Painting is one of the oldest art forms, and has been used a form of expression for centuries.
People have always wanted to express themselves, and sometimes, words are not enough, instead it’s much easier to say what we need to say in other ways, including visual representations through painting.
From our ancestors using charcoal, clay and mud to paint on cave walls to artists using paints on canvas, paper and even buildings today, painting has stood the test of time.
One of the best parts about painting is that there are so many styles and incredible artists, that no matter your taste or interests, there is most certainly an amazing piece of art that you can adorn your walls with.
Today, we want to talk to you about some of the most well-known artists throughout history, as well as some of their most recognised and famous works.
Keep reading to learn more.
7 of the World’s Most Celebrated Artists and Their Most Famous Works
Whether you’re into art in a big way or wouldn’t know which end of a paint brush to use, there is a chance that you will have heard of most of the artists on this list. Even if you don’t know them by name, you might have seen their work before.
Here are some of the most well-known and highly celebrated painters.
1. Claude Monet
Born in Paris in 1840, Claude Monet was and is still seen as one of the most influential landscape artists of all time.
He was a key leader of the Impressionist art movement, one that saw artists paint outside and try to capture what the world around them looked like to them, as if whatever they have painted is happening before our eyes. The aim was to not only show you what they were seeing as they painted, but to make you feel it as well.
Monet’s work, like other impressionist artists, was characterised by the short and fast brushstrokes, as if trying to keep up with the objects and the way the light moved of what they were painting. Prior to impressionism, brushstrokes in art were not really noticeable.
Monet is most well known for his Water Lilies painting series, where he was so captivated by the gardens he was surrounded with in Giverny in France, that he couldn’t help but paint them numerous times and at various times of day.
The real versions of Monet’s Water Lilies series, as well as his other works, are scattered in museums and galleries all over the world.
Below is his piece "Water Lilies 1916-1919"
While it’s unlikely that you would be able to buy your own original Monet piece – they have sold in recent times for upwards of $80 million dollars - you can still get a taste of these incredible works at Gioia.
We have a range of Monet art prints available to be purchased on Canvas or Art Paper. Check out the collection here.
2. Henri Matisse
Another French artist, Henri Matisse was born in 1869 and was quite the jack of all trades. He worked as a draughtsman, a printmaker, a sculptor, but is most well-known for as a painter.
He is most famous for the way he used colour to form his expressive pieces. He was known as a colourist, often considered to be the greatest colourist of the 20th century.
Emerging in the post-impressionist movement, his innovation led to him often being compared to Pablo Picasso. He was a leader of the french painter ally group known as the Fauves, who used intense colour to describe light and to communicate the artist’s state of mind. This type of art was also seen as a precursor to the abstract styles that were to follow.
Matisse is believed to have completed over 1000 paintings throughout his life, and while they vary in style one of the most well-known series is his “Blue Nude” works. He created these pieces after having surgery from stomach cancer. This surgery restricted his movement and revolutionised how he created his works, so he would cut and paint sheets of paper by hand to form his pieces.
The Blue Nude series was made in this style and depicts nude figures in various positions in a bright blue shade. You can see one of these pieces below:
You can shop our collection Matisse artwork prints here.
3. Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt was an Austrian painter, born in 1862. He was part of the Art Nouveau movement and known as a leading symbolist painter.
Symbolism art wasn’t just focused on painting but was also a literary movement. Rather than trying to show the realism of the world, through the use of symbols and metaphors, symbolist artists would assign deep meaning to their subjects. The scenes and imagery painted by symbolist painters were often heroic, mythological or dream-like, and the symbols they would use were usually deeply personal.
Klimt most predominantly depicted allegories and focused on the female form. His art was quite unique compared to other pieces that were emerging out of Europe, which led to them receiving a lot of attention.
Unfortunately, some of Gustav Klimt’s pieces were destroyed by the Nazis in the 20th Century (16 pieces), however, thankfully, much of it does live on today, and can be seen in galleries around the world.
One of his most famous pieces is “The Kiss” which can be seen below. It was painted in 1907-1908 and is one of the most famous pieces of the golden period – which is where a trip to Italy exposed Klimt to Byzantine Art, and led to him including gold in each piece of his art.
You can buy a canvas or art paper print of “The Kiss” here and check out the whole Klimt collection of prints available here.
4. Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo may be most well known as a face of feminism. Her bright and bold artworks are instantly able to be associated with her homeland of Mexico.
Often referred to as a Surrealist artist – though she disagreed with this connection - one of her lasting legacies was the way in which she was able to express her true pain and frustration through her art.
