Famous 20th Century Artists & Painters

Find out more about the greatest 20th Century Painters, including Bob Ross, Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Jackson Pollock and Matthew Gray Gubler.

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

Vote for Your Favourite 20th Century Artists & Painters

 1 
Pablo Picasso
(One of the Most Influential Artists of the 20th Century and Co-Founder of the 'Cubist Movement')

Pablo Picasso
25
Birthdate: October 25, 1881
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Málaga, Spain
Died: April 8, 1973

Pablo Picasso was a renowned artist whose paintings sell by millions of dollars at auctions even today, many years after his death. With masterful strokes, attractive shades and rich textures, Picasso created some of the most visually impressive arts of the 20th century. While exploring new styles and experimenting with different techniques, Picasso co-founded Cubist art style and co-invented collage.

 2 
Andy Warhol
(Artist, Director)

Andy Warhol
18
Birthdate: August 6, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 22, 1987

Andy Warhol was an artist and filmmaker who played a key role in the visual art movement. Thanks to his extensive body of work, he has been the subject of various films, books, and retrospective exhibitions. Described as the bellwether of the art market, some of Warhol's works are among the most expensive paintings ever sold.

 3 
Salvador Dali
(Surrealist Painter)

Salvador Dali
9
Birthdate: May 11, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Figueres, Spain
Died: January 23, 1989

Salvador Dali was a Spanish artist best remembered for his precise draftsmanship and technical skills. His artwork is famous for depicting bizarre and striking images. In spite of producing brilliant artworks, Dali's ostentatious and eccentric public behavior often overshadowed his professional achievements, much to the irritation of his fans and critics. His works have influenced other artists like Jeff Koons.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat
14
Birthdate: December 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: August 12, 1988

Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist whose legacy has had an influence upon fashion, film, music, and literature. He serves as an inspiration to street artists as he started off as one, painting graffiti on buildings. After his death, at the age of 27, the value of his work has increased; in 2017, one of his paintings sold for a record $110.5 million.

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 5 
Claude Monet
(Painter)

Claude Monet
13
Birthdate: November 14, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rue Laffitte, Paris, France
Died: December 5, 1926

Claude Monet was a French painter. The founder of French Impressionist painting, Monet's painting Impression, soleil levant gave rise to the term Impressionism. Often dubbed the driving force behind Impressionism, Monet mastered the art of painting the same scene several times so as to capture the changing of the light. Since his death, his paintings have sold for record prices.

 6 

Jackson Pollock
13
Birthdate: January 28, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cody, Wyoming, United States
Died: August 11, 1956
Abstract Expressionist artist Jackson Pollock pioneered the drip technique or action painting, which involved moving his whole body to paint on a horizontal surface. Unfortunately, he struggled with alcoholism and died in a car accident, while drunk driving. He inspired a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography and the 2000 film Pollock.

 7 
Henri Matisse
(Painter)

Henri Matisse
9
Birthdate: December 31, 1869
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France
Died: November 3, 1954

Henri Matisse was a French artist. Although he was known for his skills as a painter, Matisse was also a renowned sculptor, printmaker, and draughtsman. Along with Picasso, Matisse is regarded as one of the artists who contributed immensely to the revolutionary developments in visual arts. His works also influenced other painters who would adopt a technique called intense colorism.

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 8 
Gustav Klimt
(Painter)

Gustav Klimt
8
Birthdate: July 14, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baumgarten, Vienna, Austria
Died: February 6, 1918

Austrian symbolist painter, Gustav Klimt, was one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. His primary subject was the female body, and he produced numerous paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. He was known for his deliberate painting style. He successfully avoided personal scandal despite having an active sex life.

 9 
Edvard Munch
(Painter)

Edvard Munch
9
Birthdate: December 12, 1863
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ådalsbruk, Norway
Died: 1944 AD

Norwegian painter Edvard Munch is remembered for his iconic works The Scream and The Frieze of Life - A Poem about Life, Love, and Death. His paintings exhibited themes that reflected his own psychological states. He was a significant member of the Symbolism movement but was banned by the Nazi.

