Famous 16th Century Artists & Painters

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Find out more about the greatest 16th Century Painters, including Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Sandro Botticelli, Diego Velázquez and El Greco.
Vote for Your Favourite 16th Century Artists & Painters
 1 
Leonardo da Vinci
(Italian Polymath & Artist Known for His Paintings: ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘Virgin of the Rocks’)
Leonardo da Vinci
42
Birthdate: April 15, 1452
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Anchiano, Italy
Died: May 2, 1519

Widely regarded as one of the greatest painters ever, Leonardo da Vinci was an extremely talented polymath. While his work The Mona Lisa became the most famous portrait, his drawing The Vitruvian Man became a cultural icon. A man well ahead of his time, Leonardo is also known for his notes on science and invention.

 2 
Michelangelo
(Regarded as the Most Accomplished Artist of His Era (High Renaissance))
Michelangelo
28
Birthdate: March 6, 1475
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Caprese Michelangelo, Italy
Died: February 18, 1564

Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet Michelangelo was a prominent figure of the High Renaissance. He is credited to have influenced the Western art in unprecedented ways. He is widely regarded as the greatest artist of his age and one of the greatest artists of all time. He was equally revered and respected as an architect.

 3 
Caravaggio
(One of the Most Prominent Italian Painters of His Generation)
Caravaggio
16
Birthdate: September 29, 1571
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: July 18, 1610
Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio is best remembered for his influence on the Baroque style of painting. He pioneered a tactic known as tenebrism, and combined light and darkness to create his masterpieces. He was known for his erratic and aggressive nature and died under mysterious circumstances.
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 4 
Albrecht Durer
(German High Renaissance Painter Best Known for His Work ‘Meisterstiche’)
Albrecht Durer
9
Birthdate: May 21, 1471
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nuremberg, Germany
Died: April 6, 1528

Albrecht Durer was a German painter, theorist, and printmaker of the German Renaissance. During his 20s, Durer established his reputation as a popular printmaker across Europe, thanks to his high-quality woodcut prints. His popularity enabled him to work with major Italian artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Giovanni Bellini, and Raphael. Albrecht Durer also influenced generations of artists, especially in printmaking.

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 5 
Sandro Botticelli
(One of the Greatest Painters of the Florentine Renaissance)
Sandro Botticelli
11
Birthdate: 1445 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: May 17, 1510
Italian painter Sandro Botticelli was one of the most influential figures of the Early Renaissance. His works later influenced the Pre-Raphaelites. He is best known for his iconic works Primavera and The Birth of Venus and his versions of the Madonna and Child. He also painted the Sistine Chapel.
 6 
Hieronymus Bosch
6
Birthdate: 1450 AD
Birthplace: Burgundian Netherlands
Died: August 9, 1516
Hieronymus Bosch was a Dutch painter and a significant figure of the Early Netherlandish painting school. Most of his works are made of oil on oak wood and consist of religious themes and dark depictions of Hell. One of his notable works is The Garden of Earthly Delights.
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 7 
Peter Paul Rubens
(One of the Most Influential Artists of the Flemish Baroque Tradition)
Peter Paul Rubens
7
Birthdate: June 28, 1577
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Siegen, Germany
Died: May 30, 1640

Peter Paul Rubens is considered the most influential artist of the Flemish Baroque tradition. He lived during the Dutch Golden Age. His style of art emphasized movement, color, and sensuality. He painted altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings and also drew cartoons for the Flemish tapestry workshops. He was a classically educated humanist scholar as well.

 8 
Titian
(One of the Greatest Venetian Artists of the 16th-Century)
Titian
6
Birthdate: 1488 AD
Birthplace: Pieve di Cadore, Italy
Died: August 27, 1576
Trained by Giovanni Bellini as a boy, Titian also joined hands with Giorgione to work on a number of frescoes. The Renaissance artist is regarded as one of the key figures of the Venetian school and is remembered for his masterpieces such as the three miracles of Anthony of Padua.
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 9 
El Greco
(Greek Painter, Sculptor and Architect of the Spanish Renaissance)
El Greco
7
Birthdate: October 1, 1541
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Heraklion, Greece
Died: April 7, 1614
Artist Doménikos Theotokópoulos never let anyone forget his Greek heritage and almost always signed his art in Greek letters. Popularly known as El Greco, he was a significant figure of the Spanish Renaissance. His best-known works remain The Burial of the Count of Orgaz and The Assumption of the Virgin.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
5
Birthdate: 1525 AD
Birthplace: Breda or nearby, Duchy of Brabant, Habsburg Netherlands (modern-day Netherlands)
Died: September 9, 1569
Sixteenth-century Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder is remembered for his depiction of peasants through his paintings. His origins remain elusive, though most of his paintings carried his signature, which made it easy for researchers to trace the evolution of his art. Both his sons, too, became painters.
 11 
Hans Holbein the Younger
(One of the Greatest Portraitists of the 16th Century)
Hans Holbein the Younger
4
Birthdate: 1497 AD
Birthplace: Augsburg, Germany
Died: 1543 AD

