Updated: Nov 25, 2019

I was musing over how many truly great Artists the world has produced and from which country. I was surprised just how rare great Artists are, and we are talking centuries here. I have compiled a list by country with the proviso that this represents my own opinion of "great"


John Constable

J. M. W. Turner

Francis Bacon (maybe)


Francisco Goya

Diego Velázquez

Pablo Picasso (included because everyone thinks so)

Salvador Dalí (believe it or not)


El Greco


Paul Klee


Max Beckmann

Albrecht Dürer

Sigmar Polke

Gerhard Richter

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Max Ernst


John Singer Sargent

Georgia O'Keeffe

Jackson Pollock


Eugène Delacroix

Gustave Courbet

Édouard Manet

Paul Cézanne

Claude Monet

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre Bonnard

Henri Matisse




Leonardo da Vinci

Sandro Botticelli





Pieter Brueghel the Younger

James Ensor

René Magritte


Hieronymus Bosch


Paul Rubens


Vincent van Gogh


Diego Rivera

Frida Kahlo

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A lot of Art now has political motivations

the destruction of the environment

Me too

The inclusion of people of color (I am amused by this expression as we all have a color)

the refugee crisis


I am of the opinion that this type of Art will have a half life at best.

What happens when the crisis passes, or the politics change, This Art will have to stand as Art.

As much as Artists may wish to change the world using Art as the vehicle, Art history is unkind to such efforts.

Avant-garde Artists flocked to Russia during the revolution thinking Art could change society, They were rebuked during the purge.

American Artists produced socially relevant work during the great depression in what became the Ashcan school. Sadly that Art was consigned to the Ashcan.

I am of the old school opinion that Art is about Art and can not be otherwise.

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After fire, painting, music and sculpture are mankind's oldest inventions. Many have suggested that painting is dead, oddly no one suggests that music is dead.

The unique attributes of Painting are there is no time or physical space. Painting occupies a implied space, the picture plane. An arena where anything can happen.

No other medium has this quality, not sculpture or the moving image.

There have been Art movements that sought to refute the implied space of the picture plane. However if you do that there is no more painting. The painting becomes an object in the world of other objects that exist in 3D space.