 10 
Piet Mondrian
(Painter)

Piet Mondrian
6
Birthdate: December 12, 1863, 1872
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Amersfoort, Netherlands
Died: January 31, 1944

Dutch painter Piet Mondrian is remembered for pioneering what is known as 20th-century abstract art. He co-founded the De Stijl art movement with Theo van Doesburg and gave rise to Neoplasticism. His art was influenced by Cubism. Many of his paintings consist of geometric shapes in particular sets of colors.

 11 
David Hockney
(Painter)

David Hockney
8
Birthdate: July 9, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bradford

Painter, photographer, printmaker, and stage designer David Hockney is best known for his works such as Portrait of an Artist, which became the most expensive piece of art by a living artist ever auctioned, at $90 million. His works have explored themes such as homosexuality. He has synesthesia, too.

 12 
Paul Cezanne
(Artist)

Paul Cezanne
6
Birthdate: January 9, 1839
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aix-en-Provence, France
Died: October 22, 1906

French artist Paul Cézanne was a prominent Post-Impressionist painter and influenced much of the early-20th-century movement known as Cubism. Some of his notable works include The Card Players, The Bathers, and Pyramid of Skulls. He experimented with water colors and had created a host of still-life paintings.

 13 
Mark Rothko
(Painter)

Mark Rothko
8
Birthdate: September 25, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Latvia
Died: February 25, 1970

Considered part of the New York school of painters of the 1940s, Mark Rothko was best known for his signature color field paintings, consisting of vertically set rectangular patches of color. A significant figure of the Abstract Expressionist movement, he also experimented with murals and mythological themes.

 14 
Edgar Degas
(Impressionist Painter)

Edgar Degas
7
Birthdate: July 19, 1834
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 27, 1917

French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas is best remembered for his oil paintings and pastel drawings and for his signature use of dancers and bathing women as themes in his works such as Fin d'Arabesque and Woman in a Tub. He had also experimented with bronze sculptures and called himself a realist.

 15 

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
5
Birthdate: February 25, 1841
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Limoges, France
Died: December 3, 1919

French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, father of actor Pierre Renoir and director Jean Renoir, was a key Impressionist painter. His best-known works include The Swing, Diana, and Seated Girl. He was known for his use of vibrant colors and feminine sensuality in his works. He also painted landscapes and portraits.

 16 

Wassily Kandinsky
14
Birthdate: December 16, 1866
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: December 13, 1944
Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky is considered the pioneer of abstract art. Known for notable works such as On White II and Study for Improvisation, he was a prominent artist of the Blue Rider Period and experimented with expressionism. He also earned a professorship at the University of Dorpat

 17 
Frida Kahlo
(Painter)

Frida Kahlo
19
Birthdate: July 6, 1907
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico
Died: July 13, 1954

Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, was known for her many portraits and self-portraits. Her work is said to have been inspired by the nature, artifacts and popular culture of Mexico. Her work was not much known until the late 1970s, when it was rediscovered by art historians and political activists. By early 1990s, she became a recognized figure in art history.

 18 
Edward Hopper
(Realist painter)

Edward Hopper
6
Birthdate: July 22, 1882
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Upper Nyack, New York, United States
Died: May 15, 1967

 19 
Marcel Duchamp
(Artist Known for His Revolutionary Developments in the 'Plastic Arts' In the Early 20th Century)

Marcel Duchamp
6
Birthdate: July 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Blainville-Crevon, France
Died: October 2, 1968
French-American painter and sculptor Marcel Duchamp is remembered for his association with movements such as Cubism and Dadaism. A significant figure in conceptual art, he was against art that was meant to just cater to the eyes. He was also a skilled chess player and carved his own chess set.

