Do you want to know who the greatest visual artists of all time are? Saying yes? No worries. Read this guide till the end!
Vision and talent play a great role in making an artist great but what about a truly great artist of all time?
Is it hard work, innovation, or perseverance that helps an artist earn such a title?
A truly great artist of all time is known for his/her work not only in a specific time period.
The best visual artists of all time create lasting impressions with their masterpieces and deeply influence future artists.
He creates a lasting legacy that becomes timeless.
If you ask art historians to know about the best artists, a lot of names will come up as there are different standards of measuring the greatest sculptor or painter of all time.
All the artists, since the time of the Renaissance, have exceptional abilities in creating masterpieces.
The most famous visual artists almost all come during and after this era when realistic perspective and painting techniques came into existence.
Are you ready to dive into each visual artist and their works? We’re looking at some of the greatest visual artists of all time and examining their power and influence.
They all have made some important contributions that have changed Western culture.
What Does Visual Artist Mean?
A visual artist is a person who creates amazing art pieces.
Drawing, painting, sculptures, filmmaking, design architecture, video, photography, and printmaking these all art forms are linked with visual artists.
The best visual artists often are great in multiple fields, as we shall see on our list.
They use different tools to generate visual arts based on their creative ideas.
They present their views on social and political issues through their artwork and other artworks depict daily life moments or explore textures, colors, and sizes.
The top visual artists create new trends and bring new techniques and ideas, along with mastery of a skill, to the medium.
In fact, there are various factors that determine the best visual artists of all time.
It may be the artist’s work itself or the time period for which an artists’ popularity has been prolonged.
One of the other factors that makes someone among the top visual artists is becoming an international visual artist of renown.
All these factors have a big role in giving an artist the fame that can survive the ages!
Unfortunately in the field of art, there are many men and women artists but men artists are recognized more than female artists, ignoring the fact that female artists should be recognized for their great contributions in the art world.
Most of the works of female artists are not only superior but achieved success in their era in spite of the societal hurdles. They are now visual artists of their own esteem and value on par with those of male artists.
Here, in this guide, we will show you the top 20 greatest and popular visual artists of all time according to museums or on the basis of public opinion.
Deciding on the List
All these artists have made an indelible impact on art as well as culture. An artist of visual arts must have great talent and influence to make our list of the best visual art artists.
We will mention not only the male artists but the female artists as well in order of reputation and popularity.
The visual artist and their works must have lasting impacts across not just the art world, but in history and culture as well.
We will also discuss in detail who they are, what their famous works are, and what they did throughout their art career.
The visual artist names on our list are probably well known to most people, as they are some of the top visual artists from all of history.
So, are you ready to explore the world’s famous artists?
We’ve set up a 20-person list of visual artists that have met our stringent criteria.
Without further ado, let’s read on the guide until the end.
Who are the Top 20 World Famous Visual Artists
01. Pablo Picasso
Known as the founder of college and cubism, Pablo Picasso is one of the top world-famous artists of all time.
He is an artist whose artwork is still fascinated by the people of this age.
In addition, he is one of the most influential visual artists in terms of just how many innovations and movements he began.
He was known for his radical innovative paintings in the 20th century.
In fact, his name became synonymous with the visual arts of the 20th century.
He was not only a painter but a sculptor, ceramist, engraver, and a printmaker as well.
He created almost 50,000 art masterpieces throughout his art career.
These include sculptures, drawings, and paintings.
He is often considered the best visual artist of the early 1900s.
With his art pieces, he set the rate for other artists of the 20th century.
Pablo Picasso got much support from his father in building his painting career.
His father was also a painter so this gave him a chance to study in the finest art school in Spain.
The finest artworks of Picasso include My Pretty Girl, La Vie, Family of Saltimbanques, etc.
In short, he is the most influential visual artist in art history.
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Leonardo da Vinci is known as the original Renaissance man.
Considered one of the greatest visual artists of all time, he also excelled in the fields of engineering and anatomy.
In fact, the list of influential artists would be incomplete without mentioning Leonardo da Vinci.
He has inspired many art fans through his beautiful paintings and even drawings of technologies that were almost 500 years in the future.
These include the drawings of automobiles, aircraft, and tanks.
Being a Renaissance artist, his most iconic paintings include The Last Supper and the Lady with an Ermine but he got much fame for creating the most famous painting,
The Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci is known to have mastery in painting.
With his paintings, he has influenced several artists and painters throughout history.
Michelangelo is a renowned Italian painter, sculptor, and architect who has influenced a lot of sculptors and painters of the time through his incredible mastery.
As a grand artist of visual arts, his skills were beyond versatile. He was another famous visual artist that was a true Renaissance man.
His few artworks including “David” and “Sistine Chapel Ceiling” are considered the best in the world.
