Famous Artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Frida Kahlo You Should Know

Suppose you are not a professional art historian but only an “ordinary” art lover. In that case, you probably know a lot about your favorite artists and their artworks, but there are many famous artists and artworks that you know nothing about or perhaps haven’t even heard of. 

In this article, we’ll assist you in getting “better informed.” We’ve compiled information which you can use to find the names of famous artists you should know. But remember that we only give very brief information, and the goal is actually that you find the names of artists you are unfamiliar with and then do a little bit of research on each name you find. 

To research online, you can search for a list of artists painters or search for specific artist names. In the article, we’ll also touch on other research methods. 

Famous Artists of the Northern and Italian Renaissance

The Renaissance artists we include in our list of famous artists you should know are Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, Italian Renaissance artists, and Albrecht Dürer. He was part of the Northern Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was a typical Italian Renaissance artist. Apart from his famous artwork, he left behind a collection of notebooks with scientific observations and illustrations. His famous paintings include “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper.”  

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), generally known only as Michelangelo, was also part of the Italian Renaissance and was a painter, sculptor, and architect. One of his famous works is “The Last Judgment.” Another Italian Renaissance artist was Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483-1520), generally only known as Raphael. Nowadays, he is regarded as the master of form and composition. His Madonna paintings are his most well-known works.

The German painter Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) was part of the Northern Renaissance. He developed printmaking into a form of fine art with his engravings, woodcuts, and etchings based on his detailed drawings. His most famous painting is “Melancolia.”

To learn more about these artists online, you can use the search option of “find artist by name.” Just enter the name of the artist into your search engine and search. 

Famous Baroque Artists

We’ve listed the famous Baroque artists which you should know. To find out more about the Baroque period’s artists and their artwork, it might be a good idea to use the search technique of “paintings by artist name”.  Search for an artist by name and get information about all their artwork.  

  • Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571- 1610) is better known as Caravaggio. Some of his works were controversial because he used “normal” people as models for biblical paintings. One of his famous works is “The Calling of Saint Matthew.”
  • The Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) was prominent during the Dutch Golden Age, and he established himself as a court painter for the Spanish Hapsburgs. One of his famous works is “Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus.” 
  • Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1656) did not let her gender hold her back from her subject matter, and she was the very first woman accepted to the prestigious Fine Art Academy in Florence. Her famous work of art is “Judith Slaying Holofernes.”
  • Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s (1598-1680) career spanned nearly 70 years, and he is globally renowned for his ability to create movement and emotion with his work. He transformed marble into soft flesh that looked real. “The Rape of Proserpina” is one of his famous artworks.
  • Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660) is best known for his portraits of royalty. “Portrait of Pope Innocent X” is a popular example of his work. 
  • The Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a master painter, printmaker, and draughtsman. He is known as an “Old Master,” and one of his most famous artworks is “The Night Watch.”
  • Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) often painted scenes of domestic life. “Girl with a Pearl Earring” is not only one of his best paintings but is perceived as one of his most famous artworks.

Famous Artists who are seen as Leaders in Art Movements in the 1800s

The following list provides famous artists’ names who are seen as forerunners or important role-players in some of the art movements over the centuries. 

  • Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) was a leader of the Romanticism art movement, and one of his famous works is “The Death of Sardanapalus.” 
  • Édouard Manet (1832-1883) was part of the Realism and Impressionism movements. His paintings were controversial at the time because he depicted nude women. His “Olympia” is one of his most famous works. 
  • Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas (1834-1917) – more commonly known as Edgar Degas – was also part of the Impressionist movement and is renowned for capturing intimate indoor scenes, such as his collection of ballet paintings. 
  • The French artist Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) was one of the pioneers of the Post-Impressionist art movement. He had an avant-garde approach to perspective, and he is seen as the forefather of Fauvism and a forerunner to Cubism. Art historians revere him as one of the most influential figures in modern art. His “The Card Players” series is famous.

Find fascinating Paintings by Artists Name

Sometimes you hear the name of an artist unknown to you, and you want to know with which art movement he or she was associated and the name of at least one of the artist’s fascinating paintings. For your convenience, we’ve prepared an alphabetical list of famous artists from the late 1800s to the middle 1900s everyone should know. Find the name of the artist in the list to see with which art movement the artist is associated, and get the name of one of the artist’s famous paintings.

  • Cassatt, Mary (1844–1936) – Impressionist – “Little Girl in Blue Armchair” 
  • Dali, Salvador (1904–1989) – Surrealism – “The Temptation of Saint Anthony”
  • Gauguin, Paul (1848–1903) – Post-Impressionist – “The Yellow Christ” 
  • Kahlo, Frida (1907–1954) – Surrealism, Magic Realism – “The Two Fridas”
  • Klimt, Gustav (1862–1918) – Vienna Secession and Art Nouveau – “The Kiss”
  • Magritte, René (1898–1967) – Surrealism – “The Son of Man”
  • Matisse, Henri (1869–1954) – Post-Impressionism, Fauvism – “Woman with a Hat”
  • Monet, Claude (1840–1926) – Impressionist – “Water Lilies series 
  • O’Keefe, Georgia (1887–1986) – American Modernism – “Jimson Weed” 
  • Picasso, Pablo (1881–1973) – Cubism – “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”
  • Rivera, Diego (1886–1957) – Mexican Muralism – “Man at the Crossroads” 
  • Rothko, Mark (1903–1970) – Abstract Expressionism – “Untitled, Black on Gray”
  • Van Gogh, Vincent (1853–1890) – Post-Impressionist – “The starry Night”


In this article, many artists you should know have been briefly mentioned or discussed. We hope that the artists and artworks mentioned entice you to find out more about them. Remember, it is always the easiest to start with an artist search by the last name if you want more information. If you are looking for a particular type of artist, you can, for example, search for “oil painting artist.”