The Greatest Artists Ever – Not only were these artists at the forefront of technology, but they also made enormous contributions to the transformation of civilizations. Many are considered pioneers because they pushed the boundaries and initiated new projects.
Most of them were also acknowledged as geniuses during their lifetimes and achieved great success. Still, others were not so fortunate and were only recognized after their deaths. To be regarded as the greatest painter of all time, one must exhibit a mix of skill, inventiveness, and tenacity that is both distinctive and proficient.
These factors combine to produce works of a lifetime that resonate decades after their creation. We have compiled a list of the 20 best painters based on the abovementioned parameters. Let’s learn about the greatest artists through the article below!
Table of Contents
- 1. Leonardo da Vinci – Famous Italian Painter
- 2. Pablo Picasso – Famous Spanish Painter
- 3. Vincent Willem Van Gogh – Famous Dutch Painter
- 4. Edouard Manet – Famous French Painter
- 5. Paul Cézanne – Famous French Painter
- 6. Rembrandt – Famous Dutch Painter
- 7. Andy Warhol – Famous American Painter
- 8. Henri Matisse – Famous French Painter
- 9. Jackson Pollock – Famous American Painter
- 10. Edgar Degas – Famous French Painter
- 11. Michelangelo – Famous Italian Renaissance Painter
- 12. Artemisia Gentileschi – Famous Italian Painter
- 13. J. M. W. Turner – Famous British Painter
- 14. Claude Monet – Famous French Painter
- 15. Mary Cassatt – Famous American Painter
- 16. Tamara De Lempicka – Famous Polish Painter
- 17. Frida Kahlo – Famous Mexican Painter
- 18. Georgia O’Keeffe – Famous American Painter
- 19. Willem De Kooning – Famous American Painter
- 20. Piet Mondrian – Famous Dutch Painter
1. Leonardo da Vinci – Famous Italian Painter
Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, in the town of Anchiano, which is located in Italy & died on May 2, 1519, in the town of Amboise, which is located in France. A painter, sculptor, architect, musician, physician, engineer, anatomist, inventor, and philosophy of nature all rolled into one.
He is regarded as a powerful Italian talent. Famous paintings by him include Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. He was a guy with forward-thinking ideals. During his lifetime, many of his plans were made practical and realized.
In addition, he made significant contributions to the understanding and knowledge of anatomy, astronomy, civil engineering, optics, and the study of hydraulics. Only a few paintings and a handful of notebooks with drawings, pictures of science, and pens remain from his life.
2. Pablo Picasso – Famous Spanish Painter
Pablo Ruiz Picasso (October 25, 1881 – April 8, 1973) was a Spanish painter and sculptor. He was also known as Picasso. Picasso and Georges Braque are the originators of cubism in painting and sculpture and are largely considered to be two of the most important painters of the 20th century.
He is one of the ten finest painters in The Times magazine’s list of the top 200 greatest visual artists of the 20th century. Picasso was born in Spain, although he was more attracted to France. Along with Georges Braque, he is regarded as the creator of Cubism in painting and sculpture.
Pablo Picasso left nearly 50,000 pieces of art, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, etc., behind after his death.
3. Vincent Willem Van Gogh – Famous Dutch Painter
The artist Vincent van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, and he died on July 29, 1890. He was a post-impressionist painter from the Netherlands. Numerous of his paintings are among the world’s most recognized, admired, and costly.
Van Gogh was a forerunner of expressionism and had a tremendous effect on modern art, especially German Fauvism and expressionism. During his lifetime, Van Gogh was not successful and was seen as a lunatic and failure. He gained notoriety after committing suicide.
He appears in the popular consciousness as a great misunderstood genius, the painter who “intersects the arguments on insanity and creativity.” His renown continued to grow when parts of his painting style were incorporated by Fauvist and Expressionist artists in the early 20th century.
