Art History The Best Female Painters of All Time  

Ranker Art
914 votes 221 voters 6.2k views 48 items

List Rules Vote up the women you think are the best in the field.

While Picasso and Van Gogh are pretty much household names, many famous female painters have not achieved the same level of worldwide fame. Due to historical suppression and gender bias in the art world, sadly a lot of women painters go unrecognized during their lifetime and beyond. However - with the recent presence of artists like Frida Kahlo in pop culture - there is a newfound interest in all those women who made a big impact on the art world. Who are the best female painters of all time? Help decide below! 

There are plenty of famous female painters of the 21st century that are still churning out new work. Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, for example, is a jack of all trades visual artist who works not only in painting but in installation, sculpture, and fashion. There are also historic female painters, like Mary Beale and Clara Peeters, whose work is now being recognized more than ever. From contemporary painters to historic artists, you'll find some great women artists below. Vote the best female painters to the top of the list! 

list ordered by
1
73 27
Frida Kahlo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter who is best known for her self-portraits. Kahlo's life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known as the Blue House. Her work has been ...more
2
48 11
Georgia O'Keeffe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Georgia Totto O'Keeffe was an American artist. Born near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, O'Keeffe first came to the attention of the New York art community in 1916. She is best known for her paintings ...more
3
24 6
Artemisia Gentileschi is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Artemisia Gentileschi was an Italian Baroque painter, today considered one of the most accomplished painters in the generation following that of Caravaggio. In an era when women painters were ...more
4
28 11
Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun born in Paris, also known as Madame Lebrun, was a French painter, and is recognized as the most important female painter of the 18th century. Her ...more
5
28 11
Yayoi Kusama is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist and writer. Throughout her career she has worked in a wide variety of media, including painting, collage, sculpture, performance art, and environmental ...more
6
23 7
Marie-Denise Villers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Marie-Denise Villers
Marie-Denise Villers was a French painter, who specialized in portraits.
7
23 8
Berthe Morisot is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Berthe Marie Pauline Morisot was a painter and a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists. She was described by Gustave Geffroy in 1894 as one of ...more
8
26 12
Mary Cassatt is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Toward the end of the 1800s, Cassatt purchased paintings from young impressionists and encouraged others of wealth to do so in order to support the movement.
9
19 6
Lee Krasner is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Lee Krasner
Lee Krasner appeared in Jackson Pollock film.
10
23 10
Helen Frankenthaler is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Helen Frankenthaler was an American abstract expressionist painter. She was a major contributor to the history of postwar American painting. Having exhibited her work for over six decades, she ...more
11
18 6
Mary Beale is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Mary Beale
Mary Beale was an English portrait painter. She became one of the most important portrait painters of 17th-century England, and has been described as the first professional female English
12
21 9
Joan Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Joan Mitchell was a "second generation" abstract expressionist painter and printmaker. She was an essential member of the American Abstract expressionist movement, even though much of ...more
13
23 11
Tamara de Lempicka is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Tamara de Lempicka
Tamara Łempicka, commonly known as Tamara de Lempicka was a Polish Art Deco painter and "the first woman artist to be a glamour star". Influenced by Cubism, Lempicka became the leading ...more
14
19 8
Louise Bourgeois is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Louise Joséphine Bourgeois, was a French-American artist and sculptor. She was an influential figure in modern and contemporary art, and among her works of art were large spider ...more
15
18 9
Agnes Martin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Agnes Bernice Martin was an American abstract painter. Often referred to as a minimalist, Martin considered herself an abstract expressionist. She was awarded a National Medal of Arts from the ...more
16
10 3
Leonora Carrington is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Leonora Carrington OBE was a British-born Mexican artist, surrealist painter, and novelist. She lived most of her adult life in Mexico City, and was one of the last surviving participants in the ...more
17
10 4
Adélaïde Labille-Guiard is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Adélaïde Labille-Guiard
Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, also known as Adélaïde Labille-Guiard des Vertus, was a French miniaturist and portrait painter.
18
11 5
Lavinia Fontana is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Lavinia Fontana
Lavinia Fontana was an Italian painter. She is regarded as the first woman artist, working within the same sphere as her male counterparts, outside a court or convent. She was the first woman ...more
19
13 7
Clara Peeters is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Clara Peeters was a still-life painter of the Flemish school in the early seventeenth century.
20
14 8
Kara Walker is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Kara Walker appeared in the 2009 documentary film The Black List: Volume Two.
21
8 3
Vanessa Bell is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Vanessa Bell
Vanessa Bell was an English painter and interior designer, a member of the Bloomsbury group, and the sister of Virginia Woolf.
22
12 8
Elizabeth Peyton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Elizabeth Joy Peyton is an American painter who rose to popularity in the mid-1990s. She is a contemporary artist best known for stylized and idealized portraits of her close friends and ...more
23
9 5
Bridget Riley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Bridget Louise Riley CH CBE is an English painter who is one of the foremost exponents of op art. She currently lives and works in London, Cornwall and the Vaucluse in France.
24
8 4
Judith Leyster is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Judith Jans Leyster was a Dutch Golden Age painter. Leyster painted genre works, portraits, and still lifes. Her entire oeuvre was attributed to Frans Hals until 1893, when Hofstede de Groot ...more
25
7 3
Angelica Kauffman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Painters of All Time
Angelica Kauffman, RA was a Swiss-born Austrian Neoclassical painter who had a successful career in London and Rome. Though born as "Kauffmann", Kauffman is the preferred spelling of ...more