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.
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.
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.
English sculptor, artist, and photographer Andy Goldsworthy has revolutionized outdoor art by creating masterpieces with naturally available material such as rain, snow, and rocks. A farm laborer in his younger days, he developed an early love for nature and the elements. Rain Shadows remains one of his best-loved works.
Alexander Calder was an American sculptor best remembered for his innovative kinetic sculptures designed to use either motor, air currents, or other forces of nature. A multi-talented personality, Calder was also known for his paintings, miniatures, prints, jewelry design, theater set design, political posters, and tapestries and rugs. In 1977, he was honored with the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Edmonia Lewis was an American sculptor who worked in Rome for most of her career. The first African-American sculptor to gain international prominence, Lewis was also the only Black female artist to have participated and recognized by the American artistic mainstream until the end of the 19th century. Molefi Kete Asante included Lewis in his 100 Greatest African Americans list.
Constantin Brâncuși was a Romanian sculptor, painter, and photographer. A pioneer of modernism, he is considered one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century. The son of poor parents, he worked hard to fund his training at the Bucharest School of Fine Arts and became a skilled sculptor. He left behind 1200 photographs and 215 sculptures at his death.
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French painter and sculptor remembered for designing the Statue of Liberty. He is also credited with designing other iconic statues like The Lion of Belfort and Marquis de Lafayette. In addition to being a sculptor, Bartholdi also played an important role in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, serving as a liaison officer to Giuseppe Garibaldi.
Louise Bourgeois was a French-American artist best remembered for her large-scale installation art and sculpture. Also a prolific printmaker and painter, Bourgeois explored a variety of themes, such as sexuality and death. In 1997, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts. In 2009, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Leslie Stefanson is an American model, artist, and actress. She achieved popularity after playing important roles in popular films, such as The General's Daughter. A multi-talented personality, Leslie Stefanson also makes terracotta and bronze sculptures in New York City and Los Angeles.
H. R. Giger was a Swiss artist remembered for his airbrushed images of machines and humans intertwined in cold biomechanical relationships. He is also remembered for his work as part of the special effects team that worked in Ridley Scott's 1979 science fiction horror film Alien, for which the team won an Academy 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.
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.
Takashi Murakami is a Japanese contemporary artist who works in both fine arts media and commercial arts media. He is known for blurring the line between “high” and “low” arts. He is the founder of the art production and artist management company Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. He has collaborated with the fashion brand Louis Vuitton as well.
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.
Phidias was a Greek painter, sculptor, and architect. He is credited with sculpting the famous Statue of Zeus at Olympia, which was an important part of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Phidias is widely regarded as one of the greatest ancient Greek sculptors and is seen as the pioneer of the Classical Greek sculptural design.
Donald Judd was an American artist widely regarded as one of the most prominent international exponents of minimalism. He is credited with founding a contemporary art museum named Chinati Foundation which houses the collection of popular artists like Carl Andre, Ilya Kabakov, Richard Long, and John Wesley. Judd also contributed as a teacher at many academic institutions in the USA.
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.
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.
Max Ernst was a German painter, graphic artist, sculptor, and poet. A pioneer of the Dada movement, Ernst played an important role in popularizing surrealism during the early-20th century. He is also credited with inventing a couple of techniques, namely frottage and grattage. In 2005, the Max Ernst Museum was opened in his honor in Brühl, Germany.
Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss painter, sculptor, printmaker, and draftsman. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most important sculptors, Giacometti's career and his friendship with American writer James Lord inspired the 2017 British-American drama film Final Portrait, in which Alberto Giacometti is portrayed by Australian actor Geoffrey Roy Rush.
Presidential Medal-winning artist Jasper Johns is best known for his contribution to the pop art movement. His paintings revolve around subjects such as flags, numbers, and letters, whereas he has also gained fame for his cast sculpture art such as Painted Bronze. He also once experimented by attaching strings to his art.
Jean Arp was born in Strasbourg, to a German father and a French mother. After studying art in Paris and Switzerland, he co-created The Modern Alliance and participated in the Dada and Abstraction-Création movements. An avant-garde painter and sculptor, he also experimented with media such as embroidery.
Best known for his wood-engraving, Gustave Doré was a child prodigy who began his artwork at the tender age of 5. A master lithographer and caricaturist, he began his career with Journal pour Rire. He also worked on commissions from authors such as Cervantes, Milton, and Dante.
French sculptor Camille Claudel is also popularly known as legendary sculptor Auguste Rodin’s student, mistress, and muse. Claudel also contributed to many of Rodin’s masterpieces but never got any credit for it. After her relationship with Rodin soured, she became alienated and eventually died in an asylum.
