Famous Italian Artists & Painters

Italy is a country that has always boasted of a rich tradition of art and culture. Italian painters from the past several centuries have played significant roles in enriching the world of art with their innovative, stylish, and revolutionary aesthetic ideas. Italy was the centre for art and architecture in ancient Rome. Great Florentine painters like Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Andrea Mantegna, Sandro Botticelli, and Paolo Uccello were prominent figures of Italian Renaissance who also deeply influenced Western arts. The greatest artist of the 15th century was probably Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian polymath who gave the world its beloved ‘Mona Lisa’. Artists like Raphael and Michelangelo dominated the later Renaissance while Annibale Caracci and Caravaggio went on to become the major figures of the Baroque period. The 19th century European art was revolutionized by the Impressionists Giovanni Fattori, Silvestro Lega, Telemaco Signorini, and Giuseppe Abbati who believed that areas of light and shadow were the chief components of a work of art. Keeping up with legacy of their predecessors, contemporary Italian painters Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, and Enzo Cucchi are propagating eclectic modern art. This section provides you information about the life and works of various famous Italian painters.

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
(Polymath, Painter)

Leonardo da Vinci
36
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
(Best Known Sculpted Works The 'Pietà' and 'David')

Michelangelo
25
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.

 3 
Caravaggio
(Painter)

Caravaggio
12
Birthdate: September 29, 1571
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
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 
Sandro Botticelli
(Early Renaissance Painter)

Sandro Botticelli
9
Birthdate: 1445 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: May 17, 1510
Italian painter Sandro Botticelli was one of the most influential figures of the Early Renaissance. His works later influenced the Pre-Raphaelites. He is best known for his iconic works Primavera and The Birth of Venus and his versions of the Madonna and Child. He also painted the Sistine Chapel.

 5 
Titian
(Painter)

Titian
5
Birthdate: 1488 AD
Birthplace: Pieve di Cadore, Italy
Died: August 27, 1576
Trained by Giovanni Bellini as a boy, Titian also joined hands with Giorgione to work on a number of frescoes. The Renaissance artist is regarded as one of the key figures of the Venetian school and is remembered for his masterpieces such as the three miracles of Anthony of Padua.

 6 
Donatello
(Sculptor of the Renaissance)

Donatello
4
Birthdate: 1386 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: December 13, 1466

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.

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 7 
Burt Young
(Actor)

Burt Young
4
Birthdate: April 30, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

Best known for his rough character roles and his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Paulie Pennino in the Rocky film franchise, actor Burt Young had been a boxer during his time in the Marine Corps. He has also contributed to book covers as an illustrator and penned screenplays and the novel Endings.

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 8 
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.

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 9 

Artemisia Gentileschi
10
Birthdate: July 8, 1593
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 1652 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.

 10 

John Singer Sargent
4
Birthdate: January 12, 1856
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: April 14, 1925

John Singer Sargent, an artist active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation." Prolific in his output, he created more than 2,000 watercolors and around 900 oil paintings. He also made numerous sketches and charcoal drawings. He painted with remarkable technical acumen and was internationally known for his expertise.   

 11 
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
(Sculptor, Architect)

Gian Lorenzo Bernini
4
Birthdate: December 7, 1598
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: November 28, 1680
Son of sculptor Pietro Bernini, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, introduced the Baroque style of sculpture to the world. Known for his masterpieces such as Apollo and Daphne and David, he excelled in depicting the fine details of skin and hair in his marble creations. His commissioned creations include St. Peter's baldachin.

 12 
Tintoretto
(Renaissance Painter)

Tintoretto
4
Birthdate: August 14, 1518
Sun Sign: Leo
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.

 13 

Giorgio de Chirico
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1888
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Volos, Greece
Died: November 19, 1978

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.

 14 
Julius Evola
(Philosopher)

Julius Evola
5
Birthdate: May 19, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: June 11, 1974

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.

 15 
Giotto
(Painter)

Giotto
6
Birthdate: 1267 AD
Birthplace: Florence
Died: January 8, 1337

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.

 16 
Masaccio
(Florentine artist)

Masaccio
4
Birthdate: December 21, 1401
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy
Died: 1428 AD

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.

 17 

Filippo Brunelleschi
4
Birthdate: 1377 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: April 15, 1446

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.

 18 

Benvenuto Cellini
4
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. 

 19 
Raphael
(Painter and Architect of the High Renaissance)

Raphael
10
Birthdate: April 6, 1483
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Urbino, Italy
Died: April 6, 1520

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.

 20 
Antonio Canova
(Sculptor)

Antonio Canova
4
Birthdate: November 1, 1757
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Possagno, Italy
Died: October 13, 1822

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. 

