Artists & Painters

Painters may refer to people who are involved in the creation of art work through the use of paint. A painter is one who paints in order to earn his living or he/she may also practice it as a recreational activity. The world most ancient paintings were created by cavemen, who created murals on the caves. Some of the oldest know paintings were created in France, at the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave, these paintings are considered to be 32, 000 years old. Visual art was also produced in India as early as the 3rd millennium BC. Paintings were also done in the caves of central India in the pre-historic times, from 30,000 BCE. The different types of painters include surrealistic painters, abstract painters, modernist painters, impressionistic painters, modern painters and realistic painters. The different kinds of paintings include cubism, geometric art, pop art; outsider art, photorealism, and ink wash painting among many others. In the 21st century, the art industry is one of the most booming multibillion dollar industries that provides opportunities to an array of artists and painters. Here is a compilation of a list of famous painters from across the world, learn more fascinating facts and details about them with their biographies that include trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history.

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 Bob Ross

Bob Ross
8
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Daytona Beach, Florida
Died: July 4, 1995

Painter, art instructor, and television host, Bob Ross, gained international fame as the creator and host of the instructional TV show, The Joy of Painting. He served in the United States Air Force for several years before embarking on a career as a painter. He had a deep love for animals and cared for several injured squirrels, armadillos, and snakes.

 2 Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci
15
Famous As: Polymath
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.

 3 Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh
21
Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 30, 1853
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zundert
Died: July 29, 1890

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter and is said to be one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. However, he was not commercially successful in his lifetime and died by suicide at 37 after years of mental health issues and poverty. He gained recognition and respect in the 20th century.

 4 Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso
7
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.

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 5 Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore
4
Listed In: Poets, Artists, Novelists
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 7, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India (present-day 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.

 6 Michelangelo

Michelangelo
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Famous As: Sculptor
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.

 7 Claude Monet

Claude Monet
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 14, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris
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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 8 Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali
0
Famous As: Surrealist Painter
Birthdate: May 11, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Figueres
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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 9 Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler
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Listed In: Actors, Models, Artists
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.

 10 Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock
2
Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 28, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cody
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.
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 11 Rembrandt

Rembrandt
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 15, 1606
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leiden
Died: October 4, 1669

Rembrandt was a Dutch printmaker, painter, and draughtsman. A master in three major art media, Rembrandt is widely considered the most important visual artist in Dutch art history and one of the greatest of all time. He is also considered the greatest etcher in the history of printmaking. His life and work inspired several films, including the 1936 movie Rembrandt.

 12 Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse
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Famous As: Painter, Sculptor
Birthdate: December 31, 1869
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Nord
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.

 13 Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol
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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.

 14 Caravaggio

Caravaggio
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 29, 1571
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milan
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.

 15 Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat
4
Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, 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.

 16 Stephen Hillenburg

Stephen Hillenburg
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Listed In: Artists
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.

 17 Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt
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Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 14, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baumgarten, Austrian Empire
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.

 18 Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama
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Famous As: Contemporary Artist
Birthdate: March 22, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture
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. 

 19 Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch
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Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 12, 1863
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ådalsbruk
Died: January 23, 1944

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.

 20 Raphael

Raphael
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1483 AD
Birthplace: Urbino
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.

 21 Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin
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Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Artist - Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Engraving
Birthdate: June 7, 1848
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris
Died: May 8, 1903
French Post-Impressionist artist, sculptor, and writer Paul Gauguin was a major figure in the Symbolist movement. He had worked as a stockbroker and businessman before gaining fame as an artist. He influenced the French avant-garde and modern artists such as Pablo Picasso and also led the way for Primitivism.

 22 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
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Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 24, 1864
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Albi
Died: September 9, 1901
French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was one of the most significant figures of the Post-Impressionist period. He was also an illustrator and poster painter, who was known for his colorful depictions of cabaret from Paris's Moulin Rouge. His painting The Laundress sold for US$22.4 million at a 2005 Christie’s auction.

 23 Johannes Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 31, 1632
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Delft
Died: December 15, 1675

Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter renowned for his use of light in paintings. Although he did not achieve fame during his lifetime, Vermeer's works gained popularity in the 19th century. Today, Vermeer is often counted among the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. Over the years, Vermeer's work has inspired artists like Wilhelm Hammershoi and Thomas Wilmer Dewing.

 24 Jemima Kirke

Jemima Kirke
2
Listed In: Actresses, Artists
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: April 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Westminster

 25 Francisco Goya

Francisco Goya
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Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Painters
Birthdate: March 30, 1746
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Fuendetodos
Died: April 16, 1828
One of the most successful and distinguished artists of his time, Spanish painter Francisco Goya is regarded as both the first of the moderns and last of the Old Masters. His career was initially marked by Rococo style tapestry cartoons and Spanish aristocracy and royalty but later his works became pessimistic.

 26 Fred Gwynne

Fred Gwynne
0
Listed In: Actors, Artists
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 30, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: July 2, 1993

 27 Albrecht Durer

Albrecht Durer
0
Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 21, 1471
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nuremberg
Died: April 6, 1528

Albrecht Durer was a German painter, theorist, and printmaker of the German Renaissance. During his 20s, Durer established his reputation as a popular printmaker across Europe, thanks to his high-quality woodcut prints. His popularity enabled him to work with major Italian artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Giovanni Bellini, and Raphael. Albrecht Durer also influenced generations of artists, especially in printmaking.

