The 20 most famous artists of all time

Overwhelmed by all the painters and artists? Lost between surrealism and impressionism? Between pop-art and realism?

Don’t worry, here is the list of the most famous artists of all time to absolutely know about:

1.Leonardo da Vinci

 Leonardo da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who served as a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect. Although his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he also became known for his notebooks, in which he made drawings and notes on a variety of subjects, including anatomy, astronomy, botany, cartography, painting and paleontology. Leonardo’s genius epitomized the humanist ideal of the Renaissance, and his collective works make up a contribution to subsequent generations of artists equaled only by that of his younger contemporary, Michelangelo. Leonardo is among the greatest painters in the history of art and is often credited as the founder of the High Renaissance. 

Where to see Leonardo da Vinci’s works of art: Louvre Museum, Paris (visit)Santa Maria delle Grazie (visit)National Gallery, London (visit)

2. Michelangelo

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (March 6, 1475 – February 18, 1564), known simply as Michelangelo, was an Italian High Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, and poet born in the Republic of Florence, who exerted an incomparable influence in the development of Western art. His artistic versatility was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of archetypal Renaissance man, alongside his rival and greatest contemporary, Leonardo da Vinci. Several scholars have described Michelangelo as the greatest artist of his time and even as the greatest artist of all time.

During his lifetime, Michelangelo was often called Il Divino (“the divine”). His contemporaries often admired his terribilità, his ability to instill wonder in viewers of his art. Attempts by later artists to imitate Michelangelo’s passionate and highly personal style resulted in Mannerism, the next great movement in Western art after the High Renaissance.  

Where to see Michelangelo’s works of art: Vatican Museums (visit)Uffizi Galleries, Florence, Italy (visit)

3. Rembrandt

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (July 15, 1606 – October 4, 1669), generally known simply as Rembrandt, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, printmaker, and draughtsman. He is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists of art history and the most important in Dutch art history. Unlike most 17th-century Dutch masters, Rembrandt’s works represent a wide range of styles and subjects, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, and biblical and mythological subjects, as well as studies. of animals. Like many Dutch Golden Age artists, such as Delft’s Jan Vermeer, Rembrandt was also an avid collector and art dealer.

His prints and paintings were popular throughout his life, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters. 

Where to see Rembrandt’s works of art: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (visit)Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY (visit)National Gallery, London (visit)

4. Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer (October 1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch painter of the Baroque period who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. During his lifetime, he was a moderately successful provincial genre painter, renowned in Delft and The Hague. However, he produced relatively few paintings and was evidently not wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death.

Vermeer is still known primarily for his genre scenes. These present, in a style that combines mystery and familiarity, formal perfection and poetic depth, interiors and scenes of domestic life, to represent a world more perfect than he could have witnessed. These mature works present a coherence that makes them immediately recognizable, and which is based in particular on inimitable color associations – with a predilection for ultramarine and natural yellow -, a great mastery of the treatment of light and space, and the combination of restricted items. , resorting from one painting to another.  

Where to see the artworks of Vermeer :– The Frick Collection, New York (visit)– Kenwood House, London (visit)– National Gallery, London (visit)– Gemaldegalerie, Berlin (visit)– Mauritshuis, The Hague (visit)

5. Eugene Delacroix

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (April 26, 1798 – August 13, 1863) was a French Romantic artist considered early in his career to be the leader of the French Romantic school. As a painter and muralist, Delacroix’s use of expressive brushwork and his study of the optical effects of color profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement.

Delacroix is ​​widely considered to be the leader of the Romantic movement in 19th century French art. His life and work embodied the movement’s concern with emotion, the exotic, and the sublime, and his painting style, full of lush, fluttering brushwork and pulsing with vivid color, was in direct contrast to the cool, controlled delineations of his peers and rivals. . income Delacroix eschewed academic conventions in his choice of subject matter, favoring scenes from contemporary history rendered on a grand scale in the most dramatic fashion, with visibly energized brushwork and dynamic figurative compositions.  

Where to see the works of Delacroix: – Musée National Eugène-Delacroix, Paris (visit) – Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY (visit) – National Gallery, London (visit)

6. Claude Monet

Oscar-Claude Monet (November 14, 1840 – December 5, 1926) was a French painter and founder of Impressionist painting who is seen as a key precursor to modernism, especially in his attempts to paint nature as he perceived it. During his long career, he was the most consistent and prolific practitioner of Impressionism’s philosophy of expressing one’s prior perceptions of nature, especially in regards to landscape painting plein air (outdoors). The term “Impressionism” is derived from the title of the painting Impression of him, soleil levant, exhibited at the 1874 Salon des Refusés (“exhibition of rejections”) initiated by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the Salon.

