Img source:

Unlike movies or music, art is not always as straightforward. It can be interpreted in many different ways by different people and it is not something everyone can understand. As such, it takes a lot for an artist of any kind to acquire credit for being brilliant and become memorable and respected by people all around the world.

With so many amazingly talented painters, it is difficult to make such a brief list of some of the most important artists of all time, however for an art piece to become distinguished it entails that it has survived the test of time. Based on that, here are some of the most famous and important painters in art history.

1. Michelangelo

Img source: Michelangelo

Born in Italy, he was not only a painter but a sculptor and architect as well. A number of his creations rank among the most famous of all time and these include The Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel ceiling, Pieta, David, and many more. He is associated with the High Renaissance, Italian Renaissance, and the Renaissance movements.

2. Leonardo da Vinci

Img source:

Da Vinci is the original Renaissance man who was a person of wide knowledge. He was a genius of the High Renaissance movement and probably one of the most diversely talented people that has ever lived. Not only was he a painter, but also a sculptor, architect, engineer, inventor, anatomist, and much more. He painted the Mona Lisa which is probably the most famous painting in art history with other iconic pieces including Bacchus, The Last Supper, The Vitruvian Man, and Annunciation. He is also famous for his designs of aircraft, automobiles, and tanks that were several hundred years in the future. If you are interested in learning more about his famous works, you can visit meisterdrucke.

3. Vincent van Gogh

Img source:

This Dutch painter was a major artist of the Post-Impressionism movement, known for his artworks of vibrant colors and expressive brushwork. Although he drew as a child, he didn’t start painting until his late twenties and is a prolific painter that produced more than 2,100 artworks in just over a decade. This includes over 1,300 watercolors, sketches, drawings, and prints, as well as 860 oil paintings. He painted portraits, self-portraits, and still life, and some of his most famous works include The Starry Night, Sunflowers, Cafe Terrace at Night, The Potato Eaters, and many, many more.

4. Pablo Picasso

Img source:

As one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Picasso is known as the co-founder of the Cubist movement, co-inventor of collage, and the inventor of constructed sculpture. Born in Spain, he spent most of his adult life in France and besides being a painter and sculptor, he was also a ceramicist, printmaker, poet, playwright, and a stage designer. Some of his most known artworks include Guernica, The Old Guitarist, The Weeping Woman, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Three Musicians, and others.

5. Rembrandt

Img source:

He is considered as the most important painter in Dutch history and one of the greatest in European art. This painter, etcher, and printmaker is also thought to be one of the best visual artists in the entire history of art. He made his contributions to it during the Dutch Golden Age movement. He is also associated with Realism and Baroque and some of his best-known works include The Night Watch, Artemisia, David and Uriah, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, Self-Portrait, A Polish Nobleman, and more.


The artists mentioned in this list made great contributions to art and have also moved the art of painting forward. Of course, art has many different movements and there are many other distinguished painters of the past and present who left their mark throughout history.