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Visual Artists Throughout History

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All hail the visual artist: without him or her we've got no "art history" about which to talk. This is the place to check out artists' biographical profiles and learn who did what, when.
  1. Famous Artists
  2. Women Artists
  3. Renaissance Greats
  4. Going for Baroque
  1. Rococo to Realism and a Bit Beyond
  2. The Impressionists
  3. Modern Masters
  4. Post-War Artists

Famous Artists

© Christie's Images Ltd.; used with permission

Certain artists are household words, even if the house isn't teeming with art history mavens. Here are some names of popular artists ... so popular, in fact, that many times either their first or last names, alone, will suffice in pleasant conversation. Hint: To browse every artist's bio on this website, check out the first selection.

Women Artists

© Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki; used with permission of Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

One always debates segregating women artists from artists-in-general; it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't gender minefield fraught with "politically correct" peril. Woman artists don't create "different" art, nor do they labor less intensely than their male counterparts to create. Furthermore, many of them did and/or do resent being classified by their sex. However, statistics show that you, the reader, often search for this very classification. So here we are.

Renaissance Greats

Image source: ArtprintCollection.com

Of the ten artists' names everyone knows, at least four were active during "The Renaissance," three of these four were Italian and two of them came from Florence. Of course, there were many other artists active in Italy and Northern Europe during this time. Here you'll find a selection of names both familiar and otherwise, but all of them produced Renaissance art.

Going for Baroque

© Westfries Museum, Hoorn, The Netherlands; used with permission

Following hot on the heels of the Renaissance, the lengthy Baroque period gave us a few more artists' names with which most human beings are familiar.

Rococo to Realism and a Bit Beyond

© The Metropolitan Museum of Art; used with permission

The Baroque grudgingly gave way to the visual gluttony of the Rococo period. This, in turn and in mercifully short fashion, acquiesced to a fierce battle between Neo-Classicism and Romanticism, with late-comer Realism eventually emerging triumphant. Throw in a few more divergent realistic movements precursing Impressionism, and you've got roughly 180 years jam packed with busy artists. Here is a selection of them for you.

The Impressionists

Photograph provided by Art.com; used with permission

Where would Western art be today without the Impressionists? I tell you, it scarcely bears considering. Beginning in France and spreading outward, this relatively small but crucial group of artists forever altered the course of art history. The very least we can do in return is to single them out for special attention.

Modern Masters

© The Metropolitan Museum of Art; used with permission

After Impressionism opened the "anything goes" door, artists singly and collectively zoomed off into new territory. Here are some of the people who wrote art history between the mid-1880s and the late 1930s.

Post-War Artists

© 2008 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society, New York; used with permission

When we speak of "Post-War" in art history, the war in question is World War II. (Though art was created during the war, people were understandably focused on more pertinent issues.) After 1945, art-consciousness roared back with a vengeance. Here are some of the men and women who brought us Abstract Expressionism, Color Field Painting, Pop Art and more.

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