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Top 10 Painters of all Time - the complete guide

Art is probably one of the most expressive forms known to man. Oftentimes it expresses the true feelings of the artist or addresses current issues from a new perspective. From the moment man first discovered art, there have been some incredible masterpieces created. We decided to take a look at the top 10 painters of all time and how they influenced art. 

Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian painter and polymath of the Rennaisance. He is widely considered one of the great painters of all time. He was known as the archetype of Rennaisance, with a feverish curiosity and inventive. He was a master at chiaroscuro, a painting technique that used contrasts of light and shadow, achieving three-dimensional volume. The facial features were not strongly defined but conveyed by soft variations of tone and color This technique is known as sfumato. Some of his most known painting is Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Bacchus. You can see his artworks in Vatican, Chape Sistine, The Louvre museum in Paris, National Gallery of art in Washington DC.


Michelangelo was an Italian painter, sculptor, architect, and poet. Along with Leonardo da Vinci, he is also known as Rennaisance Man. Michelangelo was obsessed with human forms, as you can see for example, in his work in the Sistine chapel. He frequently used in his works the buon fresco technique, which means that he painted quickly on wet plaster before it dried. His work demonstrated a blend of psychological insight, realism, and intensity that was never seen before in a piece of art. The most known art of his its the fresco found in the Sistine Chapel, Pieta, David.

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh was a dutch post-impressionist painter and it's one of the most famous figures of Western art. He adopted elements of Pointillism, a technique in which a multitude of small, colorful dots are applied to form an image. In just a decade he created 2.100 artworks, including 860 oil paintings, characterized by bold colors and dramatic effects. His most famous paintings are; The Starry Night, Sunflowers, Self-portrait. Most of them can be seen in Amsterdam, at the Van Gogh museum and in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.


Rembrandt was a Dutch painter and printmaker. He is considered one of the greatest visual artists in the world. He mastered the light and shadow technique and his paintings are remarkably realism due to this technique. He was known for his great portraits with emotional emphasis. Some of the best paintings of Rembrandt are; The Night Watch, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, Self Portrait with two circles, the Return of the Prodigal Son. 


Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was the most famous painter in Rome, but he also activated in Naples, Malta, and Sicily. His paintings show realistic the human state. He was famous for using dramatic light in his paintings, the technique named chiaroscuro, in a Baroque style. His work characteristics were; neutral backgrounds, emphasis on subjects and delivered mistakes in proportion. His most famous paintings are; Medusa, The Adolescent Bachus, The Cardsharps, Cupid as Victor.


His entire name was Raffaelo Sanzio da Urbino and was an Italian painter and architect in the High Renaissance period. His artworks are famous due to their clarity of form, composition and great visuality of the human form. He adopted numerous techniques such as; metal point, chalk, and pen. He realized in his paintings perfect figures, that transmit human warmth and serenity. He was known as one of the most famous painters of his period. His most famous paintings are La Dona Velata, Disputation of the Holy Sacrament, Sistine Madona, The School of Athens. 

Johannes Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter in the Baroque Period. He used techniques from the Rennaisance period such as chiaroscuro, mixed with his own utilization of light and shadow. His paintings focused on everyday life scenes from his neighborhood, his main focus was on objects rather than on portraits. He worked slowly and in a perfectionist way, and he used expensive pigments. His most known paintings are; Girl with a pearl earring, The milkmaid, View of Delft, The Little Street.

Claude Monet

His entire name was Oscar Claude Monet and was a French painter, one of the founders of French Impressionist painting. The primary technique used in Impressionist arts is the broken color, which is meant to achieve the sensation of light in a painting. Monet worked primarily in oil, but he also used pastels. He focused on texture, light, and brushstroke. The use of brushstroke allowed him to depict light in such a way that was never seen in Realism. His most famous paintings are; Impression, Sunrise, Bridge over a pond of water lilies, The Houses of Parliament, Sunset.

Salvador Dali

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali I Domenech, known simply as Salvador Dali, was a Spanish Surrealist painter born in Catalonia. He was known for his creative imagery and his complex oil paintings that showed fantastic images. Dali used the light and shadow technique for creating a dramatic effect and he used to feature women in his work. His paintings are a mix of real and imaginary, a bizarre style that defined his artwork. His most famous paintings are; The Burning Giraffe, The Elephants, The Persistence of Memory, The Great Masturbator.

Pablo Picasso

His entire name was Pablo Ruiz Picasso and was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, and ceramicist. He spent all of his mature life in Paris. He was one of the most dominant artists of the first of the 20th century, associated with pioneering Cubism. His painting style was mainly defined by Analytic Cubism, using monochrome and neutral colors. He produced original graphics by combining different techniques such as engraving, drypoint, etching, and aquatint. He was a surrealist painter. His most famous paintings are. Guernica, Woman with Flower, Girl before a mirror and Laying naked on a Red Cushion. Some of his paintings are available in museums from Barcelona, Antibes, Paris, and Madrid. 

Each artist listed above played an incredible role in the influence of art and how we see it today. Some of the masterpieces they created are exhibited in museums across the world and attract a multitude of tourists each year. It's easy to see why these 10 artists have been declared the best artists of all time.  

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