arts Famous Expressionist Artists

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This list of famous Expressionism artists features images, bios, and information about their notable works, many of which are the best Expressionist paintings in art history. All the greatest artists associated with the Expressionism movement are included here, along with clickable names for more details on that particular painter or sculptor. These notable Expressionism period artists are organized by popularity, so the best artists are at the top of the list. If you think the best Expressionism artist isn't as high as they should be then be sure to give them an upvote, as your votes can change the rankings!

What is Expressionism in art? Expressionistic art is a modernist art movement and its most iconic trait is presenting the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it for emotional effect with the aim to evoke moods or ideas. Famous expressionists are known for their artwork, paintings, portrait work, and even sculptures, creating some of the most memorable works of art in any movement.

The list below is made up of a variety of different expressionism painters and artists, including August Strindberg and Francis Bacon. But who are the most famous Expressionism artists? Who are the best Expressionism artists? Almost every well-known or influential figure in this movement is listed below. You're able to copy this list to build your own just like it, re-rank it to fit your views, then publish it to share it on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networks where your artsy friends will marvel at your handiwork and opinions on this great art movement.
Vincent van Gogh is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Expressionist Artists
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Vincent van Gogh


Vincent Willem van Gogh was a major Post-Impressionist painter. He was a Dutch artist whose work had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. His output includes portraits, self portraits, landscapes and still lifes of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers. Van Gogh drew as a child but did not ...more

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Artworks: The Starry Night, The Potato Eaters, Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers, Portrait of Adeline Ravoux Portrait of Dr. Gachet (First Version), + more

Birthplace: Zundert, Kingdom of the Netherlands

Associated periods or movements: Post-Impressionism

Nationality: Netherlands

Art Forms: Painting, Printmaking, Drawing

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Edvard Munch is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Expressionist Artists
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Edvard Munch


Edvard Munch was a Norwegian painter and printmaker whose intensely evocative treatment of psychological themes built upon some of the main tenets of late 19th-century Symbolism and greatly influenced German Expressionism in the early 20th century. One of his most well-known works is The Scream of ...more

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Artworks: The Scream, Madonna, Vampire, Girl Looking out the Window Two Women on the Shore, + more

Birthplace: Ådalsbruk, Løten, Norway

Associated periods or movements: Expressionism, Symbolist literature

Nationality: Norway

Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting, Printmaking, Drawing

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Francis Bacon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Expressionist Artists
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Francis Bacon


Francis Bacon was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his bold, emotionally charged and raw imagery. His painterly abstracted figures are typically isolated in glass or steel geometrical cages, set against flat, nondescript backgrounds. Bacon took up painting in his early 20s but ...more

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Artworks: Painting (1946), Figure with Meat, Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, Figure in a landscape Composition (Figure), + more

Birthplace: Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Associated periods or movements: Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism

Nationality: United Kingdom

Art Forms: Painting

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Egon Schiele is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Expressionist Artists
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Egon Schiele


His first exhibit was at the 1909 Kunstschau in Vienna. From there on, he continued to show his work at exhibitions. Some of his well-known paintings illustrate his affinity toward nude women, such as in his 1910 painting Reclining Nude. He painted Portrait of Wally in 1912 during his love affair ...more

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Artworks: Portrait of Edith Schiele In A Striped Dress, Self Portrait with Black Vase, Self-Portrait, Dead City III Agony (The Death Struggle), + more

Birthplace: Tulln an der Donau, Austria

Associated periods or movements: Expressionism, Vienna Secession

Nationality: Austria, Czech Republic

Art Forms: Painting, Drawing

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Wassily Kandinsky is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Expressionist Artists
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Wassily Kandinsky


Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first purely abstract works. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa. He enrolled at the University of Moscow, studying law and economics. Successful in his ...more

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Artworks: Composition VII, Composition VIII, The Blue Rider, The White Dot Autumn II, + more

Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Associated periods or movements: German Expressionism, Der Blaue Reiter, Abstract art, Expressionism

Nationality: France, Russia

Art Forms: Painting

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Paul Klee is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Expressionist Artists
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Paul Klee


Paul Klee was a Swiss-German painter. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented with and eventually deeply explored color theory, writing about it extensively; his lectures ...more

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Artworks: Angelus Novus, Revolution des Viadukts, Der Goldfisch, Garten der Leidenschaft (Garden of Passion) Little Castle in the Air, + more

Birthplace: Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland

Associated periods or movements: German Expressionism, Der Blaue Reiter, Cubism, Surrealism Expressionism, + more

Nationality: Germany

Art Forms: Painting, Drawing

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Emil Nolde is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Expressionist Artists
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3 people just voted on Emil Nolde


Emil Nolde was a German Danish painter and printmaker. He was one of the first Expressionists, a member of Die Brücke, and is considered to be one of the great oil painting and watercolor painters of the 20th century. He is known for his vigorous brushwork and expressive choice of colors. Golden ...more

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Artworks: Young Prince and Dancers, Flower Garden, Christ and the Children, Blue and Violet Flowers Red-Haired Girl, + more

Birthplace: Duchy of Schleswig

Associated periods or movements: German Expressionism, Die Brücke, Expressionism

Nationality: Germany

Art Forms: Painting, Printmaking

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Franz Marc is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Expressionist Artists
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Franz Marc


Franz Marc was a German painter and printmaker, one of the key figures of the German Expressionist movement. He was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter, a journal whose name later became synonymous with the circle of artists collaborating in it. ...more

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Artworks: The Bewitched Mill, The Lamb, The Tower of Blue Horses, Yellow Cow The Little Blue Horse, + more

Birthplace: Munich, Germany

Associated periods or movements: German Expressionism, Der Blaue Reiter, Expressionism

Nationality: Germany

Art Forms: Painting

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