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.
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.
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.
Donatello was an Italian sculptor best remembered for his most famous work, David, which is often viewed as the first major work of Renaissance sculpture. Donatello is one of the most popular Italian sculptors of all time. He was played by English actor Ben Starr in a historical drama TV series titled Medici: Masters of Florence.
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.
Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico, the founder of the scuola metafisica art movement, showed marked influence of his childhood spent in Greece in his work. His metaphysical paintings showcased empty cityscapes, mannequins, trains, and towers. His notable works include The Child's Brain and The Enigma of an Autumn Afternoon.
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.
Fourteenth-century Italian painter and architect Giotto was one of the chief figures of the Early Renaissance. Mostly taught by Florentine painter Cimabue, Giotto grew up to paint masterpieces such as the frescoes of the Arena Chapel in Padua. He works consisted of human beings and Christian themes.
Filippo Brunelleschi was an Italian architect, sculptor, and designer. Regarded as Renaissance architecture's founding father, Brunelleschi is hailed as the first modern engineer. Among his famous accomplishments is the design of the dome of the Florence Cathedral. He is also credited with inventing hydraulic machinery and designing machinery that was used in churches to re-enact Biblical stories through theatrical performances.
Masaccio was a Florentine artist best remembered for his skills at recreating lifelike figures and imitating nature. Widely regarded as the best painter of his generation, Masaccio employed foreshortenings and nudes in his paintings, which were rarely seen at that time. He is also considered the first great Italian artist of the Quattrocento period.
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.
Fra Angelico was an Italian painter best remembered for a series of frescoes which he made for his own friary in Florence. Described by Giorgio Vasari as having a rare and perfect talent, Fra Angelico was proclaimed blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1982 in recognition of the saintliness of his life.
Antonio Canova was an Italian Neoclassical sculptor widely regarded as the greatest of the Neoclassical artists. He was famous for his marble sculptures. His work was inspired by the Baroque and the classical revival. His most notable works include Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss and Perseus Triumphant. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he refused to take in pupils.
Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna is remembered for his iconic frescoes and paintings such as St. Sebastian, Painted Room, and The Agony in the Garden. Known as the first fully Renaissance artist from Northern Italy, he began his artistic journey as an apprentice of Francesco Squarcione.
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.
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.
Italian painter and mosaicist Cimabue was one of the last Byzantine artists. His frescoes adorn the upper church of S. Francesco, Assisi. Though not much is known about his life, Cimabue found a mention in Dante’s Purgatorio, the second part of the iconic narrative poem The Divine Comedy.
Early Renaissance Italian painter Piero della Francesca was probably the son of a tanner or a shoemaker and was well-versed in Latin. His frescoes, such as The Legend of the True Cross, exhibited perspective with simplicity. He also applied his knowledge of geometry to his art.
Renowned for his absurdism and wit, Edward Lear was a British poet who popularized literary nonsense. A talented painter, too, he had worked for the London Zoo, illustrating birds, and had later released illustrated travel books. A pioneer of the modern limerick, he penned the iconic poem The Owl and the Pussycat.
Canaletto was an Italian painter who achieved popularity in England as his works were largely appreciated by King George III. Regarded as one of the most prominent representatives of the 18th-century Venetian school, Canaletto was also renowned for his skills as a printmaker.
Paolo Uccello was a 15th-century Florentine painter and mathematician. He worked in the Late Gothic tradition and had a style best described as idiosyncratic. As a young man, he was apprenticed to the famous sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti, with whom he collaborated on his later works. His paintings representing the battle of San Romano are considered his best.
Andrea del Verrocchio was an Italian sculptor, painter, and goldsmith. He was a master of an important workshop in Florence and his pupils included famous men like Leonardo da Vinci, Lorenzo di Credi, and Pietro Perugino. As a sculptor, he is best known for his masterpiece, the Equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice.
Lorenzo Ghiberti was a Florentine Italian artist considered a major figure of the Early Renaissance. He is best known as the creator of the bronze doors of the Florence Baptistery, also called the Gates of Paradise. He was a trained goldsmith and ran a famous workshop for metal sculpture. His son Vittorio followed in his footsteps as a goldsmith.
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.
Julius Evola was an Italian poet, philosopher, painter, esotericist, antisemitic conspiracy theorist, and occultist. Evola is extremely popular in fringe circles due to his supernatural, magical, and metaphysical beliefs. Due to his traditionalist views on gender, which advocated a purely patriarchal society, Evola is regarded as one of Italy’s most influential fascist racists of all time.
Pippa Bacca made international headlines in March 2008, when she was found naked and strangled on the outskirts of Istanbul. The Italian feminist artist had apparently been raped and murdered in the middle of her hitch-hiking program Brides on Tour, which had her traveling from Milan dressed as a bride.
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.
Italian architect, artist, and archaeologist Giovanni Battista Piranesi is best known for his 16-print series name The Prisons. His remarkable etchings of the famous landmarks of Rome exhibited his unique etching technique, which involved contrasts of light and shade. He made about 2,000 plates throughout his life.
Italian painter and printmaker Giorgio Morandi is best remembered for his remarkable still life paintings of subjects such as vases, boxes, bottles, and flowers. Though he was hugely inspired by the works of Paul Cézanne, his paintings, known for their gentle, subdued tones, do not fit in any specific school of painting.
Eighteenth-century Italian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo was a significant figure of the Rococo movement. Son of a shipping merchant, Tiepolo gained fame with his iconic creations such as The Sacrifice of Isaac. He was determined he wouldn’t leave Venice and often sent his paintings abroad instead of traveling to paint.
Italian jazz-pianist, painter and film producer Romano Mussolini, youngest son of fascist dictator of Italy Benito Mussolini, developed interest in music during childhood. He played jazz under the assumed name Romano Full following the Second World War and formed a leading Italian jazz band, Romano Mussolini All Stars, which spawned albums like Jazz Allo Studio 7 and At the Santa Tecla.
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.
Umberto Boccioni was an Italian painter and sculptor credited to have shaped the revolutionary aesthetic of the Futurism movement. Even though he died at the young age of 33, he left behind a rich legacy as an artist. He was of a rebellious nature and played a key role in the development of the Futurism movement.
Lorenzo Quinn is an Italian sculptor whose works can be seen in places like the UK and Spain. Apart from being a sculptor, Quinn also works with charity organizations and donates his sculptures to charitable causes. He is also credited with designing MOTO GP championships' Ride The World trophy. A multi-talented personality, Quinn also co-owns a restaurant named Galeria Gastronomica.
Maurizio Cattelan is an Italian artist best known for his hyperrealistic sculptures and installations. He has a satirical approach to art and is often considered a joker or prankster of the art world. His works have been exhibited internationally in museums. One of his best-known works is America, a fully functional toilet made of solid gold.
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?
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.