Throughout history, artists have made a huge impact in society. In the past paintings and various artwork have made a mark in communicating messages to humanity. The quality of the artwork is based on many factors such as the medium of painting, the message it delivers, the durability and longevity of the artwork etc. The birth of talented and the most famous painters and sculptors have been in various eras and they still live through the masterpieces they have created. Some artists are known to everyone in the world simply by their names. Their paintings or sculptures are world famous.

The most expensive paintings are not necessarily the best. They might not even be for sale. For example, The Mona Lisa is a long term painting found in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France and is not for sale. However, it is considered as one of the best paintings in history.

10 Most Famous Painters In The World

Over the centuries the world has seen many artists who became very famous due to their paintings and artwork. Let us get to know more of the top 10 most famous painters of all time.

#10. Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640)

Most Famous Painters - Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens is a Counter-Reformation Baroque artists in Northern Europe. Out of his artwork, he is most famous for cartoon sketches, festival decorations, metal work etc. He has tutored many famous artists such as Anthony Van Dick. Rubens has also influenced many painters including Delacroix and Renoir. He is renowned as “the prince of painters and the painter of princes”. Below are some of Ruben’s masterpieces.

Samson and Delilah - most famous painters
Samson and Delilah

– Samson and Delilah – oil on wood at the National Gallery, London in the year 1609
– Descent from the Cross – oil/wood at the Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp during the period 1611-1614
– Rape of the Daughters of Euripus – oil at the Alte Pinakothek, Munich in the year 1618

#9.  Jan Van Eyck (1390-1441)

Jan Van Eyck - most famous painters

Jan Van Eyck is an artist famous for oil paintings. He is also known to have introduced religious artwork sand portraiture to the world along with the use of glowing luminous colors in paintings. Van Eyck together with his brother Hubert Van Eyck did a collaboration for the artwork “Ghent Altarpiece”. The duo was the best artist during the early Northern Renaissance. Below are some of Van Eyck’s masterpieces.

Ghent Altarpiece - most famous painting
Ghent Altarpiece

– Ghent Altarpiece – oil on wood at the Saint BavCathedralal, Ghent in the year 1432
– Man in a Red Turban – oil on wood at the National Gallery, London in the year 1433
– Arnolfini Portrait – oil on wood at the National Gallery, London in the year 1434

#8.  Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917)

Auguste Rodin - most famous sculptors

Auguste Rodin is an extremely talented and influential sculptor in the modern era.  He is a successor of the all-time greats such as Michelangelo, Donatello, and Bernini. Roding is a master of using clay, stone, plaster and bronze in his sculptors and is known to create masterpieces out of these. Out of his greatest sculptors, here are some of the best ones selected.

The Kiss - most famous sculptures
The Kiss

– The Thinker – Bronze at the Musee Rodin, Paris in the year 1881
– The Kiss – Marble at the Musee Rodin, Paris during the period 1888-9
– The Burghers of Calais – Bronze at the Musee Rodin, Paris in the year 1889
– The Gates of Hell – at the Musee d’Orsay, Paris during the period 1880 – 1917

#7.  Claude Monet (1840 – 1926)

Claude Monet - most famous painters

Claude Monet is a famous French artist. He is a close companion of the artists Pissarro and Renoir. Monet’s follower includes artists such as Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot, Alfred Sisley, James Abott McNeill Whistler and Georges Seurat. This great artist’s masterpieces are as follows;

 The Beach at Trouville - most famous painting
The Beach at Trouville

– La Grenouillere (1869) Metropolitan Museum, NY.
– The Beach at Trouville (1870) Wadsworth Atheneum, CT.
– Impression, Sunrise (1873) Musee Marmottan-Monet.
– Poppy Field (Argenteuil) (1873) Musee d’Orsay
– Gare Sainte-Lazare (1877) Musee d’Orsay.
– Water Lilies (Nymphéas) (1897-1926) various art museums.
– Water Lily Pond: Green Harmony (1899) Musee d’Orsay.

