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 Artists & Painters

 1 Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso
17
Famous As: Painter
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

Andy Warhol
14
Famous As: Artist
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

Salvador Dali
8
Famous As: Surrealist Painter
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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 4 Claude Monet

Claude Monet
8
Famous As: Painter
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.

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 5 Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat
11
Famous As: Artist
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.

 6 Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock
8
Famous As: Painter
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

Henri Matisse
6
Famous As: Painter
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 Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe
7
Famous As: Painter
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.

 9 Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky
9
Famous As: Painter
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

 10 Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch
5
Famous As: Painter
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.

 11 Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt
5
Famous As: Painter
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.

 12 Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 29, 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.

 13 Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne
4
Famous As: Artist
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.

 14 David Hockney

David Hockney
4
Famous As: Painter
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.

 15 Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas
6
Famous As: Impressionist Painter
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.

 16 Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko
5
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 25, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Daugavpils, 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.

 17 Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo
18
Famous As: Painter
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 Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
4
Famous As: Painter
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.

 19 Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper
5
Famous As: Realist painter
Birthdate: July 22, 1882
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Upper Nyack, New York, United States
Died: May 15, 1967

 20 Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp
6
Famous As: Artist
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.

 21 Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele
4
Famous As: Painter
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. 

 22 Joan Miró

Joan Miró
4
Famous As: Painter
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.

 23 Paul Klee

Paul Klee
6
Famous As: Painter
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.

 24 Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon
5
Famous As: Painter
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. 

 25 Max Ernst

Max Ernst
5
Famous As: Painter
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.

 26 Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore
12
Famous As: Poet
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.

 27 Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler
20
Famous As: Actor, Director, Model, Painter
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.

 28 Amedeo Modigliani

Amedeo Modigliani
6
Famous As: Painter & Sculptor
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.

 29 Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss
4
Famous As: Author
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.

 30 Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu
4
Famous As: Actress, Producer, Artist
Birthdate: December 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jackson Heights, New York, United States

American actress, Lucy Liu, shot to fame with television series Ally McBeal and later proved her acting skills with films like Charlie's Angels, Kill Bill, Volume 1, Shanghai Noon and television series Elementary and Southland. Intelligent and multitalented, she has voiced animated films, turned producer/director, made her Broadway debut and last but not the least, is also a visual artist.

 31 Stephen Hillenburg

Stephen Hillenburg
7
Famous As: Animator
Birthdate: August 21, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lawton, Oklahoma
Died: November 26, 2018
Stephen Hillenburg is best known as the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, the fifth-longest-running animated series in the U.S, which earned him two Emmys and six Annie Awards. He was initially a marine biologist and an instructor at the Orange County Marine Institute. He died of ALS, a neurodegenerative disease.

 32 Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby
4
Famous As: Comic Book Artist
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

 33 Kazimir Malevich

Kazimir Malevich
4
Famous As: Artist
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.

 34 Grace Slick

Grace Slick
5
Famous As: Artist, Musician
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.

 35 Anthony Quinn

Anthony Quinn
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 21, 1915
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chihuahua, Mexico
Died: June 3, 2001
Mexican-American actor Anthony Quinn is best remembered for his Academy Award-winning roles in Viva Zapata! and Lust for Life. He also delivered stellar performances in the films Zorba the Greek, Wild Is the Wind, and The Guns of Navarone. He had exhibited his artwork and also written two memoirs.

 36 Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder
6
Famous As: Sculptor, Painter
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.

 37 Yvonne McGuinness

Yvonne McGuinness
4
Famous As: Visual Artist
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.

 38 Hervé Villechaize

Hervé Villechaize
4
Famous As: Actor
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.

 39 Kim Novak

Kim Novak
4
Famous As: Actress
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.

 40 Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama
4
Famous As: Contemporary Artist
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. 

 41 Fred Gwynne

Fred Gwynne
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 30, 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.

 42 Gary Burghoff

Gary Burghoff
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 24, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bristol, Connecticut

Gary Burghoff is an American actor who is credited with originating the popular role of Charlie Brown in the 1967 Broadway musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He is also known for originating the role of Walter Eugene O'Reilly in the 1970 black comedy war movie MASH and the popular TV series of the same name.

 43 Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns
5
Famous As: Painter, Sculptor, Costume designer
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.

 44 Akira Toriyama

Akira Toriyama
6
Famous As: Japanese Manga Artist
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.

 45 Jemima Kirke

Jemima Kirke
6
Famous As: Artist
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.   

 46 Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell
8
Famous As: Painter & Illustrator
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.

 47 Dana Carvey

Dana Carvey
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: June 2, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Missoula, Montana, United States

Comedian Dana Carvey initially gained fame with his Emmy-winning stint on Saturday Night Live. He has also appeared in films such as Tough Guys and Opportunity Knocks. He was seen as Garth Algar in Wayne’s World and its sequel, and also voiced Dana in Hotel Transylvania 2.

 48 Teller

Teller
4
Famous As: Magician and illusionist
Birthdate: February 14, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 49 Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois
4
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 25, 1911
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 31, 2010

Louise Bourgeois was a French-American artist best remembered for her large-scale installation art and sculpture. Also a prolific printmaker and painter, Bourgeois explored a variety of themes, such as sexuality and death. In 1997, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts. In 2009, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 50 Margaret Keane

Margaret Keane
5
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 15, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee