Famous watercolor artists include Albrecht Durer, Peter Paul Rubens, Van Dyck, Thomas Gainsborough and Eugene Delacroix. The earliest known use of watercolor exists in cave paintings.Know More
European monks painted in watercolors during the Middle Ages to decorate books designed for Christian devotion, called illuminated manuscripts. During the Renaissance in Germany, watercolors illustrated botanical and wildlife studies and reached acceptance as an art form due to Durer’s detailed paintings. Hans Bol established the first watercolor school around this time.
Thomas Girtin, Paul Sandby and Joseph Mallord William Turner established watercolor as a recognized medium in England in the 18th century. It was widely used to depict terrains and geological formations for engineers, mapmakers and in expeditions to document new discoveries.
Watercolor gained popularity in the United States in the 19th century. John James Audubon, the artist famous for his depictions of birds, painted in this medium as did John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins during the 19th century.
Famous artists of the 20th century include Wassily Kandinsky, Emil Nolde and Paul Klee. In America, Edward Hopper’s painting, “Lighthouse and Buildings, Portland Head,” is a watercolor he painted in 1927 at Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The abstract works of John Marin are predominantly in watercolor.Learn More
One famous Japanese painting is Katsushika Hokusai's "The Great Wave off Kanagawa," which he painted sometime between 1829 and 1832. The painting depicts two fishing boats surrounded by a large wave that dwarfs the image of Mount Fuji in the background.Full Answer >
Famous Dutch painters include Frans Hals, Vincent van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer, Cornelis Troost and Rembrandt van Rijn. Other artists include Jan Steen, Paulus Potter, Dirck Hals and Jacob van Loo. The 17th century represented the Golden Age of Dutch painting, and genres like portraits, landscapes, religious and historical subjects and everyday scenes were common.Full Answer >
Leonardo da Vinci was a painter, theorist, sculptor and artist who became famous for his works that included "Leda and the Swan," "The Last Supper," "Mona Lisa" and "Virgin of the Rocks." His achievements made him a leading figure in the Italian Renaissance.Full Answer >
The most famous work of the Renaissance artist Raphael is actually a portion of a larger work: the Sistine Madonna. The two bored cherubim at the bottom of the painting have been reproduced on T-shirts and many other consumer items.Full Answer >