Most Famous Artists of All Time

A person cutting a piece of paper

From the Renaissance to Pop Art, here are some of the most famous artists of all time. Unlike films, art isn’t something everybody understands. So it takes a lot for an artist to really disclose in the public mind and acquire credit for being brilliant.

The truth is, to be distinguished as an artist implies that your work has survived the test of time, and that’s valid for our selection of the most famous artists considered here—some of who can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim, and several other areas. So, without further ado, here’s our list of the most famous artists of all time.

Andy Warhol

A group of people in a church

Beginning out as a commercial artist, he brought the ethos of promotion into fine art, even going so far as to say, “Making money is art.” Such attitudes blew away the existential declarations of Abstract Expressionism. Although he’s recognized for captions such as Campbell’s Soup, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis Presley, his greatest invention was himself.

Pablo Picasso

A painting of a man and woman posing for a photo

Pablo Picasso is implicitly synonymous with modern art, and it doesn’t hurt that he fits the generally held image of the fugitive genius whose goals are balanced by a taste for living big. He turned the field of art history with radical innovations that include college and Cubism, which destroyed the stranglehold of representational material matter on art, and set the rate for other 20th-century artists.

Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh is known for being psychologically unstable, but his arts are among the most popular and most famous artists of all time. Van Gogh’s technique of painting with flurries of thick brushstrokes made up of vivid colours squeezed straight from the tube would inspire subsequent generations of artists.

Leonardo da Vinci

The original Renaissance Man, Leonardo is known as a genius, not only for masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper and The Lady with an Ermine but also for his designs of technologies (aircraft, tanks, automobile) that were five hundred years in the future.


Michelangelo was a triple threat: A painter (the Sistine Ceiling), a sculptor (the David and Pietà) and architect (St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome). Make that a quadruple warning since he also wrote poetry. Aside from the aforementioned Sistine Ceiling, St. Peter’s Basilica and Pietà, there was his tomb for Pope Julian II and the design for the Laurentian Library at San Lorenzo’s Church.

Henri Matisse

No artist is as intimately attached to the delights of colour as Henri Matisse. His work was all about twisted curves rooted in the ideas of symbolic art and was constantly concentrated on the beguiling satisfaction of colour and tone.

Jackson Pollock

Hindered by addiction, self-doubt, and awkwardness as a conventional painter, Pollock transformed his faults in a short but intense period between 1947 and 1950 when he performed the drip ideas that connected his fame. Avoiding the easel to lay his paintings flat on the floor, he used house paint right from the can, throwing and dropping thin skeins of pigment that left behind a solid record of his movements.

These are the most famous artists of all time.

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