 21 
Fra Angelico
(Painter)

Fra Angelico
4
Birthdate: 1395 AD
Birthplace: Vicchio, Italy
Died: February 18, 1455

 22 

Giuseppe Arcimboldo
6
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.

 23 

Giorgio Vasari
5
Birthdate: July 30, 1511
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Arezzo, Italy
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.

 24 
Leon Battista Alberti
(Architect and Principal Initiator of Renaissance Art Theory)

Leon Battista Alberti
4
Birthdate: February 14, 1404
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy
Died: April 25, 1472
Born into an affluent banker family of Florence, Leon Battista Alberti was rumored to be an illegitimate son of his father and a Bolognese widow. The ideal Renaissance man, he later applied mathematical precision to his paintings and architectural work. His written work on art remains invaluable.

 25 

Andrea Mantegna
3
Birthdate: 1431 AD
Birthplace: Republic of Venice
Died: September 13, 1506

 26 
Umberto Boccioni
(Painter and Sculptor)

Umberto Boccioni
3
Birthdate: October 19, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Reggio Calabria, Italy
Died: August 17, 1916

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. 

 27 
Cimabue
(Painter)

Cimabue
3
Birthdate: 1240 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: 1302 AD

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.

 28 
Paolo Uccello
(Painter)

Paolo Uccello
3
Birthdate: January 5, 1397
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pratovecchio, Italy
Died: December 10, 1475

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. 

 29 
Giorgione
(Painter)

Giorgione
3
Birthdate: 1477 AD
Birthplace: Castelfranco Veneto, Italy
Died: October 25, 1510

 30 

Lorenzo Ghiberti
5
Birthdate: 1378 AD
Birthplace: Pelago, Italy
Died: December 1, 1455

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. 

 31 
Duccio
(Painter active in Siena, Tuscany)

Duccio
3
Birthdate: 1255 AD
Birthplace: Siena, Italy
Died: 1319 AD

 32 
Giovanni Bellini
(Renaissance Painter)

Giovanni Bellini
5
Birthdate: April 24, 1430
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: November 29, 1516

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.

 33 

Anita Pallenberg
4
Birthdate: April 6, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: June 13, 2017

Known as the Rolling Stones muse, for her affairs with at least two of the iconic rock band’s members, Anita Pallenberg was an actor-model. The Rolling Stones tracks such as You Got The Silver and Angie were inspired by her. She had also studied fashion designing after recovering from drug addiction.

 34 
Pippa Bacca
(Artist)

Pippa Bacca
4
Birthdate: December 9, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: March 31, 2008

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.

 35 

Giovanni Battista Piranesi
3
Birthdate: October 4, 1720
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: November 9, 1778

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.

 36 
Canaletto
(Painter, Landscape Artist)

Canaletto
4
Birthdate: October 18, 1697
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: April 19, 1768

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.

 37 
Giorgio Morandi
(Painter and printmaker who specialized in still life)

Giorgio Morandi
3
Birthdate: July 20, 1890
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: June 18, 1964

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.

 38 

Andrea del Verrocchio
3
Birthdate: 1435 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: 1488 AD

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. 

 39 
Piero della Francesca
(Painter of the Early Renaissance)

Piero della Francesca
4
Birthdate: 1415 AD
Birthplace: Sansepolcro, Italy
Died: October 12, 1492

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.

 40 
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
(Painter, Printmaker)

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1696
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: March 27, 1770

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.

 41 
Sofonisba Anguissola
(Renaissance painter)

Sofonisba Anguissola
6
Birthdate: 1532 AD
Birthplace: Cremona, Italy
Died: November 16, 1625

 42 

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

 43 
Romano Mussolini
(Jazz Pianist)

Romano Mussolini
6
Birthdate: September 26, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Forli, Italy
Died: February 3, 2006

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.

 44 

Maurizio Cattelan
3
Birthdate: September 21, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Padua, Italy

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. 

 45 
Guido Reni
(Painter)

Guido Reni
3
Birthdate: November 4, 1575
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: August 18, 1642

 46 
Bronzino
(Painter)

Bronzino
4
Birthdate: November 17, 1503
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: November 23, 1572

 47 
Edward Lear
(Artist)

Edward Lear
4
Birthdate: May 12, 1812
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Holloway
Died: January 29, 1888

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.

 48 
Simone Martini
(Major figure in the development of early Italian painting and greatly influenced the development of the International Gothic style)

Simone Martini
3
Birthdate: 1284 AD
Birthplace: Siena, Italy
Died: June 30, 1344

 49 
Lorenzo Quinn
(Sculptor)

Lorenzo Quinn
3
Birthdate: May 7, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

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.

 50 

Domenico Ghirlandaio
3
Birthdate: June 2, 1448
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 11, 1494