- Arts and Design
The most famous painters ever.
Best painters of all time
Can you choose the best 10 painters of all time ? Can you compare Leonardo Da Vinci with Vincent Van Gogh or Pablo Picasso with Cave Paintings ?
A top 10 list of the best painters of all time is not easily made. There are so many great artists to choose from. So many creative innovating painters that it probably always will be a personal list. But for a long time Leonardo and Van Gogh, Picasso and M.C. Escher, Vermeer, Rembrandt and Michelangelo where on the list of the best painters. If you look at the popularity ratings.
I will give you 2 lists of the top 10 painters of all time. A list of the 10 most popular painters and my own personal top 10 best painters ever.
You yourself may have a different list, or divide the list in art, modern art and contemporary art.
In the end we probably conclude that it is a bit of a silly question, like what is your favorite food. Well mine happens to be cheese fondue but, not on a hot summer night, to me it's more something for in the winter.
If you're a great fan of Johannes Vermeer as I am, this documentary is the one for you :Girl with a Pearl Earring. A film that's a painting in itself. - 4 STARS at amazon with over a 250 reviews!!
The best painters of all time - Great Artists: The Lives of 50 Painters Explored Through Their Work
The three most populair painters.
Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dali
First I'll start of with the three most popular painters. Without any doubt these are Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh and Salvador Dali.
Three completely different painters. And hardly comparible. Had Vincent van Gogh such a brilliiant technique that he could paint the Mona Lisa ? Nope. Did Salvador Dali had the vigorous, raw energy of Vincent van Gogh which made his paintings so famous ? Nope, They all had there own specific skills and vision towards the arts, and that's what made them unique and artists in the first place.
And what does it mean that they are the top 3 painters of the public ? Does this mean they are also the best ? I doubt it. But that's the fun of these lists, they make you wonder about art. they show us the value of taste and the influence of commerce. Why are these three artists in the top ten of best artists ever ?
In the case of Van Gogh, his diary and sad life story definitely adds to his fame. Leonardo da Vinci was besides painter a creative inventor as well. And he certainly was a genius who inspired many other artists.
Dali, well he was a character. His moustache and his whole life captures our imagination.
As by many famous artists, it's not only the work that make's them special, but also the life's they've lead.
Number 1 : Leonardo da Vinci - The most famous artist ever.
Leonardo da Vinci : maybe the most famous artist ever
Leonardo Da Vinci :
Leonardo da Vinci was an artist living in the golden age of the Renaissance, being a complete homo universalis and ever studying nature.
Leonardo did not make a lot of paintings in his life, and even less are finished. Because he liked to explore new things, developed new techniques and inventions. For instance, The Last Supper, which he made in Milan, has been in a terrible stage for ages, the painting was terribly done, technically wise. After a few years of completion The Last Supper already started to decay. This because Leonardo tried new techniques here. Compared with the fresco's of Michelangelo, The Last supper is terribly made.
But that said, the sketches, the livelihood of each disciple, the clever construction of the composition, which even led to the best seller "the da vinci code" makes up for the technique.
Of course besides his skill as a painter we know him as well as an inventor. Exploring machinery, helicopters,tanks even a bicycle. He truly was a Homo Universalis. A scientist, artist and thinker. To me his drawings are the most exceptional of all.
Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan
Number 2 : Vincent van Gogh - A cafe at night
Complete Letters of Vincent Van Gogh
An amazing story written down in the private letters of Vincent van Gogh. Through his writtings we understand how he thought and struggled with his art. An unique book.
Vincent van Gogh the most famous Dutch Artist living in France
Vincent Van Gogh : Probably most well known for cutting his ear off and drinking to much absinthe... Vincent van Gogh is one off those man in history full of mystery, misery, heroism and individualism. He would be a good character role for a movie nowadays. That said though, he did make beautiful paintings, like the starry night and the cypresses.
His story is well known because of his letters to his brother Theo are well kept. Probably the letters ad up to the fame of van Gogh as well. You can read about his health problems, artistic choices and social relations. Van Gogh was a man with a pasion which is reflected in his work. Paintings made with a very personal point of view towards the world.
An complete book full of sketches, drawings and paintings of Van Gogh including text from his letters.
Number 3 : Salvador Dali - Surealism - a master mind
The Famous Spanish Painter Salvador Dali was well known for his surrealistic paintings
Salvador Dali : Ah, good old Salvador, a painter with a personal language, like all good artists, personally I'm not a fan of his work, but he is definitely one of the most famous painters around. His strange and grotesque deformations of bodies and objects are well known. The watch, melting on branch, elephants with long skinny legs, The pictures are sometimes disturbing and are shifting there forms. A skull made out women, his surreal surroundings make us think and wonder about our own world. Is it real or is it just a dream. a perpetual possibility.
Number 4 : Rembrandt van Rijn - master of the light
Rembrandt a great Dutch master of the Golden Age
Rembrandt, ah master of the light. Theater director par excellence. His canvas was a stage, and drama was his middle name. He knew all the tricks of the trade, How to capture the eye of the beholder, how to create emotion and life by a simple brushstroke. He played with light, fully aware of it's emotional impact. Dark obscure corners that play with your imagination. The light focused on the center of attention. Rembrandt van Rijn was an architect building his paintings with light beams and dark matter.