Hans Holbein the Younger was a German printmaker and painter. Regarded as one of the 16th century's greatest portraitists, Holbein was also renowned for producing Reformation propaganda, satire, and religious art. Many of his portraits are now considered cultural icons. Holbein is also credited with contributing immensely to the evolution of book design.

 12 
Tintoretto
(One of the Most Important Artists of the Late Renaissance)
Tintoretto
4
Birthdate: 1518 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: May 31, 1594

Tintoretto, also known as Il Furioso, was a significant painter of the Venetian school and is remembered for his phenomenal speed of painting, his long strokes, and his depiction of humans in motion. His most notable works, such as Susanna in the Bath, embody Renaissance mannerism.

 13 
Nicolas Poussin
(French Painter)
Nicolas Poussin
5
Birthdate: June 15, 1594
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Near Les Andelys, Normandy, Kingdom of France (now France)
Died: November 19, 1665

The founder of the French Classical tradition, painter Nicolas Poussin was initially influenced by Venetian art but later deviated to antiquity. Most of his paintings showcased historical, mythological, biblical elements but some were also inspired by landscapes and poetry. The Death of the Virgin remains one of his best-known works.

 14 
Benvenuto Cellini
(Italian Goldsmith and Sculptor Best Known for His Sculpture 'Cellini Salt Cellar')
Benvenuto Cellini
4
Birthdate: November 3, 1500
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: February 13, 1571

Benvenuto Cellini was a 16th-century Italian goldsmith, sculptor, draftsman, and artist. The multifaceted artist wrote poetry and a famous autobiography as well. An important figure in Mannerism, he is known for creating pieces, such as the Cellini Salt Cellar and Perseus with the Head of Medusa. He was a member of the prestigious Accademia delle Arti del Disegno of Florence. 

 15 
Raphael
(Italian Painter and Architect of the High Renaissance)
Raphael
12
Birthdate: April 6, 1483
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Urbino, Italy
Died: April 6, 1520

Italian painter and architect Raphael, along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, formed the great trio who ushered in the High Renaissance. He is mostly known for his frescoes of the Vatican Palace and The School of Athens. He also designed the Chigi Chapel, among other structures in Rome.

 16 
Georges de La Tour
4
Birthdate: March 13, 1593
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vic-sur-Seille
Died: January 30, 1652
 17 
Giuseppe Arcimboldo
7
Birthdate: 1527 AD
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: July 11, 1593

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian painter best remembered for painting human figures, especially portrait heads, without using conventional facial features. His pictures of human heads were often made of objects like vegetables, fruits, flowers, books, and fish. Giuseppe Arcimboldo's works have influenced artists like Salvador Dalí, Shigeo Fukuda, Octavio Ocampo, István Orosz, Sandro del Prete, and Vic Muniz.

 18 
Giorgio Vasari
(Artist and Author Best Known for His Biographies of Italian Artists)
Giorgio Vasari
6
Birthdate: July 30, 1511
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Arezzo, Italy
Died: June 27, 1574

Giorgio Vasari was an Italian architect, painter, writer, engineer, and historian. He is best remembered for his work The Lives, a series of artist biographies, which is regarded as the art-historical writing's ideological foundation. Vasari is also credited with the formulation of the term Renaissance as it was first suggested by Jules Michelet based on Giorgio Vasari's text.

 19 
Lucas Cranach the Elder
(German Renaissance Painter and Printmaker)
Lucas Cranach the Elder
4
Birthdate: 1472 AD
Birthplace: Kronach, Germany
Died: October 16, 1553

German painter Lucas Cranach the Elder enriched the German Renaissance with his paintings and wood engravings. A court painter of the Electors of Saxony, he specialized in painting both nudes and ladies in fine clothing, and mostly depicted biblical and mythological themes. He also inspired the Danube school of Austria.