Exhibited frequently and successfully during his lifetime, his fame and popularity skyrocketed in the second half of the 20th century when he became one of the world’s most celebrated painters and a source of inspiration for groups of emerging artists. 

Where to see the artworks of Claude Monet: Musée d’Orsay, Paris (visit)Museum of Fine Arts, Boston(visit)Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris(visit)

7.Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, one of the best-known post-impressionist artists, for whom color was the main symbol of expression, was born in Groot-Zundert, the Netherlands, on March 30, 1853.

Van Gogh’s best works were produced in less than three years in a technique that became increasingly passionate about brushwork, symbolic and intense color, surface tension, and the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh’s inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful; dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative and emotional, because the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain his struggle against madness or his understanding of the spiritual essence of man and nature.  

Where to see Van Gogh’s works of art : Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (visit)Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NY (visit)Musée d’Orsay, Paris (visit)

8. Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch (December 12, 1863 – January 23, 1944) was a Norwegian painter. His childhood was overshadowed by illness, bereavement, and the fear of inheriting a mental condition that ran in the family.

Edvard Munch was a prolific but perpetually troubled artist, concerned with issues of human mortality such as chronic disease, sexual liberation, and religious aspirations. He expressed these obsessions through works of intense color, semi-abstraction, and mysterious themes.  

Where to see the artworks of Edvard Munch  :Munch Museum, Oslo (visit)Norwegian National Gallery, Oslo (visit)University Aula, Oslo (visit)

9. Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso was a Spanish artist born in Malaga on October 25, 1881, died on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, buried in the park of the Château de Vauvenargues, Bouches du Rhône. He is best known for his paintings and is one of the leading artists of the 20th century. He is, together with Georges Braque, the founder of the cubist movement. Pablo Picasso (1916) his full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Crispin Crispiniano de la Sentissima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso. Picasso’s father, Don José Ruiz y Blanco, was a painter and drawing teacher at the “San Telmo” school in Malaga. He is also curator of the municipal museum, coming from an old and renowned family from the province of León, in northwestern Spain. Picasso’s mother, Doña María, is originally from Andalusia and of Arab origin. 

Where to see Pablo Picasso’s works of art: Museu Picasso, Barcelona (visit)Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid (visit)Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NY (visit)

10. Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was one of the most prolific and popular artists of his time, using both avant-garde and highly commercial sensibilities.

In the late 1950s, Warhol began paying more attention to painting, and in 1961, he debuted the concept of “Pop Art,” paintings that focused on mass-produced commercial products. In 1962, he exhibited the now iconic Campbell’s soup can paintings. These small canvas works of everyday consumer products created quite a stir in the art world, bringing Warhol and Pop Art into the national spotlight for the first time. Warhol’s other famous Pop paintings featured Coca-Cola bottles, vacuum cleaners, and hamburgers.  

11. Henri Matisse

 Henri Émile Benoît Matisse was a French artist, known as much for his use of color as for his fluid and original drawing. He was a draughtsman, engraver, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter. Matisse is commonly considered, along with Pablo Picasso, as one of the artists who best helped define the revolutionary developments in the visual arts throughout the first decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture.

His mastery of the expressive language of color and drawing, displayed in an oeuvre that spans more than half a century, earned him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.  

12. Jackson Pollock

Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956) was an American painter and a major figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement. He was widely known for his “drip technique” of pouring or splattering liquid household paint onto a horizontal surface, allowing you to view and paint his canvases from all angles. He was also called full painting and action painting, as he covered the entire canvas and used the strength of his entire body to paint, often in a frenetic dance style. This extreme form of abstraction divided critics: some praised the immediacy of the creation, while others derided the random effects.  

Where to see the artworks of Jackson Pollock : Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (visit)Peggy Guggenheim Collection (visit)Tate Modern (visit)

13. Rene Magritte

René François Ghislain Magritte (November 21, 1898 – August 15, 1967) was a Belgian Surrealist artist, who became known for creating a series of witty and evocative images. Often depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context, his work is known for challenging observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality. His imagery has influenced pop art, minimal art, and conceptual art.

Like the other artists and poets associated with the Surrealist movement, Magritte sought to overthrow what he saw as the oppressive rationalism of bourgeois society. His art during these pivotal years is sometimes violent, frequently disturbing, and full of discontinuities.  

