Culture

The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time  

Ranker Art
487 votes 93 voters 1.7k views 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 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.

list ordered by
1
Leonardo da Vinci is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
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
2
Frida Kahlo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
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
3
Michelangelo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
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
4
Keith Haring is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Brenna Zedan added 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
5
Andy Warhol is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Brenna Zedan added 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
6
Tamara de Lempicka is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
Jean-Michel Basquiat is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
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
8
Francis Bacon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
United Kingdom
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
9
Robert Rauschenberg is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
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
10
Cy Twombly is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
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
11
Gerda Wegener is listed (or ranked) 11 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.
12
Jasper Johns is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
United States of America
Jasper Johns is an American painter and printmaker.
13
David Hockney is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Brenna Zedan added 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
14
Gluck is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
England
Gluck was a British painter.
15
Sonia Sekula is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
Mandy McCartin is listed (or ranked) 16 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".
17
Mickalene Thomas is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
John Singer Sargent is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
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
19
Ethel Sands is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
Henry Scott Tuke is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Brenna Zedan added 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
21
Gwen John is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
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
22
Christopher Wood is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
United Kingdom, England
John Christopher Wood — also known as Kit Wood — was an English painter born in Knowsley, near Liverpool.
23
Joan Snyder is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
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
24
Clare Atwood is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
Amrita Sher-Gil is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
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