Art The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time  

Ranker Art
65 votes 8 voters 41 items

List Rules Vote up the LGBTQ+ painters you think produced the best bodies of work throughout their careers.

As long as people have been making art, LGBTQ+ artists have been painting from their perspective. From gay painters like Leonardo da Vinci and Andy Warhol to bisexuals like Frida Kahlo and trans artists like Lili Elbe and Jeffrey Catherine Jones, the rainbow of great LGBTQ+ painters stretches around the world. 

All of these artists have all created amazing bodies of work and changed art history books for the better, but it's more difficult to determine who has truly left their mark. Even if some of the names are new to you, their paintings are familiar, and it’s up to you to help determine which painters have made, or are making, history with their art.

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Andy Warhol is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Brenna Zedan added Andy Warhol United States of America Andy Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and ...more

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Simeon Solomon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Brenna Zedan added Simeon Solomon England Simeon Solomon was an English Pre-Raphaelite painter.

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Keith Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Brenna Zedan added Keith Vaughan United Kingdom John Keith Vaughan was a British painter. Born in Selsey, Vaughan attended Christ's Hospital school. He worked in an advertising agency until the war, when as an intending conscientious objector ...more

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Keith Haring is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Brenna Zedan added Keith Haring United States of America Keith Allen Haring was an American artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s by expressing concepts of birth, death, sexuality, and war. ...more

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David Hockney is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Brenna Zedan added David Hockney United Kingdom, England David Hockney, OM CH RA is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. He lives in Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, and Kensington, London. Hockney ...more

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Mickalene Thomas is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Mickalene Thomas Mickalene Thomas is an African-American feminist, socio-political artist and filmmaker known for her elaborate paintings adorned with rhinestones, enamel and colorful acrylics. She draws from ...more

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Michelangelo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Michelangelo Italy, Republic of Florence Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled ...more

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Mandy McCartin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Mandy McCartin England Mandy McCartin is an artist based in London, a "proud butch lesbian" and DJ "classic soul fanatic".

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Sonia Sekula is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Sonia Sekula Sonia Sekula was a Swiss-born artist linked with the abstract expressionist movement. She was born in Lucerne on 8 April 1918 to a Swiss mother, Berta Huguenin, and a Hungarian father, ...more

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Robert Rauschenberg is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Robert Rauschenberg United States of America Robert Rauschenberg did not originally set out to become an artist. Born in Texas in the 1920s, Rauschenberg grew up in a fairly strict and frugal Christian household. As a teenager, he hoped to ...more

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Paul Cadmus is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Paul Cadmus United States of America Paul Cadmus was an American artist. He is best known for his paintings and drawings of nude male figures. His works combined elements of eroticism and social critique to produce a style often ...more

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Lili Elbe is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Lili Elbe Lili Elbe was a transgender woman and one of the first identifiable recipients of sex reassignment surgery. Elbe was born in Denmark as Einar Mogens Wegener and was a successful artist under ...more

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Henry Scott Tuke is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Brenna Zedan added Henry Scott Tuke United Kingdom Henry Scott Tuke, RA RWS, was an English visual artist; primarily a painter, but also a photographer. His most notable work was in the Impressionist style, and he is probably best known for his ...more

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Gwen John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Gwen John United Kingdom Gwendolen Mary John was a Welsh artist who worked in France for most of her career. Her paintings, mainly portraits of anonymous female sitters, are rendered in a range of closely related tones. ...more

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Christopher Wood is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Christopher Wood United Kingdom John Christopher Wood — also known as Kit Wood — was an English painter born in Knowsley, near Liverpool.

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Nell Blaine is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Nell Blaine United States of America Nell Blair Walden Blaine was an American landscape painter and watercolorist.

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Clare Atwood is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Clare Atwood United Kingdom Clare 'Tony' Atwood was a British painter of portraits, still life, landscapes, interiors and decorative flower subjects. Atwood lived in a ménage à trois with the dramatist ...more

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Joan Snyder is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Joan Snyder United States of America Joan Snyder is an American painter from New York. She is a MacArthur Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow. Her paintings have been exhibited at several museums, including the de Saisset Museum and the ...more

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Gluck is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Gluck England Gluck was a British painter.