Where to see the artworks of Magritte :– Musée Magritte Museum, Brussels (visit)– Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, NYC (visit)– Philadelphia Museum of Art (visit)– Los Angeles County Museum of Art (visit)

14. Salvador Dali

Salvador Dalí, in full Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí y Domenech, (born May 11, 1904 in Figueras, Spain; died January 23, 1989 in Figueras), Spanish surrealist painter and printmaker, influential for his explorations of imagery subconscious.

Born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, Dalí received his formal education in fine arts in Madrid. Influenced by Impressionism and the Renaissance masters from a very young age, he found himself increasingly drawn to Cubism and avant-garde movements. He approached surrealism in the late 1920s and joined the surrealist group in 1929, soon becoming one of its leading exponents. Dalí’s artistic repertoire included painting, graphic arts, film, sculpture, design, and photography, sometimes in collaboration with other artists. He also wrote fiction, poetry, autobiography, essays, and criticism. The main themes of his work include dreams, the subconscious, sexuality, religion, science and his closest personal relationships. 

Where to see Salvador Dali’s works of art: – Dalí Theater Museum (visit)– Salvador Dalí Museum (visit)– Caesarea Ralli Museum (visit)– Museum-Gallery Xpo: Salvador Dalí, Brugge, Belgium (visit)

15. Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper (July 22, 1882 – May 15, 1967) was an American realist painter and printmaker. Although he is widely known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolourist and printmaker in etching. His career benefited decisively from his marriage to fellow artist Josephine Nivison, who contributed greatly to his work, both as a life model and as a creative partner. Hopper was a minor-key artist, creating subdued drama from common themes “layered with poetic meaning” that invited narrative, often unintended interpretations. He was praised for his “total veracity” in the America he portrayed. 

Where to see the artworks of Edward Hopper :– Whitney Museum of American Art (visit)– Museum of Modern Art in New York (visit)– The Des Moines Art Center (visit)– Art Institute of Chicago (visit)

16. Frida Kahlo

Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954) was a Mexican painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by nature and artifacts from Mexico. Inspired by the country’s popular culture, she employed a naïvefolk artistic style to explore issues of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. In addition to belonging to the post-revolutionary Mexicayotl movement, which sought to define a Mexican identity, Kahlo has been described as a surrealist or magical realist. She is known for painting about her chronic pain experience.  

Where to see the works of art by Frida Kahlo: The Blue House (visit)Museum of Modern Art – MoMA, NYC (visit)Museum of Modern Art (visit)

17. Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama (草間 彌生, Kusama Yayoi, born March 22, 1929) is a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation, but is also involved in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts. . His work is based on conceptual art and shows some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, Art Brut, pop art and abstract expressionism, and is imbued with autobiographical, psychological and sexual content. She has been recognized as one of Japan’s greatest living artists.  

18. JMW Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner (April 23, 1775 – December 19, 1851), known in his day as William Turner, was an English Romantic painter, printmaker, and watercolourist. He is known for his expressive colorations, imaginative landscapes, and turbulent and often violent marine paintings. He left behind more than 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolors, and 30,000 works on paper.

Turner’s imagination was sparked by shipwrecks, fires (including the burning of Parliament in 1834, an event Turner witnessed firsthand and transcribed in a series of watercolor sketches), and natural phenomena such as sunlight, storm, rain and fog. He was fascinated by the violent power of the sea, as seen in Dawn after the Wreck (1840) and The Slave Ship (1840). 

Where to see JMW Turner’s artwork: Tate Britain (visit)Yale Center for British Art (visit)Fitzwilliam Museum (visit)

19. Paul Cezanne

Paul Cézanne (January 19, 1839 – October 22, 1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations for the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavor to a new and radically different world of art in the twentieth century. .

Cézanne is said to have formed the bridge between the impressionism of the late 19th century and the new line of artistic inquiry of the early 20th century, Cubism. Cézanne’s exploratory, often repetitive brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of color and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne’s intense study of his subjects. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne “is the father of us all.”  

Where to see the artworks of Paul Cézanne: Musée d’Orsay, Paris (visit)Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NY (visit)Hermitage Museum (visit)

20. Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein was one of the most influential and innovative artists of the second half of the 20th century. He is primarily identified with pop art, a movement he helped originate, and the first fully accomplished paintings of him were based on imagery from comic strips and advertisements and rendered in a style that imitated the crude printing processes of pop art. newspaper reproduction.