Find more about The Top Most Famous Artists of all time
Famous Artists: From Renaissance to Pop Art, we evaluate the most famous artists in order of their popularity and reputation.
What makes an artist great? Of course, this requires talent and genius for innovation. Besides, some vision helps. But a truly great artist has a unique ability to capture the moment and extract the essence from it, so the resulting work becomes timeless.
For example, limited in clothes and hair, Mona Lisa is just a Renaissance woman. But her expression – subtle, ambiguous – gave her a mystery that will survive the centuries. This is the case not only with her creator Leonardo da Vinci but also with other artists (many of whom are included in New York City museums such as The Met, MoMA and Guggenheim) from our list of the most famous artists.
List of Renaissance Artists
The most famous artists of all time
1. Leonardo da Vinci
The original Renaissance man Leonardo is known as a genius not only for his masterpieces such as Mona Lisa, Last Supper and the Lady with the Ermine, but also for his developments of technology (planes, tanks, cars) that existed five hundred years ago.
Michelangelo posed as a triple threat: he was an artist, a sculptor and an architect. He also wrote poetry. Although he travelled between Florence, Bologna and Venice, his most significant commissions were for Pope Medici (including Julian II and Leo X, among others) in Rome.
In addition to the aforementioned Sistine ceiling, the Basilica of St. Peter and Pieta, there was his tomb of Pope Julian II (which includes his cult carving of Moses) and the design of the Laurentian Library in the church of San Lorenzo. 20-years after painting the Sistine ceiling, he returned to the chapel to create one of the greatest Renaissance frescos: the Last Judgment.
Rembrandt was Known as one of the greatest artists in history, this Dutch master created such masterpieces as “Night Watch” and “Demonstration of Anatomy of the Hand” by Dr Nicolaes Tulip. But he is particularly famous for his portraits, in which he demonstrated a supernatural ability to summon the most intimate thoughts of his subjects (including himself through the play of facial expressions and the exposure of light to the features of the model’s face).
It is noteworthy that Vermeer was almost forgotten two centuries before its reopening in the 19th century. Since then, he has been know to be as one of the most influential figures in the history of art, an artist capable of creating works of supernatural beauty. Many have claimed that Vermeer used a camera obscura, an early form of projector, and of course the gentle blur that he applies heralds photorealism. But the most crucial aspect of his work is how he presents light as a material substance.
5. Jean-Antoine Watteau
Jean-Antoine Watteau was born in 1684 and died in 1721. He was perhaps known as the greatest French artist of the 18th century, a transitional figure between Baroque art and the subsequent rococo style. He emphasized colour and movement, structuring his compositions so that they almost resembled theatrical scenes, but it was the atmospheres of his works that had a great influence on artists such as J.M.W. Watto. Turner and the Impressionists.
6. Eugène Delacroix
Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) was one of the most outstanding artists of the 19th century. A leading figure of romanticism, who preferred emotion over rationalism, the definitive treatment of colours and the use of Delacroix’s colour laid the foundation for successive avant-garde movements of the 1800s and beyond.
7. Claude Monet
Perhaps the most famous impressionist painter, Monet captured the changing effects of light on the landscape with prismatic splinters of colour, presented in the form of quickly drawn strokes. Moreover, his numerous studies of haystacks and other objects implied the use of serial images in pop art and minimalism. But at the same time, his traditional paintings of the pond with lilies at the end of his career foreshadowed abstract expressionism and abstraction of the colour field.
8. Georges Seurat
Most people know Georges Sère (1859-1891) as the inventor of pointillism (which he actually developed with the artist Paul Seminyak), a radical painting technique in which small coloured strokes are applied to the canvas, leaving it in the public eye. Just as important, Sera broke with the approach of other Impressionists to capturing the moment, instead choosing an ordered compositional style that recalls the immobility of classical art.
9. Yayoi Kusama
Kusama is one of the most famous artists working today. Her huge popularity is due to her mirrored “rooms of infinity”, which proved irresistible to Instagram users, but her career spans over six decades. Since childhood, the Japanese artist legend began to suffer from hallucinations that also manifested themselves in the form of flashes of light or auras, as well as fields of dots and colours that talked to her. These life experiences served as a source of inspiration for her works, including the rooms mentioned above, as well as paintings, sculptures and installations that use bright phantasmagoric patterns of peas and other motifs.
10. Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso is unequivocally synonymous with contemporary art, and it does not hurt that it corresponds to the standard image of a fugitive genius whose goals are balanced by the desire for a great life. He turned the sphere of art history upside down with radical innovations, including college and cubism, which destroyed the dead grip of representative material matter over art and set a level for other artists of the 20th century.
11. Vincent van Gogh
Van Gogh is known for his psychological instability, but his art is among the most popular and most famous artists of all time. Van Gogh’s technique of drawing with a flow of thick strokes composed of bright colours squeezed directly from the tube will inspire subsequent generations of artists.
13. Frida Calo
The Mexican artist and feminist icon painted performance using this environment to expose her vulnerabilities, as well as creating herself as the embodiment of Mexican cultural heritage. Her most famous works are many surreal self-portraits in which she retains her regal posture, even when she portrays herself as a martyr of personal and physical suffering – rooted in misery, including contracting polio as a child.
14. Edvard Munch
The scream art of mona lisa, I scream, you scream, we all scream for Munch’s – The Mona Lisa of fear. In the year 2012, a pastel version of Edvard Munch’s iconic evocation of modern fear generated an astronomical sum of $120 million at an auction (a benchmark that was expected has been surpassed many times since). Edvard Munch’s career was more than just a single painting. He is generally considered a precursor of Expressionism and influenced artists such as Egon Schiele, Erich Heckel and Max Beckmann of the 20th century.
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