Famous Oil Painting Artists
Get to know the lives and painting styles styles of the most famous and most talented painters throughout the centuries. (You can read up more about the history of oil painting.)
Born Michelangelo Merisi, Caravaggio (the name of his birthplace in Italy) had great influence on the new Baroque style and is known for his dramatic style in chiaroscuro.
Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí Domènech is a 20th century surrealist and often dubbed eccentric. He was a master in crafting dreamlike imagery, developing the Paranoiac-critical method to access the subconscious for artistic, creative purposes.
Edgar Degas is regarded as one of the fathers of Impressionism, although he did not adopt their "color fleck" and even allegedly disapproved their work. He often painted horses and dancers, as well as historical paintings and portraits of individuals and groups, urging other artists to paint real-life scenes instead of mythological ones.
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was "nursed in the bosom of Impressionism" and fell in love with works by Manet, Money, Pissaro (his mentor), Renoir, Sisley, and Guillaumin. He took courageous steps in experimenting with bold, flat colors. Abandoning imitative forms of art, he took on Synthetist and Primitivist styles.
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Post-Impressionist and a pioneer of what became known as Expressionism—emotions expressed through controlling the intensity and shades of color. His works are usually boldly-colored yet subtle, distorted illustrations of people, places, and objects. (He is also famous for being mentally tormented: he cut off part of his ear, voluntarily entered an asylum, and killed himself. It is said he "painted as he did because he was mad.")
Francisco de Goya
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a painter to the Spanish Crown, also dubbed as one of the last of the old masters and first of the modern ones. He painted without compromise in subversive and subjective elements; his bold use of paint paved the way for 19th century realism and served as a role model for the later generations of Manet and Picasso.
Edward Hopper was motivated to realistically depict contemporary American life. His works use sharp lines, colors, and contrasts to capture the loneliness of vast spaces in urban scenes—from quiet diners to gas stations.
Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón, a Mexican painter and communist supporter, mixes styles of Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism in her works. These dramatic and colorful paintings often depict harshness, gore, and pain. Frida is the wife of another famous artist, Diego Rivera.
Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse is one of the leaders of the Fauvist movement. Unlike the others, however, he maintained a balance between color and line and abandoned the Impressionists' palette for intense colors, flat shapes, and controlled lines. He even outlasted the Fauvists, as his best works had been created after their decline.
Oscar-Claude Monet is unmistakably responsible for the Impressionist movement for it was his painting "Impression, Soleil Levant" (Impression, Sunrise) that was being referred to when an art critic had used the term "impressionism" to describe it, a derogatory comment. Monet liked to paint landscapes, especially "controlled nature"—often from several perspectives and different times of day.
Georgia Totto O'Keeffe is among the greatest painters of the 20th century, held in esteem since the 1920s. Her paintings are characteristically abstractions and representations of nature's objects such as flowers, rocks, and shells appearing in soft gradients and bright hues. They were bold, modern, expressive, even feminine and highly personal abstractions, but not self-absorbed.
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso is probably the most famous 20th century artists and is often the representative of this generation. The co-founder of cubism, Picasso's works are classified into a number of "periods": Blue Period, Rose Period, African-influenced Period, Analytic Cubism, and Synthetic Cubism. But it was only long after he had died critics recognized he had invented neo-expressionism, another sign he was ahead of his time.
Raphael / Raffaello Sanzio
Raffaello Sanzio (also Raffaello Santi, Raffaello da Urbino or Rafael Sanzio da Urbino), better known as Raphael, was one of the master painters during the Italian High Renaissance. His paintings, often revolving around religious figures and other luminaries, were described as perfect; his style went from thin and graceful to grandiose and powerful.
Rembrandt van Rijn
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is hailed as one of the greatest European painters, as well as the most important Dutch painter. Rembrandt was said to be unparalleled in combining "more delicate skill with more energy and power." His one and only goal was to achieve "die meeste ende di naetuereelste beweechgelickheijt" or "the greatest and most natural movement." His works on mythical, biblical, and historical themes are said to be full of compassion, without the stiff formality contained in the paintings of his contemporaries.
Tiziano Vecellio is also known as the greatest painter of the Venetial school during the Italian Renaissance. Titian is known for his vivid, even contrasting tints and shades, although in the latter part of his life paler and more subdued shades were chosen, and less adventurous he became. Yet his "unmatched handling of color" of myths, biblical scenes, and portraits have made him "the sun amidst small stars."
Johannes Vermeer van Delft stands side by side with Rembrandt as one of the best known painters in the Dutch Golden Age. Vermeer's paintings boast of careful composition and genius use of light applied to mostly domestic indoor themes, and managed to set him apart from the rest despite similarities in the style used with his contemporaries.
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, arguably the greatest and most famous painter who ever lived, is said to epitomize the universal man of the Renaissance. His works have a signature "smoky effect"—from his use of sfumato—as well as contrapposto, and a bird's eye background.
This article is courtesy of www.inforganization.org .