Loss, death, and identity had been explored by male artists for many years, however Kahlo was the first female artist to dissect these topics. And her brilliant use of colour created a juxtaposition between the feelings these colours would evoke and the feelings portrayed in her self-portraits.
It is said that a lot of Kahlo’s works were self-portraits as she spent the majority of her time alone after a horrific bus accident in 1925 when she was only 18. This accident left her with a broken collar bone, ribs, pelvis, spinal column and various fractures. She would eventually undergo 30 painful operations, and her self-portraits expressed this pain.
She is considered a feminist icon as she was not afraid to talk openly about her gender. Though women’s rights were somewhat limited, this didn’t stop Frida from painting about various feminine topics like miscarriage, birth, and abortion. Her honesty and openness about her female experience opened the door for women around the world to talk about their lives.
Her various self portraits, one of which is pictured below are powerful and captivating.
You can buy a Frida Kahlo artwork print no matter where you are in Australia here.
5. Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh is arguably one of the most famous painters of all time. This is largely because of his incredible artworks, but also as he is widely known as a tortured artist who was heavily burdened by his emotional state.
Born in the Netherlands in 1853, Van Gogh, despite his popularity now, only ever sold one painting in his lifetime. He was a Post-Impressionist artist, meaning that while he was painting the real world around him, unlike Impressionist artists who were focused on creating pieces that emphasised the natural rendering of light and colour, he was focused on adding symbolic content to convey his own emotional state and thoughts.
His works are characterised by his use a dense use of paint and visible brushstrokes. Using a colour palette that combined soothing tones with hints of opulence, Van Gogh’s works are heavily influenced by his emotional and mental instability, and showcase how he was interpreting the world around him.
During the final two years of Van Gogh’s life, his mental health deteriorated significantly. He committed himself into a psychiatric institution in 1889 and during his time there he produced over 100 artworks, including Starry Night, which is one of his most well-known pieces, and pictured below.
Discover the collection of Vincent Van Gogh artworks you can get prints of from Gioia here.
6. Edward Hopper
Considered to be one of American’s best modern painters, Edward Hopper had a knack to create contemplative artworks that captured ordinary everyday scenes and combined these with universal concerns of the human condition, like loneliness, solitude, regret and boredom.
His pieces were often the interior of ordinary places like offices, homes, and hotel rooms, however he also created works of landscapes and seascapes. He used sharp lines, large shapes and lighting to highlight the loneliness of his subjects.
He was born in 1882 in New York, and is often recognised as being one of the most important realist painters of the 20th Century. His most famous piece is “Nighthawks” (below) which depicts customers and a waiter a corner diner. It was painted during the war and is believed to show how disconnected and lonely Americans were feeling during this time. This can be seen in the disconnection between the customers and the waiter at the diner.
Though he passed away in 1967, Edward Hopper is still highly influential for realist artists today.
You can shop prints of some of Edward Hopper’s greatest pieces, including “Nighthawks” here.
7. John James Audubon
It was a love of birds that influenced John James Audubon’s most well-known works – Birds of America.
Born in 1784 in Haiti, Audubon was a naturalist, an ornithologist and a self-trained artist. It was his love of ornithology and art that saw him take on the ambitious project of painting every single bird species in North America.
He started this challenge when he was 35 years old, and when he was 41, the first version of the series was published. The complete series contains 435 life-size watercolour paintings of North American birds and took 11 years to complete.
In order to support himself while he worked on this project, he painted portraited for the wealthy and gave drawing lessons to aspiring artists. His wife also worked to ensure they could survive.
As his paintings became more intricate and his skills improved, he even went back to some of his earlier paintings and re-did them.
His works were so intricate and highly regarded that they are still the standard with which other bird artists are measured against. His paintings were dynamic and dramatic insights into the wildlife world that had never been seen before.
His works were not only important from an artistic point of view, but also from a scientific one, his works show species that are since extinct, and he also identified 25 new bird species.
The below painting is the "Shoveller Duck" artwork by Audubon.
While you would struggle to get your hands on one of the limited copies of Audubon’s Birds of America collections, you can always shop prints of his pieces from us here at Gioia. Check out the collection here.
Own a copy of the world’s most famous art
While you might not be able to own an original famous artwork, unless you have very deep pockets, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate and appreciate the work of artists who paved the way for future generations of artists and painters.
Here at Gioia, you can purchase a canvas or art paper print, framed, stretched or unframed online. We ship all over Australia for free and offer prints in various sizes.
Shop with us today for high-quality and affordable wall art prints.