English sculptor and printer Eric Gill first gained attention with his work Mother and Child. Apart from co-founding the St. Dominic’s Press, he also contributed to the illustrations and woodcuts for The Four Gospels. He was also infamous form his deviant sexual behavior, which included incest and animal abuse.
Austrian visual artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser is remembered for his imagination, his love for bold colors and uneven forms, and his dislike for “straight lines.” He and his Jewish mother escaped the Nazis by posing as Christians. His architectural projects are focused on environment-friendly buildings, such as the Hundertwasserhaus apartment block.
Isamu Noguchi was an American landscape architect and artist best remembered for designing the iconic Noguchi table. His sculptures are credited with bridging East and West and some of his works are considered landmarks of 20th-century art. In 1982, he won the Edward MacDowell Medal. In 1987, he received the National Medal of Arts for his contribution to the arts.
French painter Georges Braque is considered one of the pioneers of Cubism. His 1908 masterpiece Large Nude is one of his most celebrated pieces. Critics often argue whether Braque or Picasso had first begun developing Cubism, and many of their works are very similar in nature.
Finnish architect Alvar Aalto initially had his studies interrupted by the Finnish Civil War, which saw him fighting for the White Army. His first architectural design was for his parents’ house. He had experimented with furniture and glassware, too. His works showcase a move from classicism to functionalism.
Richard Serra is an American artist renowned for his large-scale sculptures that are designed for site-specific landscape, architectural, and urban settings. Many of his works are displayed in several museums, including The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris. Serra is the recipient of several prestigious awards like The National Arts Award.
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.
Günter Grass was a German novelist, illustrator, graphic artist, poet, playwright, and sculptor. A much revered and decorated writer, Grass was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1999. Over the course of his illustrious career, Günter Grass won many other awards, including the Georg Büchner Prize and the Hermann Kesten Prize.
Noted for series like Weavers’ Revolt and Peasants’ War, sculptor and graphic artist, Käthe Kollwitz, came in contact with the urban poor when she moved into Berlin's working class area. Touched by their plight, she soon started portraying them through her etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, and drawings, quickly becoming a powerful advocate for those suffering from social injustice, war, and inhumanity.
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.
It is believed Joseph Beuys was rescued by Tartars when his air force plane broke down in Crimea during World War II. He later gained fame as an avant-garde sculptor and artist and part of the group Fluxus. His works used unconventional media, with some even including staged actions.
Jeff Koons is an American artist best known for his versatility and work that deals with popular culture. Koons is also known for his sculptures, such as large balloon animals made using stainless steel to achieve mirror-finish surfaces. One of the most successful artists of his generation, Koons has produced works that have earned a couple of record auction prices.
Claes Oldenburg is a Swedish-American sculptor recognized for his public art installations. Many of his artworks, which were co-designed by his wife Coosje van Bruggen until 2009, feature everyday objects. One of the most celebrated sculptors of his generation, Claes Oldenburg has been honored with many prestigious awards like the National Medal of Arts and the Wolf Prize in Arts.
Japanese visual artist and illustrator Yoshitaka Amano is a renowned name in the animation industry. Apart from creating iconic characters such as Gatchaman, he has also illustrated for the video game series Final Fantasy. The Inkpot Award winner has also worked for two Vampire Hunter D movies.
Praxiteles was a Greek sculptor and son of famous scupltor Cephisodotus the Elder. The first scupltor to create a life-size statue of the nude female form, Praxiteles was the most celebrated among all the Attica sculptors of the fourth century BC. Praxiteles' supposed relationship with his beautiful model Phryne has inspired interpretation in works of art, such as comic opera.
Rosa Bonheur was a French artist and sculptor whose paintings have been preserved in popular museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musée d'Orsay. An influential personality, Bonheur was widely regarded as the 19th century's most popular female painter. An open lesbian, Rosa Bonheur stood out as a groundbreaking individual both in her personal life and her career.
Bertel Thorvaldsen was a Danish sculptor and medallist. He was internationally famous and spent most of his life in Italy. He received his training at the Royal Danish Academy of Art and initially worked with his father, a woodcarver. He went on to become a famous sculptor and worked in a heroic neo-classicist style. He received many awards.
Daniel Chester French was an American sculptor best remembered for designing the iconic monumental statue of Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C. He is also credited with designing the Pulitzer Prize gold medal along with H. Augustus Lukeman in 1917. Daniel Chester French also founded or co-founded many organizations like the National Sculpture Society (NSS) and the American Academy in Rome.