Famous 16th Century Artists & Painters

Find out more about the greatest 16th Century Painters, including Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Sandro Botticelli, Diego Velázquez and El Greco.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci.
26
Famous As: Polymath
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

Michelangelo.
21
Famous As: Sculptor
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.

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 3 Caravaggio

Caravaggio.
9
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 29, 1571
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milan
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.

 4 Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens.
5
Famous As: Painter & Printmaker
Birthdate: June 28, 1577
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Siegen, Nassau-Dillenburg (now North Rhine-Westphalia, 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.

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 5 El Greco

El Greco.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 1, 1541
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Heraklion, Crete
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.

 6 Diego Velázquez (Painter)

Diego Velázquez (Painter).
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 6, 1599
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Seville
Died: August 6, 1660

Diego Velázquez was a Spanish painter who served as the most important artist in King Philip IV's court. The leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age, Velázquez's work served as a model for impressionist and realist painters of the 19th century. In the 20th century, personalities like Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso re-interpreted some of Velázquez's most iconic images.

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 7 Artemisia Gentileschi

Artemisia Gentileschi.
8
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 8, 1593
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rome
Died: 1656 AD
Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi was a prominent artist of the 17th century. She was the first female member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno and was known for her depiction of the female form. She was raped by painter Agostino Tassi and participated in a 7-month trial.
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 8 Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
4
Famous As: Artist
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.
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 9 Hans Holbein the Younger

Hans Holbein the Younger.
4
Famous As: Artist
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.

 10 Tintoretto

Tintoretto.
4
Famous As: Renaissance Painter
Birthdate: September 29, 1518
Sun Sign: Libra
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.

 11 Benvenuto Cellini

Benvenuto Cellini
4
Famous As: Goldsmith
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. 

 12 Nicolas Poussin

Nicolas Poussin.
5
Famous As: French Painter
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.

 13 Georges de La Tour

Georges de La Tour
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 13, 1593
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vic-sur-Seille
Died: January 30, 1652

 14 Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo.
5
Famous As: Painter
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.

 15 Anthony van Dyck

Anthony van Dyck.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 22, 1599
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Antwerp
Died: December 9, 1641

Anthony van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist who started painting at an early age before going on to become the leading court painter in England. Although he is best remembered for painting the aristocracy, van Dyck also painted biblical and mythological subjects. In 1632, Anthony van Dyck received a knighthood from Charles I.

 16 Giorgio Vasari

Giorgio Vasari.
5
Famous As: Painter, Architect
Birthdate: July 30, 1511
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Arezzo, Tuscany
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.

 17 Lucas Cranach the Elder

Lucas Cranach the Elder
4
Famous As: Painter
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.

 18 Salai

Salai
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: 1480 AD
Birthplace: Oreno, Vimercate, Italy
Died: January 19, 1524

 19 John White

John White
5
Famous As: Artist, Painter
Birthdate: 1540 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: 1593 AD

 20 Paolo Veronese

Paolo Veronese
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: 1528 AD
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
Died: April 19, 1588

 21 Sofonisba Anguissola

Sofonisba Anguissola
5
Famous As: painter, artist, visual artist
Birthdate: 1535 AD
Birthplace: Cremona
Died: November 16, 1625

 22 Matthias Grünewald

Matthias Grünewald
3
Famous As: Painter
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.

 23 Bronzino

Bronzino
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 17, 1503
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: November 23, 1572

 24 Annibale Carracci

Annibale Carracci.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 3, 1560
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bologna
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 Joachim Patinir

Joachim Patinir
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1480 AD
Birthplace: Dinant, Belgium
Died: October 5, 1524

 26 Parmigianino

Parmigianino
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 11, 1503
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Parma, Italy
Died: August 24, 1540

 27 Antonio da Correggio

Antonio da Correggio
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 30, 1489
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Correggio, Italy
Died: March 4, 1534

 28 Francesco Melzi

Francesco Melzi
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1491 AD
Birthplace: Italy
Died: 1570 AD

 29 John Lyly

John Lyly
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 1553 AD
Birthplace: Kent, England
Died: October 31, 1606

 30 Giambologna

Giambologna
3
Famous As: Sculptor
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. 

 31 Wang Yangming

Wang Yangming
3
Famous As: Calligrapher
Birthdate: October 26, 1472
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Yuyao, Zhejiang Province
Died: January 9, 1529

 32 Andrea del Sarto

Andrea del Sarto
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 16, 1486
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: September 29, 1530

 33 Quentin Massys

Quentin Massys
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 26, 1466
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Leuven, Belgium
Died: 1530 AD

 34 Sebastiano del Piombo

Sebastiano del Piombo
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1485 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: June 21, 1547

 35 Nicholas Hilliard

Nicholas Hilliard
3
Famous As: painter
Birthdate: 1547 AD
Birthplace: Exeter
Died: January 7, 1619

 36 Lavinia Fontana

Lavinia Fontana
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 24, 1552
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: August 11, 1614

 37 Giulio Romano

Giulio Romano
3
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: 1499 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: November 1, 1546

 38 Piero di Cosimo

Piero di Cosimo
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 2, 1462
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: April 12, 1522

 39 Sesshū Tōyō

Sesshū Tōyō
3
Famous As: Visual Artist
Birthdate: 1420 AD
Birthplace: Yamaguchi, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan
Died: August 26, 1506

Born into a samurai family, Sesshū Tōyō grew up to be a master painter of the Muromachi period. He excelled in monochrome ink and wash painting, also known as sumi-e. His works depicted Buddhist scenes and nature. Long Scroll of Landscapes remains one of his best-known paintings.

 40 François Clouet

François Clouet
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1515 AD
Birthplace: Tours, France
Died: September 22, 1572

 41 Maarten van Heemskerck

Maarten van Heemskerck
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 1, 1498
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Heemskerk, Netherlands
Died: October 1, 1574

 42 Lorenzo Lotto

Lorenzo Lotto
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1480 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: 1557 AD

 43 Hans Holbein the Elder

Hans Holbein the Elder
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1460 AD
Birthplace: Augsburg, Germany
Died: 1524 AD

 44 Pietro da Cortona

Pietro da Cortona
3
Famous As: Painter, Architect, Artist
Birthdate: November 1, 1596
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cortona
Died: May 16, 1669

 45 Cinquecento

Cinquecento
2
Birthdate: 0000 AD

 46 Il Sodoma

Il Sodoma
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1477 AD
Birthplace: Vercelli, Italy
Died: February 14, 1549

 47 Tilman Riemenschneider

Tilman Riemenschneider
2
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: 1460 AD
Birthplace: Heilbad Heiligenstadt, Germany
Died: July 7, 1531

 48 Tang Yin

Tang Yin
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 6, 1470
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wu County
Died: January 7, 1524

 49 Lucas Cranach the Younger

Lucas Cranach the Younger
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 4, 1515
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wittenberg, Germany
Died: January 25, 1586

 50 Gerard David

Gerard David
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1460 AD
Birthplace: Oudewater, Netherlands
Died: August 13, 1523