Number 5 : Pablo Picasso - A modern way of painting
The most famous painter of Modern Art : Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso : A woman, a bull and and Cuernica. Picasso had a huge inpact on modern painting. His ideas about space and expression changed the landscape of the arts. A canvas was no longer a flat surface and if you wanted depth, you had to use perspective. No Picasso through awai perspective, but still was able to create space and depth. By painting a portrait en face and en profile at the same time. (Like in the modern movies where the camera circles around the hero, think of Nero in The MAtrix)
Pablo Picasso painted mainly woman and bulls, but he made an magnificent work about the Spanish war, Cuernica is a modern masterpiece, comparable with Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. Picasso puts so much emotion into the large canvas that it's almost overwhelming. Like the terrible emotions that accompanies wars probably will be.
Number 6 : Johannes Vermeer - The mystery painter
Johannes Vermeer : The Dutch artist who painted small paintings as master pieces
Johannes Vermeer, a master of the arts, mysterious. There are no known drawings by his hand. We only know about his paintings. The girl with the Pearl Earring is the northern Mona Lisa. She's quit, mystical almost. Jus like the Mona Lisa, she keeps her thoughts to herself. Johannes Vermeer played with light too, but on a different level then Rembrandt. The two couldn't be more different. All the paintings of Vermeer are like silent scenes, even those where there is a music being played. The paintings are devote and almost holy. In contrast of the paintings of Rembrandt, where the players are over acting sometimes. Johannes Vermeer is maybe not as famous as Rembrandt but he should definitely be in the top 10 of best painters of all time
The Girl with the Pearl Earing
Vermeer: The Complete Works - Painter of the girl with the pearl earring
Number 7 : Pieter Paul Rubens
Pieter Paul Rubens: The famous Belgian Painter with a frivolous brush stroke
Rubens, Pieter Paul Rubens and his round well shaped ladies. If Rubens lived today, he would be horrified by the stick insects walking the cat walk and showing the latest fashion. No not skinny models for Rubens. Rubens probably could have a long and in depth conversation with Robert Crumb, about the shape of the lady in person. And he probably would agree with R. Crumb that the bean shape would be best.
Yes Rubens loved woman and he uses many Greek stories as an excuse to paint them in abundance. He was a brilliant painter, exorbitant and vividly. He was also a noble merchant and his whole studio was full of apprentances learning the secrets of the painting trade.
Master Painter Pieter Paul Rubens - One of the famous painters
In contrast of Johannes Vermeer who only painted a couple of paintings, Pieter Paul Rubens painted over a 2000 pictures, drawings not counted.
Number 8 : Wassily Kandinski - The first abstract watercolor
Kandisky : a Modern Master of the early 20th century.
Wassily Kandinsky : Known for the first abstract painting he became an icon of modernism. Although it's always doubtful to give somebody such a credit (there where more, but less known painters painting abstract works around this time) he still was one influential painter and gave a start to the abstract movement. A movement that went to all kinds of directions, from Malevich and his constructivism up to Abstract Expressionism of Willem The Kooning. Abstract art is here to stay. I gave painting a new impulse, and art as a whole as well. It was not longer necessary to use figurative elements to express the feelings and ideas of the artists. Like music, which was of great importance in the work of Wassily Kandinsky, art became abstract.
Number 9 : Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni - The Sistine Chapel
Mischelangelo famous master of the Sistine Chapel.
Mischelangelo : Mmm... personally I think he was not such a good painter, but a brilliant sculptor and draftsman. His drawings are superb and amazing, but his paintings lack finesse in tone and character. His giants of the Sistine Chapel always looked grotesque and over done to me. He was showing of, and by doing so he forgot to put character in the paintings, it's to fake for me.
But that said, I could not have done it myself, no way... And how he painted the Sistine Chapel in such a short time is amazing. Using the Fresco technique is difficult and you have to work fast. So it definitely is a a miracle, but not my taste. I love his drawings though and sculptures. But Michelangelo definitely has to be on the list of the 10 best painters ever.
His experimentation with bodies, gestures and movement are unique and outstanding. A special artist all together.
Rare footage of Wassily Kandinsky Painting - Take a close look at the master painter Wassily Kandinsky
Number 10 : Sigmar Polke - The Contemporary Master
Sigmar Polke : Alchemist and an influential modern painter
Sigmar Polke : A painter not well known to the wide public but he had a huge influence on the artists who are working today. His eclectic style showed the artworld and a new generation of artists that painting wasn't dead as was declared in the 70's. Sigmar Polke, together with Gerhard Richter gave the public something refreshing to look at.
Of course during the 80's there where Baselitz and Immendorf, but to me they are miner players in art history. Sigmar Polke was not only extremely technicaly good, he was a real master in the trade and was often compared with the old Alchemists of Newtons time. But Polke also had the bright intellect to give his paintings not only a dozen or so layers of paint but also a dozen different layers of meaning. Images from newspapers and cartoons go together with images of war and reality.
He also had a good self reflection, and the titles of his works and exhibitions shows his wit. Titles like : "The three lies of painting", "Sigmar Polke: History of Everything" One of the best titles for a painting ever is "I Live in My Own World, but It's OK, They Know Me Here" -
Sigmar Polke: Alibis at Tate Modern
My personal list of best modern painters
Top 10 list of best painters ever.
As said, to make a list of the best painters ever is difficult. Above I gave a list of most the popular painters. These though are not always may personal choice!!!!
So here they is my personal list of the painters I find most interesting.
The best Modern Art Museums of the world. - Great websites to explore
It's not always possible to go to a museum. Luckily the great modern art museums of the world do have websites. Now you can get the taste of modern art by visiting the modern art museum websites. I made a list of links of modern art museums to visit. Enjoy.
Would you make a different list ? Is there one painter in particular that deserves to be in the top ten.
What do you think. Hope you liked the lens.