 20 

Georgia O'Keeffe
10
Birthdate: November 15, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, United States
Died: March 6, 1986
Artist Georgia O'Keeffe enriched American modernism and precisionism with her artwork, mostly water color and charcoal paintings. She was the first female artist to have a retrospective at New York’s MOMA. Her paintings focused on the cityscapes and landscapes of New York and New Mexico, and abstract flowers.

 21 
Joan Miró
(Painter)

Joan Miró
4
Birthdate: April 20, 1893
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain
Died: December 25, 1983

Born to an artisan father in Catalan, Joan Miró was allowed to attend art school after falling sick working as a clerk. Known for combining surrealism and abstract art, he experimented with various forms of art, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics, and created masterpieces such as The Farm.

 22 
Egon Schiele
(Painter)

Egon Schiele
4
Birthdate: June 12, 1890
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tulln, Austria
Died: October 31, 1918

Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter whose work is well-known for its raw sexuality and intensity. An early exponent of Expressionism, Schiele was one of the early-20th century's most prominent figurative painters. His life and career inspired the 1980 biographical film Excess and Punishment, in which Schiele was played by German actor Mathieu Carrière. 

 23 
Diego Rivera
(Painter)

Diego Rivera
10
Birthdate: December 13, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Guanajuato, Mexico
Died: November 25, 1957
Mexican painter Diego Rivera is best remembered for his association with the mural movement and had created masterpieces such as The History of Mexico and the Detroit Industry Murals. He was inspired by cubism and post-impressionism. He had married, divorced, and remarried Frida Kahlo, the third of his four wives.

 24 
Paul Klee
(Painter)

Paul Klee
7
Birthdate: December 18, 1879
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland
Died: May 29, 1940
The father of abstract art, Paul Klee’s works contained elements of surrealism, cubism, and expressionism, but they were not part of any specific school. He was also a skilled violinist and an avid reader. He also taught at the Bauhaus and experimented with various media, such as oil, watercolor, and ink.

 25 
Francis Bacon
(Painter)

Francis Bacon
6
Birthdate: October 28, 1909
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: April 28, 1992

Francis Bacon was an English philosopher and statesman. He played a major role in the development of the scientific method and was an influential figure through the scientific revolution. He served as attorney general and as lord chancellor of England and was the first recipient of the queen's counsel designation. He has created Baron Verulam in 1618. 

 26 
Amedeo Modigliani
(Painter & Sculptor)

Amedeo Modigliani
6
Birthdate: July 12, 1884
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Livorno, Italy
Died: January 24, 1920

Amedeo Modigliani was an Italian Jewish painter and sculptor. He is remembered for his surrealist and modern-style depiction of nudes in his portraits. Even though he spent his youth in Italy, he worked mainly in France. He enjoyed little success while he was alive. He died young at the age of 35 and received massive posthumous appreciation for his works.

 27 
Max Ernst
(Primary Pioneer of the 'Dada Movement' and 'Surrealism' Known for His Work 'A Week of Kindness')

Max Ernst
7
Birthdate: April 2, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brühl, Germany
Died: April 1, 1976

Max Ernst was a German painter, graphic artist, sculptor, and poet. A pioneer of the Dada movement, Ernst played an important role in popularizing surrealism during the early-20th century. He is also credited with inventing a couple of techniques, namely frottage and grattage. In 2005, the Max Ernst Museum was opened in his honor in Brühl, Germany.

 28 
Bob Ross
(Painter)

Bob Ross
15
Birthdate: October 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Died: July 4, 1995

Painter, art instructor, and television host, Bob Ross, gained international fame as the creator and host of the instructional TV show, The Joy of Painting. He served in the United States Air Force for several years before embarking on a career as a painter. He had a deep love for animals and cared for several injured squirrels, armadillos, and snakes.

Rabindranath Tagore
14
Birthdate: May 7, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Died: August 7, 1941

Rabindranath Tagore was an Indian polymath who contributed greatly to the fields of literature, art, and philosophy. Referred to as the Bard of Bengal, Tagore is credited with reshaping Bengali literature and music. The first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, Tagore is also credited with composing the national anthems of India and Bangladesh.