#6.  Donatello (1386 – 1466)

Donatello - most famous sculptors of all time

One of the best artists of his era and all time, Donatello is master of the arts in several different mediums including terracotta, stone, wood and bronze. He is an all-time great and has become a great influence for many artists who came after him. His artwork is much admired up to date. Donatello’s famous sculptures include,

David - most famous sculptures

– David (1440) Bronze, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence
– Mary Magadalene (1455) Painted wood, Museo Nazionale del Bargello
– Equestrian Statue of the Gattamelata (1444-53) Bronze, Piazza del Santo

#5.  JMW Turner (1775 – 1851)

JMW Turner - most famous painters

Joseph William Mallord Turner is no doubt the best landscape painter in history. He has an innovative painting technique and has a way work working his talent across both oil and watercolor mediums. The painting masterpieces of this great artist are as follows.

Burning of the House of Lords and Commons - famous painting
Burning of the House of Lords and Commons

– Burning of the House of Lords and Commons (1835) oil, Philadelphia Museum                             – The Fighting Temeraire (1839) oil on canvas, National Gallery, London
– Snow Storm: Steamboat off a Harbour’s Mouth (1842) oil, Tate Gallery

#4.  Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 – 1519)

Leonardo Da Vinci - most famous painters

Leonardo Da Vinci is known as one of the best artists the world has ever seen. He is most famous for his best painting which is the Mona Lisa which is currently at The Louvre Museum in Paris, France. The Mona Lisa is also known to be one of the best paintings the world has ever seen. This great artist has also given many more of his work to the world of arts.

The Virgin of the Rocks - most famous painting
The Virgin of the Rocks

– The Virgin of the Rocks (1484) oil on panel, Louvre Museum
– Lady with an Ermine (1490) oil on wood, Czartoryski Museum, Cracow
– Last Supper (1495-98) fresco, Convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie
– Mona Lisa (1503) oil on wood, Louvre, Paris

#3.  Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)

Pablo Picasso - most famous painters

Another popular personality among most famous painters is Pablo Picasso, from the modern era of arts. Hence his work follows more of a modern touch. Picasso is also a master of sculpture similar to his painting. He is a different kind of artist with much innovation. Pablo Picasso’s masterpieces include the following.

la-vie-life - most famous painting

– La Vie (Life) (1903) Cleveland Museum of Art
– Blue Nude (1904) Picasso Museum, Barcelona
– Boy with a Pipe (1905) Private Collection
– Girl In Chemise (1905) Tate Collection, London
– Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) Museum of Modern Art NY
– Portrait of Ambroise Vollard (1909-10) Pushkin Museum, Moscow

#2.  Rembrandt Van Rijn (1606-09)

Rembrandt Van Rijn - most famous painters

Certainly one amongst the most famous painters, Rembrandt Van Rijn is a Dutch artist most famous for painting self-portraits and still life. He is also known to depict character and emotions via his artwork. Van Rijn is one of the most talented and influential artists in the world. His masterpieces include the following;

 The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp - most famous painting
The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp

– The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp (1632) Mauritshuis, The Hague.
– The Night Watch (1642) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
– Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer (1653) Metropolitan Museum, NY.
– Bathsheba Holding King David’s Letter (1654) Louvre Museum, Paris.
– Jan Six (1654) Six Collection, Amsterdam.

#1.  Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)

Michelangelo Buonarroti - most famous painters

Topping the list of the most famous painters of all time is none other than the master himself, Michelangelo Buonarroti. Michelangelo is most famous for his Christian artwork and had a great impact on the Italian Renaissance sculpture. He is noted for his paintings in the famous St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. More of Michelangelo’s work include,

Creation of Adam - most famous painting
Creation of Adam

– Genesis fresco (1508-12) Sistine Chapel ceiling.
– Creation of Adam (1511) Sistine Chapel ceiling.
– Last Judgement fresco (1535-41) Sistine Chapel altar wall.
– David (1501-4) Marble, Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence

Do you know of any other artists that you think should have made it to this list of most famous painters? Feel free to provide your comments below.

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