He is undoubtedly one of the most influential visual artists of his time, excelling in both sculpture and painting to a degree that has rarely been equally.
This artistic genius of all time created such masterpieces that guarantee him a place of honor in the history of painting.
Another artist who has graced the world of art is Rembrandt van Rijn.
He is famous for his passion for still life portraits and paintings.
He is considered one of the best visual artists of all time in terms of his absolute mastery of light and shadowing, creating some of the most realistic scenes of his era.
Along with this, he was also known for his artwork of genre scenes, landscapes, animal studies as well as historical scenes.
This Dutch painting genius has created several paintings that are known for the innermost thoughts and emotional content.
He usually applied the painting techniques of Caravaggio in his pieces of art. Now, he’s one of the most known visual artist names in history.
In short, he is the greatest visual artist in the history of Dutch Art.
Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian painter, is one of the first female artists who saw a huge success in the field of art.
As one of the best visual artists of all time, she was prolific in the number of paintings she contributed to the art scene.
Her role in art and her incredible skills have helped her to make a mark in the history of art.
She was the first woman who became a member of Accademia di Arte del Disegno.
She was known for her explosive as well as dynamic paintings.
Her famous visual arts are only gaining in fame over time.
Creative thinking and determination combined with technical skills, all can be found in the artwork of Artemisia Gentileschi.
06. Claude Monet
Claude Monet is one of the most influential visual artists in art history who was known for drawing the countryside in most of his paintings.
Today, he’s one of the popular visual artists of all time. Not only popular and famous, but by many considered the best visual artist of the mid to late 1800s.
While he was in Paris, instead of copying other artists in his work, he used to sit by the window and document everything that he saw including the changeable effects of light on the landscape.
He is said to be the best-known artist among Impressionists! He is a true artist of visual arts whose impact has not been forgotten.
07. Johannes Vermeer
One of the most important figures of art history is Johannes Vermeer who was known for his beautiful drawings where he used to represent light as a tangible object.
In terms greatest visual artists of all time, Vermeer has by some been considered one of the best at realism in painting, perhaps using a camera obscura to precisely render his stunning paintings.
He was famous for genre painting and even made a success from this.
The fact is he is one of the greatest artists of all time who influence lives on today.
08. Jan Van Eyck
If we discuss the Northern Renaissance, a name that always comes to our mind as a visual artist is Jan Van Eyck.
No artist of visual arts doesn’t know of the impeccable technique of van Eyck, who was well ahead of this time.
Jan was a respected artist of his time and still, most of his works are copied by the artists of today.
He was famous for creating some incredible pieces of art including Dresden Triptych, Crucifixion, and the Last Judgment diptych, The Fountain of Life, Annunciation, and much more.
His Portrait of a Man in a Turban got much fame. It is with all these combined that he is now considered one of the best visual artists.
He was the only painter in the era of the Northern Renaissance who used to sign his paintings.
09. Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh was a remarkable painter who was known for his unique bright color relationship and brushwork in his paintings.
Almost always considered one of the best visual artists of all time, his Starry Night has long been established as one of the most famous works of art of all time.
He was born in the Netherlands.
Most of his paintings got success but especially still-life portraits earned him a huge success.
He used to draw the portraits of his friends.
He’s now easily become of the most beloved and popular visual artists of all time.
In fact, his paintings are said to be the most beloved and famous of all time.
The next important artist in our list of world-famous visual artists is Raphael.
This visual artist and their works are some of the most famous of the Renaissance, a transformative period in Italy for visual art.
He is a great influential artist who became very popular in his time as he was a young artist.
Besides, he created many beautiful pieces of art that are still remembered and copied by the people of this age.
Now, he’s known as a great artist of visual arts.
His most famous artworks include:
- The School of Athens
- Sistine Madonna
- La belle jardiniere
- The Triumph of Galatea
- The Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione
11. JMW Turner
JMW Turner is a well-known British romantic painter whose outstanding pieces of work continue to thrill people after their initial creation.
Whenever you’ve got a list of visual artists from Britain, he’s almost inevitably going to be near the top of the list.
Played with colors, brushes light, he was able to create some remarkable artworks, made with oil paints and watercolors.
His paintings are full of bold colors and brush strokes.
Among visual art artists, his dynamic and explosive landscapes give a great sense of the sublime in nature.
The painting techniques that he used in his work made his artwork a roadmap to modern art!
12. Auguste Rodin
Another visual artist of all time is Auguste Rodin who is known as the best sculptor of the modern era.
In terms of the most famous visual artists, Rodin is one of the greatest modern sculptors with his most famous work is ‘The Thinker.’
This dedicated and hardworking sculptor used clay and model stone in his artworks to make them unique and famous of all time.
There is no doubt that his sculptures have become some of the most famous visual arts in history.
He is, in fact, an accomplished artist who never stops working with landscapes, nudes, still life, and portraits.