 30 
Matthew Gray Gubler
(Actor, Director, Model, Painter)

Matthew Gray Gubler
23
Birthdate: March 9, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Las Vegas

American actor, Matthew Gray Gubler, is best known for playing the character of Dr Spencer Reid in the popular and acclaimed television series Criminal Minds. He has also acted in films like 500 Days of Summer, Suburban Gothic and How to Be a Serial Killer. He won a Daytime Emmy Award for his role in the television series, The Beauty Inside.

 31 
Roy Lichtenstein
(Painter, Sculptor)

Roy Lichtenstein
12
Birthdate: October 27, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Died: September 29, 1997

 32 
Dr. Seuss
(Children's Author And Illustrator)

Dr. Seuss
4
Birthdate: March 2, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 24, 1991

Dr. Seuss was an American children's author, illustrator, and political cartoonist. He is credited with writing some of the most famous children's books ever, including The Cat in the Hat. His works were translated into over 20 languages and sold more than 600 million copies by the time of his death. Many of his creations were adapted into animated cartoons.

 33 
Alexander Calder
(Sculptor, Painter)

Alexander Calder
6
Birthdate: July 22, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lawnton
Died: November 11, 1976

Alexander Calder was an American sculptor best remembered for his innovative kinetic sculptures designed to use either motor, air currents, or other forces of nature. A multi-talented personality, Calder was also known for his paintings, miniatures, prints, jewelry design, theater set design, political posters, and tapestries and rugs. In 1977, he was honored with the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 34 

Kazimir Malevich
4
Birthdate: February 23, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
Died: May 15, 1935

Kazimir Malevich was a Russian artist and art theorist. His pioneering work had a major influence on the development of abstract art in the 20th century. An influential personality, Malevich's art and writing influenced several artists like Lyubov Popova, El Lissitzky, Alexander Rodchenko, and Ad Reinhardt. His works are showcased in many major art museums around the world.

 35 
Jack Kirby
(Co-Creator of The Superhero 'Captain America' in 1940 with Joe Simon)

Jack Kirby
4
Birthdate: August 28, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 6, 1994
Jacob Kurtzberg, or Jack Kirby, initially published comics under various other pseudonyms, such as "Jack Curtiss" and "Curt Davis." He worked with Marvel, where he co-created characters such as The Fantastic Four and the X-Men, along with Stan Lee. He then joined DC, where he created the Fourth World Saga

 36 
Grace Slick
(Retired Singer-Songwriter - Was A Key Figure in San Francisco's Early 'Psychedelic Music' Scene in the Mid-1960s)

Grace Slick
5
Birthdate: October 30, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Highland Park, Illinois, United States

Grace Slick is a retired singer-songwriter. Slick played an important role in the psychedelic music scene that flourished in San Francisco during the mid-1960s. One of the earliest female rock stars, Slick played a key role in the development of rock music during the 1960s. She was named among the Greatest Women of Rock N Roll by VH1 in 1999.

 37 
Kim Novak
(Actress)

Kim Novak
4
Birthdate: February 13, 1933
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Kim Novak is best known as Madeleine Elster/Judy Barton from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. The two-time Golden Globe-winning actor also starred in movies such as The Mirror Crack'd and The Man with the Golden Arm, and the series Falcon Crest. She quit acting after an unpleasant experience while shooting for Liebestraum.

 38 
Yayoi Kusama
(Contemporary Artist)

Yayoi Kusama
4
Birthdate: March 22, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama is known for her variety of artforms, including sculpture, installations, paintings, and fashion. She mingles elements such as feminism, surrealism, and abstract expressionism, and expresses her struggle with mental illness through her art. She has also published books and produced an award-winning film. 

