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.
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.
Gina Lollobrigida is an Italian actress and photojournalist counted amongst the highest-profile European actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. Considered a sex symbol in her youth, she had a successful career both in the film and TV industries. She later built a second career as a photojournalist. She is a recipient of the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giuliano Gemma was an Italian actor best remembered for his performances in Spaghetti Westerns. Giuliano Gemma achieved international recognition for his portrayal of the title role in Duccio Tessari's A Pistol for Ringo. The success of the movie earned him title roles in subsequent Spaghetti Westerns, such as The Return of Ringo and Michele Lupo's Arizona Colt.
Giambologna was a Flemish sculptor best remembered for his bronze and marble statuary in a Mannerist or late Renaissance style. Among his most important works are Mercury and the Rape of the Sabine Women. He also served as an important influence on other popular sculptors like Pierre Puget, Pietro Tacca, Alessandro Algardi, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Arturo Di Modica was a sculptor best known for creating the bronze sculpture Charging Bull. Born in Italy during World War II, he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze and later moved to USA. He opened his own studios and built a brilliant career, often holding major exhibitions. His Charging Bull has often been featured in media.
17 Paolo Soleri
Paolo Soleri was an Italian architect and educator who taught at the Arizona State University's College of Architecture. He is credited with establishing the Cosanti Foundation and also introduced the concept of arcology, a synthesis of ecology and architecture. A respected architect, Paolo Soleri won several prestigious awards like the American National Design Award and AIA Gold Medal.
Vanessa Beecroft is a contemporary performance artist who often works with professional models to stage tableaux vivants. In 2018, she used Kim Kardashian as her model for the release of the latter's perfume brand. A controversial personality, Vanessa Beecroft's unsuccessful attempt to adopt Sudanese twins inspired a derogative documentary titled The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins by Pietra Brettkelly.
Gentile Bellini was an Italian painter affiliated with the school of Venice. He hailed from Venice's leading family of painters and was the official portrait artist for the Doges of Venice. He worked for the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in Constantinople for several months. He was a co-founder of the Orientalist tradition in Western painting.
Domitilla Harding is an Italian designer and artist, who once worked as a designer with the Miss Italy fashion label. She has also designed furniture in the past and currently works as a glass sculptor with glass master Andrea Zilio. From her mother’s side, she has links to the House of della Rovere, an Italian noble family.
Harry Bertoia was an artist, modern furniture designer, and sound art sculptor. Born in Italy, he moved to USA, where he trained at the Art School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts and the Cranbrook Academy of Art before starting his career. Extremely creative and innovative, he was considered to be much ahead of his time.
Antonio Corradini was an Italian Rococo sculptor from Venice best known for his sculpture Veiled Truth (also called Modesty or Chastity). After spending much of his career as a migrant artist traveling to different parts of Europe, he was made court sculptor for Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor in Vienna. He resumed traveling after the emperor’s death.
Thirteenth-century Italian sculptor Nicola Pisano was a master of Gothic art. One of his best-known works was the Pisa baptistery’s pulpit. He was also the father of sculptor Giovanni Pisano, who finished much of his work. Though his origins aren’t clear, he is referred to as the Master Nicola from Apulia.
Sculptor Luca della Robbia is best remembered for launching his own studio of enameled terra-cotta. While he initially specialized in marble work, he was also one of the first to work in the Florentine Renaissance style. The Resurrection lunette of the Florence Cathedral is one of his best-known works
Known for his artistic innovations, Alberto Burri was one of the most important artists of the Italian post-war period. Although passionate about painting since his childhood, he grew up to be army doctor, returning to the art while being interned as prisoner-of-war. Today, he is known as the precursor of Italian contemporary art, having direct influence on Arte Povera movement.
Bonanno Pisano was a 12th-century Italian sculptor. He combined Byzantine and classical elements in his works. He was the creator of the bronze Porta Reale of the cathedral of Pisa, which was destroyed in the great fire of 1595. Mafia boss Joseph Bonanno claimed to be a descendant of Pisano, although there is no evidence to support this claim.
Italian painter, sculptor, and graphic designer Fortunato Depero was one of the main figures of the Second Futurism movement. He later launched Italy’s first museum on the Futurist movement, the Casa d’Arte Futurista Depero. He also established himself as a successful interior designer, costume designer, and advertiser in New York.
Rembrandt Bugatti is best remembered for his animal sculptures made of bronze. The son of Art Nouveau designer Carlo Bugatti, he initially worked with plasticine. He later created sculptures modeled on the animals of Antwerp Zoo and eventually committed suicide when the zoo started killing its animals due to food shortage.
Known for his singular artistic language, underpinned by his extraordinary craftsmanship, Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro developed an interest in art and scenography while working for the Public Works Department. However, it was not until he attended an exhibition of Picasso in 1953 that he decided to devote his life to art, eventually creating many masterpieces including the Sfera con Sfera
Giovanni Strazza is perhaps best known for his unique artwork The Veiled Virgin, a stunning and realistic depiction of the Virgin Mary, with a veil draped over her, made of high-quality Carrara marble, derived from Tuscany. The Italian sculptor taught at his alma, Brera Academy in Milan.
