Some of the most famous painters throughout history include Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock. Each of these artists introduced significant innovations to the medium of painting and influenced many other artists.
Born in 1452, Leonardo da Vinci was a major figure in the Italian Renaissance, with achievements in painting, sculpture, architecture, mathematics, engineering and more. In spite of his diverse achievements, da Vinci’s fame rests primarily on his paintings. Only a small number of da Vinci’s works have survived, but his surviving paintings, such as the “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper,” are some of the most recognizable works in the history of art.
As the co-founder of the Cubist movement, Pablo Picasso was one of the most influential figures in 20th-century art. Cubism focused on depicting objects from multiple viewpoints simultaneously, breaking down images into abstracted geometric forms. Picasso’s work led to the development of many 20th-century art movements, including Futurism, Dada and De Stijl and influenced new forms of music and literature.
American painter Jackson Pollock took visual art even further into abstraction, producing large, chaotic paintings that are exemplary of the Abstract Expressionist style. Pollock’s unique drip technique, which involved laying canvases on the floor and pouring paint onto them, became one of the most recognizable styles in modern art. Pollock’s work inspired fierce debates about the role of abstraction in contemporary painting.