The rich artistic history of Italy had seen the country produce some of the most gifted painters of all time, especially during the Renaissance, when it was the hub of art in Europe. Here we’ll highlight some of the most famous Italian painters, their masterpieces, and their most iconic works.
Tintoretto a.k.a Jacopo Comin was born in 1518 and formed the three Venetian giants from the Renaissance, along with Titian and Veronese. At the time of the Renaissance, Italian artists decided to create an illusional space of three-dimension. Tintoretto used long and vast panoramas, stretching his technique. His style was creative and dramatic; colossal works were particularly of interest to him, and his art often had a touch of boldness, excellence, and modernity.
The Last Supper, his masterpiece, was created in 1594, and some of his famous works include St Mark’s Body Brought to Venice, The miracle of the Slave, and Crucifixion.
Tintoretto passed on in 1594.
Giorgione was born in 1478, and he mentored Titian, and along with his pupil, he established the Venetian school of Italian Renaissance. He passed on in 1510 in his early 30s, bringing an end to his stellar art career. He is remembered for his rare poetic presentation of his artworks. His premature death, skill, private life, and the mystery behind his works make Giorgione a standout of mysterious and most iconic European artists.
He created his Masterpiece, The Tempest in 1508, and some of his Famous Works include:
The Adoration of the Shepherds, Castelfranco Madonna, and Sleeping Venus
Born in 1445, Botticelli became prolific from the early stage of his career; however, before his death, his reputation got diminished by the newer artists. Even after his death, in 1510, his reputation continued to decline until the 1890s when his painting was seen to represent the Renaissance painting. Botticelli is now regarded as one of the most iconic Italian painters, and his work is best known for its captivating use of color.
His Masterpiece, Primavera, was created in 1482, and some of his famous works include The Birth of Venus, Adoration of the Magi, The Mystical Nativity.
Masaccio was born in 1401 and is regarded as the originator of Renaissance art that reshaped the Italian painting. He was the first to perfect profundity and perspective in his painting, initiating the use of vanishing point technique. He changed the International Gothic style used in Italy and encouraged realism, depth, and naturalism. Masaccio died in 1428 at the early age of twenty-six, but his work served as a guide for other artists to follow.
His Masterpiece, Holy Trinity was created in 1428, and some of his famous works include The Tribute Money, Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Madonna and Child with Angels.
Born in 1483, Raphael is up there with Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo da Vinci as the greatest painters of the Italian High Renaissance. Raphael’s realism paintings portrayed well-detailed emotion. He died in 1520, aged 37. His Mannerism movement influenced future artists’ painting style until the 20th century.
His Masterpiece, The School of Athens, was created in 1509. Some of his famous works include Sistine Madonna, Galatea, and Madonna of the Goldfinch.
Born in 1476, Titian was a versatile painter, skilled in portraits, landscape painting, abstract and religious subjects, his works represent the main highlights of the Venetian Arts of the 16th century. He is famous for his role in the history of art, enabling Church kings and Princes to brazenly make sexual seduction commissions.
His Masterpiece, Assumption of the Virgin, was created in 1518, and some of his famous works include Bacchus and Ariadne, Diana and Actaeon, and Venus of Urbino.
Michelangelo is a top artist of all time in the world, he created two of the most famous works of fresco painting in Western art namely; The Last Judgement on the altar wall and the scenes from Genesis on the roof of the Sistine Chapel. He had a low opinion of painting; however, his works ensure he remains among the greatest painters of all time.
His masterpiece, The Creation of Adam, was created in 1512, and some of his famous works include The Last Judgement, The Crucifixion of St. Peter, and Doni Tondo.
Giotto di Bondone
Giotto was considered as the first artist to capture the faces, gestures, joys, and sorrows of human beings. Some critics see Giotto as the best ever painter, and just a few have been as good.
His Masterpiece, The Kiss of Judas, was created in1306, and some of his famous works include Ognissanti Madonna, Lamentation (The Mourning of Christ), and Adoration of the Magi.
Born in 1571, Caravaggio’s paintings represented mainly the observation of the physical and emotional state of humans. He is regarded as the founder of Baroque art. Caravaggio’s style directly or indirectly influenced the works of Jusepe de Ribera, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Bernini, and subsequent artists who used his technique were called “Caravaggisti.” He passed on in 1610.
The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist was his masterpiece and was created in 1608 and some of his Famous Works include The Calling of St Matthew, Death of the Virgin, and David with the Head of Goliath.
Leonardo da Vinci
Born in 1452, Da Vinci’s detailed use of light, anatomy, geology, and botany helped him create his masterpieces that he is recognized for. He used abrupt tone gradation and is known for capturing human emotions in gestures and expressions. In “The Last Supper,” da Vinci nicely captures each apostle’s expression after Jesus revealed that he would be betrayed by one of them, while his masterpiece, Mona Lisa, had a smile that is still unproven till date. Da Vinci is considered as the greatest in capturing mild expressions, which gave his works more life than other artists’ works.
His Masterpiece, Mona Lisa was created in 1517 and some of his famous works include The Last Supper, Lady with an Ermine and Virgin of the Rocks.