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Amrita Sher-Gil is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Amrita Sher-Gil India Amrita Sher-Gil was an eminent Indian painter born to a Punjabi Sikh father and a Hungarian Jewish mother, sometimes known as India's Frida Kahlo, and today considered an important woman painter ...more

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Romaine Brooks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Romaine Brooks United States of America Romaine Brooks, born Beatrice Romaine Goddard, was an American painter who worked mostly in Paris and Capri. She specialized in portraiture and used a subdued palette dominated by the color ...more

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Violet Oakley is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Violet Oakley United States of America Violet Oakley was the first American woman to receive a public mural commission. During the first quarter of the twentieth century, she was renowned as a pathbreaker in mural decoration, a field ...more

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Tamara de Lempicka is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Tamara de Lempicka United States of America 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

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Ethel Sands is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Ethel Sands Ethel Sands was an American-born artist and hostess who lived in England from her early childhood. She studied art in Paris for several years under Eugène Carrière, and it was ...more

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Manuel Rodríguez Lozano is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Manuel Rodríguez Lozano Mexico Manuel Rodríguez Lozano was a Mexican painter, known for his “melancholy” depiction of Mexico rather than the more dominant political or festive one of the Mexican muralism movement. This ...more

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Leonor Fini is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Leonor Fini Argentina Leonor Fini was an Argentine surrealist painter, designer, illustrator, and author, known for her unapologetic depictions of powerful women.

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Craigie Aitchison is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Craigie Aitchison United Kingdom John Ronald Craigie Aitchison CBE RSA RA was a Scottish painter. He was best known for his many paintings of the Crucifixion, one of which hangs behind the altar in the chapter house of ...more

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Ellen Day Hale is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Ellen Day Hale United States of America Ellen Day Hale was an American Impressionist painter and printmaker from Boston. She studied art in Paris and during her adult life lived in Paris, London and Boston. She exhibited at the Paris ...more

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Francis Bacon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Francis Bacon United Kingdom, England 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 ...more

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Frida Kahlo is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Frida Kahlo Mexico 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

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Cy Twombly is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Cy Twombly United States of America Edwin Parker "Cy" Twombly, Jr. was an American painter of large-scale, freely scribbled, calligraphic and graffiti-like works on solid fields of mostly gray, tan, or off-white colors. ...more

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Gerda Wegener is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Gerda Wegener Gerda Gottlieb Wegener Porta was a Danish illustrator and painter from French descent, best known for her erotica.

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Jasper Johns is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Jasper Johns United States of America Jasper Johns is an American painter and printmaker.

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Jeffrey Catherine Jones is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Jeffrey Catherine Jones United States of America Jeffrey Catherine Jones was an American artist whose work is best known from the late 1960s through 2000s. Jones provided over 150 covers for many different types of books through 1976, as well ...more

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John Singer Sargent is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
John Singer Sargent United States of America John Singer Sargent was an American artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created ...more

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Julie Mehretu is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Julie Mehretu United States of America Julie Mehretu is an artist, best known for her densely layered abstract paintings and prints. She lives and works in New York City. Mehretu shares her New York studio with her partner, the ...more

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Kehinde Wiley is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Kehinde Wiley United States of America Kehinde Wiley is a New York-based portrait painter, who is known for his highly naturalistic paintings of people with brown skin in heroic poses. He will often use old masters paintings for the ...more

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Leonardo da Vinci is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Leonardo da Vinci Republic of Florence Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian polymath, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. He is ...more

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Jean-Michel Basquiat is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Jean-Michel Basquiat United States of America Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist, musician, and producer. He first achieved notoriety as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti group who wrote enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed ...more

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Charles Demuth is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Charles Demuth United States of America Charles Demuth was an American watercolorist who turned to oils late in his career, developing a style of painting known as Precisionism. "Search the history of American art," wrote ...more

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El Kazovsky is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
El Kazovsky Hungary El Kazovsky was a Russian-born Hungarian painter; one of the leading Hungarian painters of his time.