Daniele da Volterra was a 16th-century Mannerist Italian painter and sculptor. He became an apprentice to painter Perino del Vaga as a young boy and worked alongside him. He later befriended Michelangelo and often collaborated with him. His best-known painting is the Descent from the Cross. He trained many pupils, including painter Michele Alberti.
Michelozzo, one of the chief figures of the Florentine Renaissance movement, initially learned bronze work under the guidance of Lorenzo Ghiberti. Throughout his career, he built everything from tombs to libraries and monasteries. He was also associated with the Medicis, and one of his best-known works was the Palazzo Medici Riccardi.
Through his stunningly realistic masterpiece, Il Disinganno, or Release from Deception, which he completed in 7 years, Italian sculptor Francesco Queirolo symbolically showed a man’s release from sins. The fisherman’s net in the sculpture is so intricately carved that people don’t believe it’s made out of marble.
Florentine sculptor and painter Pietro Torrigiano was the first to introduce Italian Renaissance art to England. He had studied under Lorenzo de’ Medici and had artists such as Michelangelo as his classmates. Known for the tombs he created in Westminster Abbey, he specialized in bronze art.
Italian sculptor Giovanni Pisano began his career under the tutorship of his sculptor-father Nicola, working with him at the pulpit of Siena Cathedral. Later, he started working independently, slowly developing a style of his own, sculpting the statues on the façade of the same cathedral, a work that showcases his tendencies to blend French Gothic art with ancient Roman art.
Marino Marini had initially studied painting, and though he never gave it up, he later gained fame for his sculptures. His works primarily consist of two major figures: the equestrian and the female nude. He also taught at the Brera Academy. He fused Roman works with German Gothic themes.
Vincenzo Amato was the son of stage director and musician Emma Muzzi Loffredo. He has appeared in major roles in films such as Once We Were Strangers and Respiro. He is also a skilled painter and a talented iron sculptor. He is a polyglot and now stays in New York.
Best remembered for his Treatise on Architecture, Filarete was a Florentine architect, sculptor, medalist and author. Born Antonio di Pietro Averlino, he was given the name Filarete, meaning lover of excellence, possibly by his teacher Lorenzo Ghiberti. Later, he began working independently, building the bronze central doors of Old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and Ospedale Maggiore in Milan.
One of the leading sculptors and architects of the Venetian Renaissance era, Jacopo Sansovino specialized in marble and bronze sculptures. An acquaintance of Pietro Aretino and Titian, he was also made the chief architect of Venice. As a sign of respect, he had adopted his teacher Andrea Sansovino’s surname.
Fourteenth-century Italian sculptor Andrea Pisano was initially trained as a goldsmith. His major works include three bronze doors of the cathedral of Florence, apart from many significant marble works. He also contributed to ending the Byzantine influence on modern art and had also been the superintending architect of Orvieto cathedral.
Italian artist Mimmo Rotella is best remembered for his double décollages, made out of torn paper advertisements. Part of the Lettrism movement, he also became known as one of the Les Affichistes artists. A Fulbright scholar, he later joined the New Realism movement. He also experimented with geometric painting and poetry.
Italian architect Giacomo della Porta was instrumental in the transition of Mannerism to early Baroque style. Born into a family of sculptors, he grew up to become a Roman renaissance figure. He also designed palaces such as Villa Aldobrandini and structures such as the façade of the Church of Gesù.
Francesco di Giorgio was a multidimensional person and was a sculptor, painter, writer, architect, and engineer at the same time. The quintessential Renaissance man, he was later chiefly known as an architect and served Duke Federico da Montefeltro. As a sculptor, he specialized in bronze sculptures.
Giuseppe Sanmartino is best remembered for his stunning marble work Veiled Christ, a depiction of a deceased Christ under a shroud, that was left incomplete by Antonio Corradini. The statue earned him further commissions from Bourbons and various Neapolitan churches. He also worked on silver sculptures in his final days.
Known as a megalomaniac and a social climber by his peers, Italian sculptor/painter Baccio Bandinelli was the son of a goldsmith. He succeeded in earning most of the commissions by the Medici and later imitated and studied Michelangelo. He launched one of the first art academies at the Vatican.
Jacopo della Quercia was an Italian sculptor who was regarded as the most important sculptor in Siena at that time. Not surprisingly, he was commissioned to work on several prominent sculptures including the Trenta Chapel in Lucca's Basilica of San Frediano. Jacopo della Quercia is also credited with decorating the chapel of Saint Sebastian in Siena Cathedral.
Alessandro Algardi was an Italian sculptor and a popular exponent of the high-Baroque style of architecture. Along with Pietro da Cortona and Francesco Borromini, Algardi was counted among the major rivals of another popular sculptor and architect, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Alessandro Algardi is best remembered for his portrait busts that have great dignity and vivacity.
Niccolò dell'Arca was a sculptor remembered for his artistic contribution to Arca di San Domenico, a monument that took almost 500 years to complete, with contributions from the best sculptors of their time. Other important works of his include a marble statue of St. John the Baptist, the terracotta bust of Saint Dominic, and the terracotta figure of Saint Monica.