13. Edgar Degas
One of the most influential French visual artists of all time is Edgar Degas.
First, he studied law as wished by his father but he ended up with painting.
People know him for his pastel drawings as well as an oil painting.
Prominent in the Impressionist group, Edgar Degas fills the gap between traditional art and the radical movements of the 20th century.
His paintings are known for his ability to include the subject of dance and movement in his work.
For his ability to capture movement and rest, his famous ballerinas always looked like they were just about to leap out of his paintings, making him one of the best visual artists of all time.
Most of his work depicts dancers.
Born in Florence, Donatello was a great Italian sculptor of the Renaissance.
No list of visual artists from Renaissance Italy is complete without the remarkable forerunner of Donatello, whose sculpture dominated the scene until other artists came into their own.
Known as the greatest artist of the 15th century, Donatello, he was quite skilled at working with bronze and marble in his artwork. His most important works include the sculptures of St. George and St. Mark.
Another world-famous artist is Titian. He was one of the renowned Italian artists who live in the hearts of people to date.
He was an international visual artist of real fame even during his lifetime for his stunning Neo-classical works.
His beautiful pieces of art, painted with extreme attention to detail, represent the religious scenes. These famous visual arts are stunning in person.
16. Marcel Duchamp
The next most influential artist is Marcel Duchamp who has a great role in the Art Establishment of the time.
In the 20th century, Duchamp is one of the most famous visual artists, or perhaps infamous, of the early part of that period.
Although in terms of skill he is not one of the best visual art artists, it is in his radicality and innovation of ideas that he broke through.
He is included in the list of those artists who have left their mark on the art world.
17. Paul Cezanne
Known as the “Father of Modern Art”, Paul Cezanne was a famous artist and painter.
He is one of the most influential visual artists in terms of moving art from Impressionism to newer forms.
He was known for his beautiful artworks including basic shapes and forms.
Through his work, he always tried to fill the gap between the Impressionism of the 19th century and the new line of art in the early 20th century.
Easily among the best visual artists in France at the time of his painting, he helped to shape the course of art.
People know him because of his search for solutions to the problems of representation.
18. Rene Magritte
One of the best and famous visual artists is Rene Magritte.
An international visual artist based in France, he was one of the first great ‘conceptual’ artists, making images that make you think.
Through his artwork, he has influenced several musicians and painters as he used to create various witty as well as thought-provoking images.
Another artist of the early 20th century is Tamara de Lempicka who used to display rich and vivid colors in her paintings to make them attractive and unique.
One of the more popular visual artists of her era, her works are now gaining more attention and popularity.
It’s wonderful that more famous visual arts like hers are coming to the forefront.
20. Mary Cassatt
The next influential female artist is Mary Cassatt.
She’s one of the most known visual artist names among American artists.
She created attractive paintings and drawings using bright colors and loose brushstrokes.
People used to praise her work due to her focus on mother and children in her drawings.
In fact, she wanted to depict the feeling of motherhood through her work.
As an excellent artist of visual arts, her work is continuing to grow in appreciation.
All the paintings of Mary Cassatt on the subject of motherhood continue to mesmerize us till date.
So these are the famous visual artists who are not only known for their style but their work is still fascinated by the art world.
We understand that most readers will not fully agree with the list but this list is only intended as a tribute to art, keeping in view the influence these artists have on the development of art movements.
These artists have adopted some incredible techniques to create a maximum effect in their artwork. Having a profound impact on art, all these artists have created amazing masterpieces.
They have not only pushed the boundaries but have also made some great innovations.
Remember art is not something that every person can comprehend.
It is much difficult for an artist to disclose his/her artwork to the people and communicate the message that he/she wants to show through the work.
The contribution of all these artists (mentioned above) in the field of art has made them popular.
Question of the Day: What do you think is the greatest artist of all time? Tell us in the comments section!
Visual Artists FAQ
What are the names of the most world famous visual artists?
To name a few of the most world famous visual artists, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí are definitely on the list. These all-time greatest visual artists have managed to leave a lasting impact on the world of art—continuing to inspire generations.
What is an example of a visual artist?
Let’s talk about Ana Mercedes Hoyos, a Colombian painter famous for her vibrant, colorful works. Phenomenal visual artist example at that. As an international visual artist, Hoyos has had the opportunity to exhibit her artwork. To see her work you can go to galleries and museums all around the world.
What are the 3 types of visual art?
The 3 types of visual art are painting, sculpture, and printmaking. These forms of visual arts enable artists to express their creativity and talent.
How do visual artists get paid?
To make a living, visual artists can explore various avenues such as selling their artwork—accepting commissions for custom pieces, teaching art, or working for art-related businesses. Some popular visual artists might also earn income by licensing their art for use on products or in advertising campaigns.