 28 J. M. W. Turner

J. M. W. Turner
2
Famous As: Romanticist landscape painter
Birthdate: April 23, 1775
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 19, 1851

J. M. W. Turner was an English printmaker, painter, and watercolorist best remembered for his imaginative landscapes and expressive colorizations. Intensely reclusive and eccentric throughout his life, Turner lived in poor health and squalor for the last few years of his life. He was portrayed by actor Timothy Spall in the 2014 biographical film, Mr. Turner.

 29 William Turner

William Turner
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Famous As: painter
Birthdate: November 12, 1789
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Black Bourton
Died: August 7, 1862

 30 Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 25, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Daugavpils, Latvia
Died: February 25, 1970

 31 Raja Ravi Varma

Raja Ravi Varma
0
Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 29, 1848
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kilimanoor
Died: October 5, 1906

 32 Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne
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Famous As: French artist
Birthdate: January 19, 1839
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aix-en-Provence
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.

 33 Khalil Gibran

Khalil Gibran
0
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 6, 1883
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bsharri, Lebanon
Died: April 10, 1931

Lebanese author and poet Khalil Gibran is best remembered for his bestselling works The Prophet and Broken Wings. One of the leaders of the Mahjar movement of Arabic literature, he specialized in incorporating mythological and mystical symbols in his works and was inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche and William Blake.

 34 Sandro Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1445 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Republic of Florence
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.

 35 Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas
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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.

 36 Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
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Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 25, 1841
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Limoges
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.

 37 Diego Velázquez (Painter)

Diego Velazquez
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Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 6, 1599
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Seville
Died: August 6, 1660

Diego Velázquez was a Spanish painter who served as the most important artist in King Philip IV's court. The leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age, Velázquez's work served as a model for impressionist and realist painters of the 19th century. In the 20th century, personalities like Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso re-interpreted some of Velázquez's most iconic images.

 38 Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo
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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.

 39 Édouard Manet

Édouard Manet
2
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 23, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 30, 1883

Édouard Manet was a French painter who played a key role in the transition to Impressionism from Realism in the 19th-century. Manet was one of the first artists from his generation to paint modern life. His early masterworks, such as Olympia, served as rallying points for young and aspiring impressionist painters. His works continue to influence painters around the world.

 40 Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens
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Famous As: Painter & Printmaker
Birthdate: June 28, 1577
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Siegen, Nassau-Dillenburg (now North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)
Died: May 30, 1640

Peter Paul Rubens is considered the most influential artist of the Flemish Baroque tradition. He lived during the Dutch Golden Age. His style of art emphasized movement, color, and sensuality. He painted altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings and also drew cartoons for the Flemish tapestry workshops. He was a classically educated humanist scholar as well.

 41 Bal Thackeray

Bal Thackeray
6
Famous As: Politician, Journalist, Painter
Birthdate: January 23, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mumbai
Died: November 17, 2012

Legendary Indian politician Bal Thackeray, or Balasaheb Thackeray, was the patriarch of one of the most influential political families of India and the founder of the Shiv Sena. He went from being a cartoonist to the godfather of Maharashtra, though his overtly regional and Hindu nationalist ideals were often criticized.

 42 Derren Brown

Derren Brown
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Famous As: Illusionist
Birthdate: February 27, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Croydon, London, England

 43 Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: August 28, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beijing
Named Art Review’s most powerful artist in 2011, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has become a symbol of resilience against the authoritarian Chinese government. Jailed and banned from leaving the country once, he is known for using various media, such as sculpture, photos, and documentaries, to reflect Chinese human-rights abuses.

 44 Eiichiro Oda

Eiichiro Oda
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Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Japanese manga artist
Birthdate: January 1, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture

 45 El Greco

El Greco
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 1, 1541
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Heraklion, Crete
Died: April 7, 1614
Artist Doménikos Theotokópoulos never let anyone forget his Greek heritage and almost always signed his art in Greek letters. Popularly known as El Greco, he was a significant figure of the Spanish Renaissance. His best-known works remain The Burial of the Count of Orgaz and The Assumption of the Virgin.

 46 Paul Klee

Paul Klee
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 18, 1879
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Münchenbuchsee
Died: June 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.

 47 M. F. Husain

M. F. Husain
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Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 17, 1915
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pandharpur
Died: June 9, 2011

 48 Soumitra Chatterjee

Soumitra Chatterjee
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Listed In: Actors, Poets, Artists
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 19, 1935
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Krishnanagar, Bengal Presidency, British India

Soumitra Chatterjee was an Indian film actor, director, writer, playwright, singer, and poet. He often collaborated with prominent director Satyajit Ray, with whom he worked in 14 films. A veteran actor with over 210 film appearances, he was the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest award in cinema given by the government of India.  

 49 Joan Miró

Joan Miró
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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.

 50 Amrita Shergil

Amrita Shergil
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Listed In: Artists
Famous As: Indian painter
Birthdate: January 30, 1913
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: December 5, 1941
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