbH built the world’s tallest sand castle at Sandskulpturen Festival in 2019. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: Skulptura Projects GmbH

Where: Binz, Germany

When: June 5, 2019

What: It took two years, but the Sandskulpturen Festival finally broke the record for the world’s tallest sandcastle, enlisting a team of 12 sculptors and eight technicians from Russia, Poland, Hungary, Germany, Holland, and Latvia to build the nearly 58-foot-tall construction. Made of over 12,125 tons of sand, bound together only by water, the project, led by sculpting enthusiast Thomas van den Dungen, took three and a half weeks to complete.

 

Largest Painting

Hung Chi-Sung made the world's largest painting in 2019. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records. 

Hung Chi-Sung made the world’s largest painting in 2019. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: Hung Chi-Sung

Where: Hualien, Taiwan, China

When: June 21, 2019

What: Measuring 130,099 square feet, this massive painting of the Buddha is meant to symbolize peace and connection between human beings around the globe. Artist Hung Chi-Sung was inspired to create the larger than life religious painting by the Taliban’s destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001.

 

Most Prolific Painter

Pablo Picasso with his son Claude, August 21, 1955. Image courtesy Getty Images.

Pablo Picasso with his son Claude, August 21, 1955. Image courtesy Getty Images.

Who: Pablo Picasso

Where: Spain

When: 1881–1973

What: A seemingly endless fount of creativity, Picasso earned his place in the record books with an estimated 13,500 paintings, 100,000 prints and engravings, 34,000 book illustrations, and 300 sculptures and ceramics. Good luck topping this one.

 

Tallest Topiary Sculpture

The Dubai Miracle Garden holds the record for the world's largest topiary statue with this Mickey Mouse figure. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

The Dubai Miracle Garden holds the record for the world’s largest topiary statue with this Mickey Mouse figure. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: Dubai Miracle Garden

Where: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

When: February 26, 2018

What: Move over Jeff Koons. Towering high above the artist’s famed Puppy, the terrier sculpture covered in flowering plants at the Guggenheim Bilbao, is this flowering Mickey Mouse figure at the Dubai Miracle Garden. Over 59 feet tall, the sculpture weighs close to 35 tons, outfitted with nearly 100,000 geraniums, marigolds, petunias, and other flowers.

 

Largest Snow Sculpture

Workers work to make snow sculpture <em>Romantic Feelings</em> at the 20th International Snow Sculpture Art Expo on December 17, 2007 in Harbin of Heilongjiang Province, China. Photo by China Photos/Getty Images.

Workers build the snow sculpture Romantic Feelings at the 20th International Snow Sculpture Art Expo on December 17, 2007 in Harbin of Heilongjiang Province, China. Photo by China Photos/Getty Images.

Who: Harbin International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival

Where: Harbin, China

When: 2007

What: Topping out at 115 tall and 656 feet long, the world’s largest snow sculpture, titled Romantic Feelings, featured an Olympic-themed landscape complete with a French cathedral, a Russian church, Stonehenge, the Acropolis, and the head of a giant ice maiden, frosty hair rippling in the wintry breeze. The artists—600 sculptors from 40 different countries—used 120,000 cubic feet of compressed snow collected from the nearby Songhua River to create the frozen masterpiece.

 

Most Bodies Painted Simultaneously

Some of the nearly 500 people painted at the Woodstock Festival Poland in 2015. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Some of the nearly 500 people painted at the Woodstock Festival Poland in 2015. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: Woodstock Festival Poland

Where: Kostrzyn nad Odra, Poland

When: July 31, 2015

What: The Polish cell phone company Play sponsored this rainbow-hued effort from the Woodstock Festival Poland to body-paint 497 people in celebration of the event’s 21st anniversary.

 

Most People Coloring in Simultaneously

Students in India from the Ceoa School broke the record for most people coloring in simultaneously. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Students in India from the Ceoa School broke the record for most people coloring in simultaneously. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: Ceoa Schools

Where: Madurai, India

When: January 28, 2020

What: To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Ceoa Schools gathered 6,210 students to color in a drawing of a tree at the same time.

