Art Critics

Art critics are the people who specialize in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art in the context of aesthetics or the theory of beauty. Art criticism holds a significant place in understanding the nuances of art, and strives to pursue a rational basis for appreciation of art. Art criticism is probably as old as the history of art itself, though the term was coined much later, in the 18th century. English painter Jonathan Richardson is credited to have coined the term 'art criticism' in 1719. Regarded as one of the three foremost painters of his time, he also wrote extensively on art. Along with his son, he wrote the book ‘An Account of Some of the Statues, Bas-Reliefs, Drawings, and Pictures in Italy,’ now considered a masterpiece on art criticism. Another renowned art critic was John Ruskin, widely regarded the leading English art critic of the Victorian era. He was especially influential in the latter half of the 19th century. American John Hoyer Updike, Arthur Coleman Danto, and Karen Wilkin are counted amongst the famed art critics of the 20th century. Coming to the contemporary era, Eleanor Heartney, Rebecca Solnit, and David Hickey are the most influential art critics. Browse on to know about the famous art critics from all over the world.
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 1 Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 9, 1821
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 31, 1867
French prose poet, essayist, and critic Charles Baudelaire was one of the first translators of the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Best known for his book of poems Les Fleurs du mal, he is believed to have coined the word modernity and was associated with the symbolist and decadent movements.

 2 Denis Diderot

Denis Diderot
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 5, 1713
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Langres, France
Died: July 31, 1784

Denis Diderot revolutionized the Age of Enlightenment as the co-founder of Encyclopédie, which was banned for questioning religion. He had flirted with the idea of joining the theater and becoming a priest, and even studied law, but later devoted himself to languages, literature, and philosophy.

 3 Guillaume Apollinaire

Guillaume Apollinaire
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 26, 1880
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: November 9, 1918

French poet Guillaume Apollinaire was a significant figure of the avant-garde movement. It is believed he had coined the terms Cubism, Surrealism, and Orphism. Known for his iconic poem Chanson du mal-aimé, written after being rejected by a lover, he also developed the typography-based concrete poetry in the collection Calligrammes.

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 4 Jacqueline Roque

Jacqueline Roque
4
Famous As: Best known as the muse and second wife of Pablo Picasso
Birthdate: February 24, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 15, 1986
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 5 Isabella Stewart Gardner

Isabella Stewart Gardner
4
Famous As: Art collector
Birthdate: April 14, 1840
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City
Died: July 17, 1924

 6 Tom Verlaine

Tom Verlaine
4
Famous As: Guitarist, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter
Birthdate: December 13, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Morristown

 7 Lina Lazaar

Lina Lazaar
4
Famous As: Art critic, Writer
Birthdate: 1983 AD
Birthplace: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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 8 Robbie Ross

Robbie Ross
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: May 25, 1869
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tours, France
Died: October 5, 1918

 9 Joris-Karl Huysmans

Joris-Karl Huysmans
4
Famous As: Art critic, Novelist
Birthdate: February 5, 1848
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 12, 1907

 10 Waldemar Januszczak

Waldemar Januszczak
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: January 12, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Basingstoke

 11 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
4
Famous As: Was a German Writer, Philosopher
Birthdate: January 22, 1729
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kamenz, Germany
Died: February 15, 1781

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was a noted German dramatist, critic, and author, remembered especially for his contribution towards liberating German theatre from the influence of its classical and French counterpart. Known for such literary masterpieces like Miss Sara Sampson; Emilia Galotti; Minna von Barnhelm; Nathan the Wise; Laocoön; Hamburg Dramaturgy, he is now considered an outstanding representative of the Enlightenment era.

 12 Brian Sewell

Brian Sewell
3
Famous As: journalist, autobiographer, art critic, art historian
Birthdate: June 15, 1931
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London
Died: September 19, 2015

 13 Frederick R. Koch

Frederick R. Koch
6
Famous As: Former philanthropist, Founder of Koch Industries
Birthdate: August 26, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States
Died: February 12, 2020

 14 Clement Greenberg

Clement Greenberg
3
Famous As: Art collector, Art historian, Art critic, Journalist
Birthdate: January 16, 1909
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City
Died: May 7, 1994

 15 Mimi Gardner Gates

Mimi Gardner Gates
6
Famous As: curator
Birthdate: 1943 AD

 16 Louis Aragon

Louis Aragon
3
Famous As: Former surrealist writer, co-founded with André Breton and Philippe Soupault the surrealist review Littérature
Birthdate: October 3, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 24, 1982

 17 Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes
3
Famous As: Art Critic, Writer
Birthdate: July 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
Died: August 6, 2012

Although he had initially aspired to study law and architecture, Robert Hughes later dropped out of university and began drawing cartoons for various newspapers. After establishing himself as an art critic, he wrote bestsellers such as The Fatal Shore and created shows such as The Shock of the New.