4. Edouard Manet – Famous French Painter
French painter Édouard Manet (January 23, 1832–April 30, 1883) was among the first to depict scenes from everyday life. He is a key player in the evolution of realism toward Impressionism.
His early paintings, including Le déjeuner sur l’herbe and Olympia, caused a great deal of discussion and are today recognized as the foundation for later Impressionism, which is regarded as the origins of modern art.
Manet fell into the painting by chance. The young man’s failure to pass the navy academy test afforded him the chance to travel to numerous locations.
During his travels around Europe, Manet received great inspiration and practical experience that eventually manifested itself in his works. This French painter seldom paints for improvisational purposes.
5. Paul Cézanne – Famous French Painter
Paul Cézanne (January 19, 1839 – October 22, 1906) was a post-impressionist French painter. He is regarded as the link between Impressionism and cubism in the 19th and 20th centuries. The paintings of Cézanne demonstrate skill in composition, color, and blending.
Paul Cezanne was chosen one of the ten best painters of the 20th century by Times magazine, UK, with 21,098 votes, only behind the famous painter Pablo Picasso. Cezanne only lived in the 20th century for six years.
He is an Impressionist painter and is regarded as the link between Impressionist art of the 19th century and Cubism, Fauvism, Cubism, and Expressionism. The expressionism of the 20th century. During her 40-year career as an artist, Cezanne left behind over 900 oil paintings, 400 watercolor paintings, and other unfinished works.
6. Rembrandt – Famous Dutch Painter
Rembrandt (July 16, 1606 – October 4, 1669), often known as Rembrandt van Rijn, was a renowned Dutch painter and printer. He is widely acknowledged as being among the most talented painters in the whole history of painting in Europe and of Dutch painting in particular.
Rembrandt’s works contributed significantly to the Dutch Golden Age. At the turn of the twentieth century, Rembrandt is estimated to have created more than 600 complete paintings, about 400 engravings, and approximately 2000 sketches.
Rembrandt painted several self-portraits. Rembrandt received the highest score possible in the “Greatest Dutchmen in History” (De Grootste Nederlander), created by KRO radio in 2004.
7. Andy Warhol – Famous American Painter
Andy Warhol was an American painter renowned for his contributions to pop art. He was born on August 6, 1928, and passed away on February 22, 1987. He often creates postmodernist, commercial artworks, and avant-garde videos. His work investigates the connection between expressionist art, celebrity culture, and Andy Warhol’s commercial boom of the 1960s.
After a prosperous career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a well-known and sometimes controversial artist. His artwork includes hand-drawn illustrations, paintings, prints, photography, silk photography, sculpture, motion pictures, and music.
The most money ever purchased for a Warhol painting was $105 million for a 1963 piece titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster); other of his works are also on the list. Warhol was referred to as “The Art Market Leader” in a 2009 article by The Economist.
8. Henri Matisse – Famous French Painter
Born on December 31, 1869, in Cateau Cambrésis and passing away on November 3, 1954, in Nice, Henri Matisse was a gifted painter, graphic artist, and sculptor in the history of international art. Matisse met Picasso in 1906, and the two artists were fond of African sculpture.
He is regarded as the head of the Fauvist movement. Matisse’s deft use of transparent flat colors, mixed deftly with crisp lines on the surface, conjures images of his paintings with distinctive color combinations.
Matisse has won several prestigious accolades commensurate with his artistic career, including the Grand Prize in Painting in 1927 and the International Painting Prize in 1948, 1950, and 1952. In the history of international painting, Henri Matisse’s name and career have been etched in gold.
9. Jackson Pollock – Famous American Painter
Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), often known as Jackson Pollock, was a well-known American painter focused on vivid abstraction. He is most well-known for his unique talent, drift painting.
Pollock has a vast array of specialized painting implements; he can use anything, such as a large paintbrush, broom, or plastic scoop. Pollock’s paintings are done in the form of improvised abstraction or action painting, which contributes significantly to their uniqueness.