 

Largest Spray Paint Mural by a Team

Eduardo Kobra's record-setting spray paint mural at Cacua Show Headquarters. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Eduardo Kobra’s record-setting spray paint mural at Cacua Show Headquarters. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: Eduardo Kobra

Where: Itapevi, São Paulo, Brazil

When: November 10, 2017

What: Eduardo Kobra, who previously created the record-setting mural Etnias along Olympic Boulevard for the 2016 Rio Olympics, led the team behind this 61,662-square-foot painting, more than double the size of their previous effort. The new artwork, for the headquarters of Brazilian chocolate company Cacau Show, took 700 hours and 2,000 cans of spray paint to complete.

 

Largest Mural From Recycled Materials

Moaffak Makhoul making the world's largest mural from recycled materials. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Moaffak Makhoul making the world’s largest mural from recycled materials. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: Moaffak Makhoul

Where: Al Mezzeh, Damascus, Syria

When: January 27, 2014

What: Measuring just under 7,750 square feet, this mural created by a seven-person team led by Syrian artist Moaffak Makhoul is made from broken car parts, discarded soda cans, shards of mirrors, and other materials that would have otherwise been thrown out.

 

Largest Mural by One Artist

Jorge López de Gereñu, <em>Miradas sobre Bilbao</em>, the Guinness World Record's largest mural by one artist, in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Jamie Silva, via Flickr Creative Commons.

Jorge López de Gereñu, Miradas sobre Bilbao, the Guinness World Record’s largest mural by one artist, in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Jamie Silva, via Flickr Creative Commons.

Who: Jorge López de Guereñu

Where: Bilbao, Spain

When: October 17, 2008

What: Along the main road entering Bilbao, Jorge López de Guereñu used acrylic paint to create the 38,701-square-foot mural Miradas Sobre Bilbao.

 

Largest Drawing by an Individual

Adult coloring book artist Johanna Basford set the Guinness World Record for the largest drawing by an individual. Photo by Sam Brill, courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Adult coloring book artist Johanna Basford set the Guinness World Record for the largest drawing by an individual. Photo by Sam Brill, courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: Johanna Basford

Where: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, UK

When: November 18, 2019

What: Johanna Basford, famous for pioneering the adult coloring-book trend with her bestselling 2013 book Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, took just 12 hours to create a larger than life version of one of her floral designs to set the record for the largest drawing by an individual. Basford wrote on her website that she created the 5,395-square-foot work “to inspire people to put down their phones, pick up a pen or pencil, and DRAW!”

 

Largest Coffee Painting

The world's largest coffee painting, <em>Naseej 1</em> by Saudi artist Ohud Abdullah Almalki, depicts founding fathers of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the late King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman (right) and the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in Jeddah. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

The world’s largest coffee painting, Naseej 1 by Saudi artist Ohud Abdullah Almalki, depicts founding fathers of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the late King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman (right) and the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in Jeddah. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: Ohud Abdullah Almalki

Where: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

When: February 1, 2020

What: It took 45 days for Ohud Abdullah Almalki to create this 2,378-square-foot painting from nearly ten pounds of expired coffee granules. The artist is the first Saudi woman to hold an individual Guinness World Record.

 

Largest Pencil Mural

Entidad Binacional Yacyreta and Unión Cultural del Libro created the world's largest pencil mural, measuring over 1,610 square feet in Argentina. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Entidad Binacional Yacyreta and Unión Cultural del Libro created the world’s largest pencil mural, measuring over 1,610 square feet in Argentina. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records.

Who: 15 artists commissioned by the Entidad Binacional Yacyreta and Unión Cultural del Libro

Where: Posadas, Misiones, Argentina

When: October 19, 2019

What: A controversial border wall between Posadas, Argentina and Encarnación, Paraguay became a record-setting work of art celebrating the historical ties between the two countries. Muralist Valeria Gariboti was the lead artist on the project, which measures over 1,610 square feet, was rendered all in black graphite, and took six days to complete.

 

Most Rhinestones on the Body

Actress Traci Bingham wearing rhinestones by body decor artist Tina-Marie Stoker. Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers/Getty Images.

Actress Traci Bingham wearing rhinestones by body decor artist Tina-Marie Stoker. Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers/Getty Images.

Who: Emanuela Capizzi, Muna Jibril, and Federica Ceracchi

Where: Rome

When: April 1, 2010

What: Tragically, there appears to be no photographic record of the time that body artists Emanuela Capizzi, of Italy, and Muna Jibril, of Jordan, applied 33,139 stones to Federica Ceracchi’s body during a taping of Italian TV series Lo Show dei Record. But they still secured the record.


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