Famous Italian artists

Introducing the Italian artists who redefined art and our perspective in both classic and contemporary times.

1Michelangelo Buonarroti

Born in Caprese, near Florence, in 1475, this magnificent artist and sculptor transformed blocks of marble into figures full of life. His immortal works include the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museum, the Pietà and The Last Judgment. Read the biography.

2Donatello

Considered the founder of modern sculpture, Donato de Bardi was born in Florence in 1386. His bronze David was the first nude statue of the Renaissance. Read the biography.

3Sandro Botticelli

A friend of both Leonardo and Michelangelo, born in 1445 and renowned for religious and secular-themed masterpieces such as the Primavera, Birth of Venus and Adoration of the Magi. Read the biography.

4Giotto

Ambrogio Bondone was born in Vespignano near Florence, in 1267. He is best known for the emotion and realism depicted in his frescoes, which grace the Scrovegni Chapel in Padova and the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. Read the biography.

5Bernardino Luini

Bernardino Luini was a North Italian painter from Leonardo’s circle, a conservative painter who took “as much from Leonardo as his native roots enabled him to comprehend”. Read the biography.

6Masaccio

Tommaso Masaccio was born in San Giovanni Valdarno, Tuscany in 1401. Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael were all influenced by his work, a collection of which lies in the Brancacci Chapel of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence. Read the biography.

7Paolo Uccello

Paolo Uccello (born Paolo di Dono in 1397) was a Florentine painter who was notable for his pioneering work on visual perspective in art. With his precise, analytical mind he tried to apply a scientific method to depict objects in three-dimensional space. Read the biography.

8Leonardo da Vinci

Born in Vinci, near Florence, in 1452. A Renaissance genius, world-renowned for his paintings, including The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Leonardo was also a master architect, engineer, mathematician and philosopher. Read the biography.

9Raphael

Raffaello Sanzio was born in Urbino in 1483. His superb use of perspective, realism and animation is exemplified by the School of Athens adorning the walls of the Vatican. Read the biography.

10Tintoretto

Jacopo (Robusti) Tintoretto, born in 1518, was one of the greatest painters of the Venetian school and probably the last great painter of the Italian Renaissance. Read the biography.

11Fra Angelico

Fra Giovanni da Fiesole (Fra Angelico), a Dominican friar, was perhaps the most important painter of Renaissance Florence. He was born Guido di Pietro in Mugello, in 1400, and began the significant part of his career at the Dominican monastery at Fiesole. Read the biography.

12Fra Filippo Lippi

Fra Filippo Lippi has entered legend as a Renaissance prototype of the rebellious romantic artist. Read the biography.

13Artemisia Gentileschi

Born in Rome in 1593, Artemisia was the daughter of artist Orazio Gentileschi. Recognized as the first woman artist in a male-dominated world of post-Renaissance art, her works are to be found in Rome and in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery. Read the biography.

14Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo was born in Venice on March 5, 1696. His father, who was part owner of a ship, died when Tiepolo was scarcely a year old, but the family was left in comfortable circumstances. Read the biography.

15Giorgio Giorgione

Giorgione was an Italian painter of the Venetian school in the High Renaissance from Venice, whose career was cut off by his death at a little over 30. Read the biography.

16Canaletto

Canaletto had a large studio in Venice and turned out quantities of paintings and etchings that have made his name synonymous with eighteenth-century Venice. Read the biography.

17Caravaggio

Born Michelangelo Merisi in Caravaggio, east of Milan, in 1571, his baroque style explored the balance between light and dark, portraying still life in astonishingly realistic form – as shown in Basket of Fruit, The Musicians and the Burial of Saint Lucy. Read the biography.

18Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Not only a painter but also a poet, Dante Gabriel Rossetti was born in London in 1828, where his father, an exiled Italian painter and Dante scholar, served as Professor of Italian at King’s College. The family was steeped in literature and art. Read the biography.

19Amedeo Modigliani

Amedeo Modigliani was born in Italy in the Livorno ghetto in 1884. His father, a ruined banker, died young and his mother encouraged her delicate son in his aptitude for art, sending him to study in Florence and Venice and to visit museums throughout Italy. Read the biography.

20Giorgio De Chirico

Giorgio de Chirico was an Italian artist who was born in Greece. In the years before World War I, he founded the scuola metafisica art movement, which profoundly influenced the surrealists. Read the biography.

21Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti, the Surrealist sculptor known for his nervous, elongated forms, was born in Stampa, Switzerland. He started drawing at the age of nine, painting at twelve and created his first sculpture at fourteen. Read the biography.

22Marino Marini

By using a great variety of different media, Marini expresses emotions through color, form, and with an archaic simplicity of shape that goes back through the centuries to very early Chinese figurines and Etruscan or Greco-Roman sculpture. Read the biography.

23Umberto Boccioni

Umberto Boccioni was an influential Italian painter and sculptor. He helped shape the revolutionary aesthetic of the Futurism movement as one of its principal figures. Read the biography.

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