 39 
Zelda Fitzgerald
(Socialite & Referred to as 'The first American Flapper' by Her Husband 'F. Scott Fitzgerald')

Zelda Fitzgerald
4
Birthdate: July 24, 1900
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Died: March 10, 1948

Zelda Fitzgerald was a painter, socialite, and novelist. Along with her husband Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda became a prominent personality of the Jazz Age. Renowned for her high spirits and beauty, she was named the first American flapper by Scott. For her work as a novelist and painter, Fitzgerald was posthumously made an inductee to the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame.

 40 

Fred Gwynne
5
Birthdate: July 24, 1900, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: July 2, 1993

Best known for his towering height, Fred Gwynne was the perfect choice for the role of Herman Munster in The Munsters. The actor and singer was a Harvard alumnus. He excelled in swimming and had also served the U.S. Navy. He later also wrote and illustrated popular children’s books.

 41 

Hervé Villechaize
4
Birthdate: April 23, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 4, 1993

French-American actor Hervé Villechaize is best remembered for playing the evil henchman in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. Born with dwarfism, he was bullied at school for his condition. After initially working as an artist, painter and photographer, he ventured into acting. He was popular and much loved by the audience.

 42 
Akira Toriyama
(Japanese Manga Artist)

Akira Toriyama
6
Birthdate: April 5, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

Akira Toriyama is a Japanese character designer and manga artist. The creator of one of the most popular manga series of all time, Dragon Ball, Akira Toriyama is widely considered one of the most influential artists to have changed the history of manga; his creation Dragon Ball is often cited as a source of inspiration by several manga artists.

 43 
Kate Capshaw
(Actress)

Kate Capshaw
5
Birthdate: November 3, 1953
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Kate Capshaw, best known as Willie Scott from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, has also starred in projects such as Dreamscape, Black Rain, and The Love Letter. She converted to Judaism before her marriage to director Steven Spielberg. She made major contributions to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

 44 
Yvonne McGuinness
(Visual Artist)

Yvonne McGuinness
4
Birthdate: October 12, 1972
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kilkenny, Ireland
Irish visual artist Yvonne McGuinness is renowned for her video installations and prints. Most of her art works revolve around themes of conflict between revealing and hiding one’s true self. She has also made several short films, such as Charlie's Place. She is married to Irish actor Cillian Murphy.

 45 
Grant Wood
(Former painter particularly well known for American Gothic (1930), which has become an iconic example of early 20th-century American art)

Grant Wood
4
Birthdate: February 13, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Anamosa, Iowa, United States
Died: February 12, 1942

 46 
Jasper Johns
(Painter, Sculptor, Costume designer)

Jasper Johns
6
Birthdate: May 15, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Augusta

Presidential Medal-winning artist Jasper Johns is best known for his contribution to the pop art movement. His paintings revolve around subjects such as flags, numbers, and letters, whereas he has also gained fame for his cast sculpture art such as Painted Bronze. He also once experimented by attaching strings to his art.

 47 
Teller
(Magician and illusionist)

Teller
4
Birthdate: February 14, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 48 
Ryan Adams
(Singer-songwriter who released his debut solo album, Heartbreaker, to critical acclaim)

Ryan Adams
4
Birthdate: November 5, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jacksonville, North Carolina, United States

 49 
Jemima Kirke
(Artist)

Jemima Kirke
8
Birthdate: April 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Westminster

Jemima Kirke is an English-American artist, actress, and director best known for her role as Jessa Johansson in the HBO series Girls. She is the daughter of Simon Kirke and was introduced to show business at a young age. After acting for a few years, she made her directorial debut in 2019. She is a reproductive rights activist as well.   

 50 
Norman Rockwell
(Painter & Illustrator)

Norman Rockwell
8
Birthdate: February 3, 1894
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: November 8, 1978

Painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell became famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life he created for The Saturday Evening Post. He was associated with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for over six decades and produced covers for their publications and calendars. A prolific artist, he made more than 4,000 original works in his lifetime.