 18 Jean Metzinger

Jean Metzinger
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 24, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nantes, France
Died: November 3, 1956

 19 Frank O'Hara

Frank O'Hara
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 27, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore, Maryland
Died: July 25, 1966

 20 Félix Vallotton

Félix Vallotton
3
Famous As: Former artist and painter known for his paintings of nudes and interiors and in particular for his distinctive woodcuts
Birthdate: December 28, 1865
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lausanne, Switzerland
Died: December 29, 1925

Born in Switzerland, Félix Vallotton later moved to Paris to study art and grew to be one of the prominent members of the Les Nabis. Renowned for his woodcuts, he mostly focused on nudes and interiors. Politically conscious, he often infused political themes in his art, such as The Demonstration.

 21 Clive Bell

Clive Bell
3
Famous As: Art Critic
Birthdate: September 16, 1881
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: East Shefford, England
Died: September 18, 1964

 22 Arthur Danto

Arthur Danto
5
Famous As: Art critic
Birthdate: January 1, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Died: October 25, 2013

 23 Mark Beech

Mark Beech
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: 1959 AD
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Died: April 27, 2020

 24 Camille Doncieux

Camille Doncieux
3
Famous As: painter, model
Birthdate: January 15, 1847
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: September 5, 1879

 25 Herbert Read

Herbert Read
3
Famous As: Art Historian
Birthdate: December 4, 1893
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Muscoates, England
Died: June 12, 1968

 26 Gottfried Semper

Gottfried Semper
3
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: November 29, 1803
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Altona, Hamburg, Germany
Died: May 15, 1879

 27 Okakura Kakuzō

Okakura Kakuzō
3
Famous As: Art critic
Birthdate: February 14, 1862
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Yokohama, Japan
Died: September 2, 1913

 28 Hal Foster

Hal Foster
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 16, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Halifax Regional Municipality, Canada
Died: July 25, 1982

Hal Foster was a Canadian-American writer and comic strip artist. He is best remembered for creating the popular comic strip Prince Valiant, which is a fine example of Foster's dexterous, detailed artwork. His work had a major influence on the younger generation of artists like Joe Kubert. In 1996, Foster was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame.

 29 Rosalind E. Krauss

Rosalind E. Krauss
3
Famous As: Art Critic
Birthdate: November 30, 1941
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

 30 Larry Gagosian

Larry Gagosian
3
Famous As: Art collector
Birthdate: April 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Los Angeles

 31 Dan Graham

Dan Graham
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: March 31, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Urbana, Illinois

 32 Octave Mirbeau

Octave Mirbeau
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 16, 1848
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Trévières, France
Died: February 16, 1917

 33 Jerry Saltz

Jerry Saltz
3
Famous As: Senior Art Critic and Columnist for New York Magazine
Birthdate: February 19, 1951
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States

 34 Michael Fried

Michael Fried
3
Famous As: Art critic, Art historian, Historian, University teacher, Journalist
Birthdate: April 12, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City

 35 S.S. Van Dine

S.S. Van Dine
3
Famous As: Art Critic
Birthdate: October 15, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
Died: April 11, 1939

 36 Léon Werth

Léon Werth
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 17, 1878
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Remiremont, France
Died: December 13, 1955

 37 Hal Foster

Hal Foster
3
Famous As: art historian, university teacher, journalist
Birthdate: August 13, 1955
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Seattle

 38 Patrick Heron

Patrick Heron
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Headingley, England
Died: March 20, 1999

 39 Ambroise Vollard

Ambroise Vollard
2
Famous As: Art Dealer
Birthdate: July 3, 1866
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Denis, Réunion
Died: July 22, 1939

 40 Sacheverell Sitwell

Sacheverell Sitwell
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 15, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Scarborough, England
Died: October 1, 1988

 41 Poul Henningsen

Poul Henningsen
2
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 9, 1894
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ordrup, Denmark
Died: January 31, 1967

 42 Lucy R. Lippard

Lucy R. Lippard
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 14, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

 43 Boris Groys

Boris Groys
2
Famous As: Art Critic
Birthdate: March 19, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

 44 Nicolas Bourriaud

Nicolas Bourriaud
2
Famous As: Curator
Birthdate: April 13, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Niort, France

 45 Alexandre Benois

Alexandre Benois
2
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: May 3, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: February 9, 1960

Best remembered as a founder of the Mir iskusstva art movement and magazine, Alexandre Benois was, at the same time, an artist, an art critic, theater art director, and ballet librettist. Some of his best works were for iconic ballets such as The Nutcracker and Sylvia. He contributed immensely to modern ballet.

 46 Harold Rosenberg

Harold Rosenberg
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 2, 1906
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: July 11, 1978

 47 Jan Neruda

Jan Neruda
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 10, 1834
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: August 22, 1891

 48 Okwui Enwezor

Okwui Enwezor
3
Famous As: Curator
Birthdate: October 23, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Calabar, Nigeria
Died: March 15, 2019

 49 Gelett Burgess

Gelett Burgess
2
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 30, 1866
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Boston, United States
Died: September 18, 1951

Gelett Burgess was an American poet, artist, art critic, author, and humorist. He is credited with introducing French modern art to the USA. He is also credited with coining the term blurb. In 1891, he established the San Francisco Boys' Club Association which was later renamed Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco. 

 50 Friedrich Melchior, baron von Grimm

Friedrich Melchior, baron von Grimm
2
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: December 26, 1723
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Regensburg, Germany
Died: December 19, 1807