 20 
Giovanni Bellini
(Italian Renaissance Painter)
Giovanni Bellini
5
Birthdate: 1430 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: 1516 AD

Giovanni Bellini was an Italian painter who hailed from the famous Bellini family of painters. Giovanni is credited with revolutionizing Venetian painting, shifting it towards a more coloristic and sensuous style. Best remembered for creating paintings with detailed shadings and rich tints, Giovanni's work had a strong influence on the Venetian painting school.

 21 
Guido Reni
(Italian Baroque Painter Who Belonged to the Bolognese School)
Guido Reni
3
Birthdate: November 4, 1575
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: August 18, 1642

Italian Baroque painter Guido Reni was a major figure of the Bolognese School. His subjects were predominantly mythological and religious figures. Initially inspired by Annibale Carracci, he later deviated to lighter colors and free brushwork. His iconic works include the fresco Aurora and the composition Atalanta and Hippomenes.

 22 
Sofonisba Anguissola
(Renaissance painter)
Sofonisba Anguissola
6
Birthdate: 1532 AD
Birthplace: Cremona, Italy
Died: November 16, 1625
 23 
Paolo Veronese
(Italian Painter Who Became Famous for His Extremely Large Paintings of Mythology and Religion)
Paolo Veronese
3
Birthdate: 1528 AD
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
Died: April 19, 1588

Paolo Veronese was an Italian painter best remembered for his extremely large history paintings of mythology and religion, such as The Feast in the House of Levi and The Wedding at Cana. The leading Venetian painter of ceilings during his time, Paolo Veronese has always been appreciated for the splendor of his brushwork and the chromatic brilliance of his palette.

 24 
Annibale Carracci
(Italian Painter Known for His Works: ‘Butcher's Shop’, ‘The Beaneater’ and ‘An Allegory of Truth and Time’)
Annibale Carracci
4
Birthdate: November 3, 1560
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: July 15, 1609

Born to a tailor, Annibale Carracci set up a painters’ studio named Accademia degli Incamminati with his brother and cousin, thus establishing the famous Carracci family of painters. A significant figure of the Baroque movement, he is remembered for his iconic works such as Domine, Quo Vadis?

 25 
Bronzino
(Painter)
Bronzino
4
Birthdate: November 17, 1503
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: November 23, 1572
 26 
Matthias Grünewald
(German Renaissance Painter)
Matthias Grünewald
3
Birthdate: 1470 AD
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
Died: August 31, 1528

German Renaissance painter Matthias Grünewald, also known as Master Mathis, was the court painter of the elector of Mainz. His drawings were mostly made in black chalk. Of his religious works, the Isenheim Altarpiece still survives, though most of his works were destroyed in the Thirty Years' War.

 27 
Jan Brueghel the Elder
(Flemish Painter and the Son of the Eminent Flemish Renaissance Painter 'Pieter Bruegel the Elder')
Jan Brueghel the Elder
3
Birthdate: 1568 AD
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: January 13, 1625

Flemish painter Jan Brueghel the Elder is perhaps best remembered for his floral still lifes and landscapes. The second son of legendary Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, he was also nicknamed "Velvet" Brueghel and "Flower" Brueghel and was a court painter of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II.

 28 
Pieter Brueghel the Younger
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1564
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: October 10, 1638

Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel the Younger was the eldest son of legendary Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder. Mostly known for re-creating his father’s works, he also created numerous original paintings, mostly depicting rural life. His works now adorn museums in cities such as Paris and Amsterdam.

 29 
Joachim Patinir
(Flemish Renaissance Painter of History and Landscape Subjects)
Joachim Patinir
2
Birthdate: 1480 AD
Birthplace: Dinant, Belgium
Died: October 5, 1524

Joachim Patinir was a Flemish Renaissance painter best remembered for painting history and landscape subjects. He is credited with inventing world landscape, a style of panoramic Renaissance landscapes, which is considered Patinir's most significant contribution to Western art. Joachim Patinir also pioneered landscape as an independent genre.