The voice of evidence is shown in the image, a language of painting that is understood verbally, visually, aurally, and tactilely by the painter and the audience.
This type of painting was already famous before Pollock, but he took it to a new level; if he had continued to use oil paints, tiny brushes, and palette dividers, there would be nothing remarkable about it.
10. Edgar Degas – Famous French Painter
In the year 1834, Edgar Degas was born in Paris, and he died away in the year 1917. Degas was the oldest child of a wealthy banker, unlike most other prominent artists of the period who lived in poverty.
He was a significant pillar of Impressionism and a contemporary of Vincent Van Gogh and Edouard Manet, inspired by Ingres’ expressive approach and Delacroix’s use of color. In addition, eastern painting techniques, particularly woodblock prints and Japanese graphic techniques, had a substantial influence on Degas’s work.
Edgar Degas is a well-known artist for his paintings of racetracks, opera theaters, cafés, music, and apartments. However, he is most recognized for his portraits of women, particularly dancers. The dancers in Degas’ paintings are often frail, with soft arms that rise slightly like butterfly wings in a highly fantastical setting.
11. Michelangelo – Famous Italian Renaissance Painter
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was a prominent figure in the Italian Renaissance art world. He was known for his work as a painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer. On March 6, 1475, he was born, and on February 18, 1564, he died. Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was his full name. Italy is hung.
Michelangelo considers himself a sculptor, yet his inclusion on this list demonstrates his brilliance. Even though just a few of Michelangelo’s paintings have survived to the present day, those that have are undeniably excellent.
As seen by the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel and ‘The Last Judgment,’ he quickly became a master of the fresco style and even took it to new heights. Michelangelo has left humanity with an abundance of artistic treasures. Each year, millions of tourists go to Italy to see his paintings.
12. Artemisia Gentileschi – Famous Italian Painter
During her lifetime, Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1656) was generally remembered more for the catastrophes that occurred in her life than for the masterworks she made.
Despite the tragedy of her personal life, Artemisia became the foremost female painter of the Renaissance and paved the path for future female painters.
During this period, numerous aristocracy believed in her skill and commissioned her to create pictures for them. One of the pioneers of the Baroque painting style was also one of the first successful female artists.
Throughout the 17th century, Artemisia Gentileschi produced unique and dramatic works of art by manipulating the contrast between light and darkness (also known as chiaroscuro) and using many colors.
13. J. M. W. Turner – Famous British Painter
Joseph Mallord William Turner was an oil and watercolor painter, as well as a printer. Born in London in 1775, he attended the Royal Academy of Arts at age 14 and launched his first gallery at age 29.
Reclusive and eccentric, he dedicated his life to the arts, leaving behind a vast collection of 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolors, and 30,000 works on paper at the time of his death in 1851.
The British Romantic painter JMW Turner is regarded as one of the ancestors of modern painting. Beginning with Neoclassical paintings, Turner progressively discovered a new approach to depict authenticity in his works – a technique unheard of at the time.
He experimented with light, color, and brush techniques on thousands of canvases and watercolors. He often practiced oil painting outdoors, which directly impacted Impressionism in the future.
14. Claude Monet – Famous French Painter
Claude Monet (1840-1926) was a distinguished French artist. He is regarded as the father of Impressionism. His works pay close attention to nature, place a premium on the expression of light and color, and accurately capture the first impression.
He often painted straw, cathedrals, water lilies, flowers in the field, Waterloo Bridge, and landscape paintings. The public adored his paintings of gardens and water lilies in particular.
Claude Monet is recognized as one of the most acclaimed Impressionist painters owing to his upbeat personality and in-depth research into the effects of time and light on the world’s environment. Even his Impressionist picture ‘Impression, Sunrise’ is credited with initiating this art genre.
15. Mary Cassatt – Famous American Painter
Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) is regarded as one of the most significant female painters in global art history due to her status as a renowned Impressionist.
