Top 10 Most Famous Baroque Painters

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Baroque painting is the painting style that came from the Baroque movement that first appeared on the 17th and lasted through the middle of the 18th century. In this period of time, there have been hundreds of influential artists that left a deep mark in our artistic history. Baroque artists used a lot of contrast, a lot more contrast than Renaissance art and grandeur to be provocative and to surprise people.

The start of this movement was somewhere around the start of the 17th century in Rome and managed to spread all over Europe in countries such as Germany, Spain, Italy and many more. It was then preceded by Rococo is also known as Late Baroque, however, not a lot of people share this opinion that these two movements should share the same name.

With the spread of the movement in so many countries, there were artists from France, Germany, Austria, Italy and a lot more. Here are some of the most famous baroque painters from that time.

1. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

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One of the most influential Baroque painter during the Baroque movement period was Caravaggio. Not a lot of people are aware that he had such an impact at the time, but he was one of the biggest artists in Europe during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. He was well known as a very violent, provocative and as the artist who was constantly in trouble with the law. You could say that Caravaggio managed to transfer his character into his art since it usually depicted a violent nature as torture or death. The death of Michelangelo Caravaggio was a complete mystery.

Caravaggio’s most famous paintings are “The Calling of Saint Matthew”, “Doubting Thomas”, “Bacchus” and more. His most impressive work is Bacchus because it is believed that he used a mirror to depict himself into his own painting as Bacchus (the Greek god of Wine).

2. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

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Rembrandt is believed to be one of the most important painters in our history and especially in Dutch art history. Rembrandt did not focus on one simple style throughout his creative times, he believed that a good artist would have multiple styles such as landscapes, historical scenes, sometimes even mythological or biblical themes too. His paintings were so diverse that he probably had influence over most artists that came after his time.

According to, Rembrandt is one of the artists who first started the Dutch Golden Age and had a huge impact on the Baroque movement in Europe.

“The Night Watch” is undoubtedly one of Rembrandt’s most remarkable paintings. The painting depicts the militia company of Captain Frans Cocq and Willem Ryutenburgh. The painting is so famous throughout the world because of these three things: It was simply huge considering how much detail there is in it (363 cm x 437 cm), the accurate depiction of lighting and quality and the perception of motion which can be associated with the Baroque style.

“The Storm on the Sea of Galilee”, “Self-Portrait with Two Circles”, “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp” is also one of the more famous works by Rembrandt.

3. Sir Peter Paul Rubens

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Born in the year 1577, Sir Peter Paul Rubens is one of the most important Flemish artists during the Baroque movement. His work became popular because of his accurate depiction of sensuality, color, and the Baroque type depiction of motion. His work consisted of creating famous historical events, landscapes, portraits, and mythological or biblical themes.

“Samson and Delilah” was Rubens’ most impressive work that depicts an Old Testament story about Samson and Delilah. It shows the moment when Samson is asleep over Delilah’s lap and a man cuts his hair. The whole scene explains the betrayal of Delilah, waiting for the Philistines to capture Samson who is shown waiting at the door in the painting.

Other impressive works by Rubens are “Honeysuckle Bower” – a self-portrait of himself and his first wife, “The Descent from the Cross” – taking down Jesus from the Cross he was nailed on, “The Assumption of the Virgin Mary” and many more.

4. Diego Velázquez

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Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez is one of the most important painters of the Spanish Golden age. His works usually depicted famous historical scenes and scenes with strong cultural significance, however, since he was the main artist in the court of King Philip IV he also had numerous portraits of royalty.

One of Velazquez’s most famous painting is the “Las Meninas” that shows a very detailed depiction of a room that is located in the Royal Alcazar of Madrid. This work is very complex and is probably one of the most extensively analyzed paintings in art history. Other famous works of Velazquez are “Old Woman Frying Eggs”, “Christ in the House of Martha and Mary”, “The Triumph of Baccus” and many other artworks.

5. Nicolas Poussin

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Nicolas Poussin was an artist who founded the French Classical tradition, who also had a Baroque style buy had characteristics and traits that were the complete opposite of artists such as Caravaggio or Rubens. His paintings were more logical, not as deep colors, featuring wide landscapes and inspired a sense of calmness. The works of Poussin had a huge impact on artists such as Paul Cezanne and even Pablo Picasso. This shows how important this painter is in our history of art.

“Dance to the Music of Time”, “The Abduction of the Sabine Women”, “Et in Arcadia Ego” was one of Poussin’s greatest works.

6. Gian Lorenzo Bernini

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A baroque style architect from Italy, who had a few works with paintings, but had a great influence on most Baroque movement painters. Some of his paintings are “Christ Mocked”, “Portrait of a Boy and others.

7. Johannes Vermeer

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Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter who had a preference for depicting the lives of the middle class in mostly interior scenes. While he is considered to be a very talented artist and painter during his time, he was poor and after his death, he had nothing to leave to his wife and children.

Other Baroque painters worth mentioning are:

8. Artemisia Gentileschi

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One of the few women who managed to be successful as an artist during those times.

9. Anthony van Dyck

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A Flemish artist who managed to become the leading painter in England.

10. Guido Reni

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Famous for his artworks: “Massacre of the Innocents” and “Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist”. Every period of time brings new artists with new ideas, but the art itself has always stayed on the same path: to bring beauty in different forms. The art has evolved during periods of time, and even artists nowadays, who have their own forms of expressing themselves, which you can check on, use these artists as their inspiration.