 30 
Salai
(Artist)
Salai
5
Birthdate: 1480 AD
Birthplace: Oreno, Vimercate, Italy
Died: January 19, 1524

Italian artist Gian Giacomo Caprotti, better known by his pseudonym, Andrea Salaì, or Salai, had been one of Leonardo da Vinci’s favorite pupils. Also known as the Little Devil, he had entered da Vinci’s home at age 10 and later became his muse for paintings such as Bacchus and also his lover.

 31 
Parmigianino
(Painter)
Parmigianino
3
Birthdate: January 11, 1503
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Parma, Italy
Died: August 24, 1540
 32 
Wang Yangming
(Calligrapher)
Wang Yangming
3
Birthdate: October 26, 1472
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Yuyao, Zhejiang Province
Died: January 9, 1529
 33 
Pontormo
(Italian Mannerist Painter and Portraitist)
Pontormo
5
Birthdate: May 24, 1494
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Empoli, Italy
Died: January 2, 1557

Pontormo was an Italian Mannerist painter and portraitist from the Florentine School. His style was remarkably different from what characterized the art of the Florentine Renaissance. Orphaned young, he struggled for several years before he was able to establish his painting career. He painted many altarpiece canvases and frescoes, of which only a few survive today. 

 34 
Francesco Melzi
3
Birthdate: 1491 AD
Birthplace: Italy
Died: 1570 AD
 35 
John Lyly
(Writer)
John Lyly
3
Birthdate: 1553 AD
Birthplace: Kent, England
Died: October 31, 1606
 36 
Giambologna
(Italian Renaissance Sculptor)
Giambologna
3
Birthdate: 1529 AD
Birthplace: Douai, France
Died: August 13, 1608

Giambologna was a Flemish sculptor best remembered for his bronze and marble statuary in a Mannerist or late Renaissance style. Among his most important works are Mercury and the Rape of the Sabine Women. He also served as an important influence on other popular sculptors like Pierre Puget, Pietro Tacca, Alessandro Algardi, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. 

 37 
Antonio da Correggio
3
Birthdate: August 30, 1489
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Correggio, Italy
Died: March 4, 1534
 38 
Gerard van Honthorst
3
Birthdate: November 4, 1592
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Utrecht, Netherlands
Died: April 27, 1656
 39 
Vittore Carpaccio
(Former painter best known for a cycle of nine paintings, The Legend of Saint Ursula)
Vittore Carpaccio
3
Birthdate: 1465 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: 1525 AD
 40 
Agostino Tassi
3
Birthdate: 1578 AD
Birthplace: PePonzano Romano, Italy
Died: February 25, 1644
 41 
Quentin Massys
3
Birthdate: April 26, 1466
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Leuven, Belgium
Died: 1530 AD

Belgian painter Quentin Massys is remembered as one of the pioneers of the Antwerp school. While he was initially trained as a blacksmith, he began studying painting after falling for an artist’s daughter. His best-known works include The Money Changer and His Wife and The Old Man and the Courtesan.

 42 
Sebastiano del Piombo
3
Birthdate: 1485 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: June 21, 1547
 43 
Nicholas Hilliard
(One of the Most Influential Artists of the Elizabethan Period)
Nicholas Hilliard
3
Birthdate: 1547 AD
Birthplace: Exeter, England
Died: January 7, 1619
 44 
Lavinia Fontana
4
Birthdate: August 24, 1552
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: August 11, 1614
 45 
Giulio Romano
(Architect)
Giulio Romano
3
Birthdate: 1499 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: November 1, 1546
 46 
Pieter Claesz
(Painter)
Pieter Claesz
3
Birthdate: 1597 AD
Birthplace: Berchem, Antwerp, Belgium
Died: January 1, 1661

Pieter Claesz was a Dutch painter of still lifes who flourished during the Dutch Golden Age. He is best remembered for his work alongside other important Dutch Golden Age artist Willem Claesz Heda. Pieter Claesz and Heda worked in Haarlem and are credited with founding a well-known tradition of still life painting in the city. 

 47 
Pinturicchio
(Painter, illuminator)
Pinturicchio
3
Birthdate: 1454 AD
Birthplace: Perugia
Died: December 11, 1513
 48 
Hans Holbein the Elder
3
Birthdate: 1460 AD
Birthplace: Augsburg, Germany
Died: 1524 AD
 49 
Andrea del Sarto
3
Birthdate: July 16, 1486
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: September 29, 1530
 50 
François Clouet
3
Birthdate: 1515 AD
Birthplace: Tours, France
Died: September 22, 1572