As an unmarried American woman living in Paris, Cassatt built a reputation for herself in an artistic movement dominated by men, defying 19th-century gender norms and opening the way for subsequent female artists.
Mary Cassatt, an essential member of the Impressionist group of artists, played a crucial role in directing the movement. The American female artist shattered all boundaries with her sweeping brush strokes, distinctive dazzling hues, and, most notably, her attention on the concept of motherhood.
Even in the most ordinary moments, she accurately depicts the tender emotions shared between mother and child. This technique has revolutionized painting and left a lasting influence over the years.
16. Tamara De Lempicka – Famous Polish Painter
The Empress of Art Déco This was the moniker given to Tamara de Lempicka by the press. During her most productive creative era, she produced around 150 paintings during her lifetime. The Pinacothèque Museum in Paris has amassed over sixty paintings to illustrate the brilliant time of the Polish artist’s career.
Tamara de Lempicka, a Polish painter, was one of the most incredible lights of the early 20th century. Despite being exposed to famous painters in Paris, she chose her route rather than the fashionable Impressionism of the time.
Her paintings are visually distinctive and use an array of brilliant hues. This contributed to her rise to prominence within the Art Deco school. Her works continue to inspire the design world and serve as a symbol of the Golden Age.
17. Frida Kahlo – Famous Mexican Painter
Frida Kahlo, the most gifted female painter in Mexico, is renowned for her self-portraits that bear her life’s sadness. There are 55 self-portraits out of a total of 143 works by her that reflect her inner battle and mental anguish. This was formerly exclusive to Van Gogh’s paintings.
Frida Kahlo’s series of honest portraits and appreciation of time-honored traditions are sufficient to place her among the 20th century’s greatest artists. She is now an icon of popular culture, but her fantastic sketching abilities and contributions to popularizing traditional Mexican culture are evident.
Her poignant portraits have also paved the way for current artists to express their own emotions via painting rather than striving to impress others.
18. Georgia O’Keeffe – Famous American Painter
Georgia O’Keeffe was born in Wisconsin’s Sun Prairie in 1887. Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the most famous American figures of the 20th century, and her paintings of magnified flowers are particularly well-known.
Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the rare artists whose creative vision has allowed her to transcend the fundamentals of painting. Although flower art has a long history, no one has ever painted like Georgia O’Keeffe.
She was one of the first American painters to produce abstract paintings, and her approach to accentuating and exaggerating floral details was an unheard-of technique. Additionally, O’Keeffe’s paintings drew attention to other states in the United States, while contemporary modernism focused on New York City.
19. Willem De Kooning – Famous American Painter
In 1904, Willem de Kooning was born in Rotterdam, a prominent Dutch maritime city. Kooning’s reputation is similar to that of the 20th century’s most significant artists, including Picasso, Monet, Dali, and Duchamp.
The 20th century assured the sublimation of several great abstract painters, such as Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Sam Francis, Mark Rothko, etc. Still, arguably the most stunning to the world was Mark Rothko. Probably one of them is Willem de Kooning.
Throughout the two decades from the 1970s to the 1990s, his works were consistently among the most expensive American paintings in the world. Dutch painter who exemplified abstract expressionism. He frightened the general audience with his drawings of horrible, ghostly ladies.
20. Piet Mondrian – Famous Dutch Painter
Piet Mondrian (Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan), 1872-1944, was a Dutch painter who pushed the boundaries of abstraction. Master of contemporary art Piet Mondrian is an explorer and a daredevil.
He distinguished himself as one of the 20th century’s most costly painters with his audacity and individuality. Combinations of the primary hues are red, yellow, and blue. The mix of Mondrain’s geometric lines infused new life into and revitalized the staid and lackluster Dutch art of the period.
Mondrian, who died in 1944, continues to have an impact on subsequent generations of artists. His collection of paintings at Yves Saint Laurent was so famous in the 1960s that it was featured on the cover of Vogue.