Famous Expressionist Artists Artists

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.


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    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
    • Associated periods or movements: Post-Impressionism
    • Nationality: Netherlands, Kingdom of the Netherlands
    • Art Forms: Painting, Printmaking, Drawing
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    Edvard Munch
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    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 1893.more

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    • Artworks: The Scream, Madonna, Vampire, Girl Looking out the Window, Two Women on the Shore, + more
    • Birthplace: Europe, Ådalsbruk, Northern Europe, Nordic countries, Hedmark, + more
    • Associated periods or movements: Expressionism, Symbolist literature
    • Nationality: Norway
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting, Printmaking, Drawing
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    Francis Bacon
    Photo: Alvaro Tapia

    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 worked ...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, England
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Jacques Rosas Added by: JacquesRosas

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    Egon Schiele
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    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 with ...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
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    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, Eurasia, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Russia, Soviet Union
    • Associated periods or movements: German Expressionism, Der Blaue Reiter, Abstract art, Expressionism
    • Nationality: France, Russia
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Paul Klee
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    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 Writings on ...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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    Franz Marc
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    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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    Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
    Photo: KUUNSTKUULTUR

    Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was a German expressionist painter and printmaker and one of the founders of the artists group Die Brücke or "The Bridge", a key group leading to the foundation of Expressionism in 20th-century art. He volunteered for army service in the First World War, but soon suffered a ...more

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    • Artworks: At the Forest Edge, View from the Window, A Group of Artists, Kummeralp Mountain and Two Sheds, Street, + more
    • Birthplace: Aschaffenburg, Germany
    • Associated periods or movements: German Expressionism, Die Brücke, Expressionism
    • Nationality: Germany
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Marc Chagall
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Marc Zakharovich Chagall was a Russian-French artist. Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century". An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic medium, including ...more

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    • Artworks: I and the Village, White Crucifixion, The Circus Rider, Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers, La Mariée, + more
    • Birthplace: Vitebsk, Belarus
    • Associated periods or movements: Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism
    • Nationality: France, United States of America, Russia, Belarus
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Emil Nolde
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    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 yellows ...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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    Käthe Kollwitz

    Käthe Kollwitz was a German painter, printmaker, and sculptor whose work offered an eloquent and often searing account of the human condition, and the tragedy of war, in the first half of the 20th century. Her empathy for the less fortunate, expressed most famously through the graphic means of drawing, ...more

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    • Artworks: Parents with Child, March of the Weavers, Prisoners Listening to Music, The Mothers, The Grieving Parents, + more
    • Birthplace: Königsberg, Germany
    • Associated periods or movements: Expressionism
    • Nationality: Germany
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Lucian Freud
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-2.5

    Lucian Michael Freud, OM, CH was a German-born British painter. Known chiefly for his thickly impastoed portrait and figure paintings, he was widely considered the pre-eminent British artist of his time. His works are noted for their psychological penetration, and for their often discomforting ...more

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    • Artworks: Two Japanese Wrestlers by a Sink, Woman with a Daffodil, Girl with a White Dog, Francis Bacon, Sunny MorningEight Legs
    • Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art, Realism, Realism, Surrealism, Expressionism
    • Nationality: United Kingdom
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    August Macke
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    August Macke was one of the leading members of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter. He lived during a particularly innovative time for German art: he saw the development of the main German Expressionist movements as well as the arrival of the successive avant-garde movements which were ...more

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    • Artworks: Landscape with Cows, Sailing Boat and Figures, Vegetable Fields, Landscape with Cows and Camel, Portrait of Franz Marc, + more
    • Birthplace: Meschede, Germany
    • Associated periods or movements: German Expressionism, Der Blaue Reiter, Expressionism
    • Nationality: Germany
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Oskar Kokoschka was an Austrian artist, poet and playwright best known for his intense expressionistic portraits and landscapes.more

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    • Artworks: Self-Portrait, Doctor Emma Veronika Sanders, Hans Tietze and Erica Tietze-Conrat, Mann und Weib auf dem Sterbeweg (Man and Woman on the Road to Death), from..., + more
    • Birthplace: Pöchlarn, Austria
    • Associated periods or movements: Expressionism, Vienna Secession
    • Nationality: Austria
    • Art Forms: Painting, Drawing
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    Isaac Grünewald

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    Isaac Grünewald
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Isaac Grünewald was a Swedish-Jewish expressionist painter born in Stockholm. He was the leading and central name in the first generation of Swedish modernists from 1910 up until his death in 1946, in other words during almost his entire career spanning four decades. He was a highly productive painter ...more

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    • Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
    • Associated periods or movements: Modernism, Expressionism
    • Nationality: Sweden
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry

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    Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry was a Hungarian painter who was part of the avant-garde movement of the early twentieth century. Working mostly in Budapest, he was one of the first Hungarian painters to become known in Europe. On 15 December 2006 the Kieselbach Gallery in Budapest sold an auction the most ...more

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    • Artworks: Springtime in Mostar, Balbeck, Ruins of Greek Theatre at Taormina, Trees in Electric Light a Jajce, Rendez-vous of Lovers, + more
    • Birthplace: Sabinov, Slovakia
    • Associated periods or movements: Post-Impressionism, Expressionism
    • Nationality: Hungary
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Donray

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    Donray
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Donray is a contemporary American artist in the style of Post-Modern Expressionism with elements of Surrealism, Futurism and Fauvism. He is included in the Who's Who in American Art. He is known for metaphorical imagery exploring the dynamic nature of life and the human desire for spiritual ...more

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    • Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States of America
    • Associated periods or movements: Postmodernism, Expressionism
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Bernard Buffet
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Bernard Buffet was a French painter of Expressionism and a member of the anti-abstract art group "L'homme Témoin".more

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    • Artworks: Nues, Ojima building, Virginie, Le Crapaud, Paravent, + more
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Expressionism
    • Nationality: France
    • Art Forms: Painting, Printmaking, Drawing
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    Helene Schjerfbeck

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    Helene Schjerfbeck
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Helene Schjerfbeck was a Finnish painter. She is most widely known for her realist works and self-portraits, and less well known for her landscapes and still lifes. Throughout her long life, her work changed dramatically. Her work starts with a dazzlingly skilled, somewhat melancholic version of ...more

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    • Artworks: Helene Schjerfbeck's Self-portrait with Black Background, At Home, Girl reading, The Gatekeeper's Daughter, The Alarm, + more
    • Birthplace: Helsinki, Finland
    • Associated periods or movements: Realism, Naturalism, Expressionism
    • Art Forms: Painting
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