Culture

The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time 

Ranker Art
Updated September 7, 2018 669 votes 123 voters 2.4k views 40 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

Age: Dec. at 67 (1452-1519)

Birthplace: Vinci, Italy

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

Age: Dec. at 47 (1907-1954)

Birthplace: Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico

Frida Kahlo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈfɾiða ˈkalo]; born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón; 6 July 1907 – 13 July 1954) was a Mexican painter known for her many portraits, ...more
3
Michelangelo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Italy, Republic of Florence

Age: Dec. at 89 (1475-1564)

Birthplace: Caprese Michelangelo, Italy

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

Age: Dec. at 32 (1958-1990)

Birthplace: Reading, Pennsylvania

Keith Allen Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) was an American artist whose pop art and graffiti-like work grew out of the New York City street culture of the 1980s.Haring's work grew to ...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

Age: Dec. at 59 (1928-1987)

Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 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
Jean-Michel Basquiat is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
United States of America

Age: Dec. at 28 (1960-1988)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Jean-Michel Basquiat (French: [ʒɑ̃ miʃɛl baskija]; December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent. Basquiat first achieved fame as part of SAMO, ...more
7
Francis Bacon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
United Kingdom

Age: Dec. at 83 (1909-1992)

Birthplace: Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Francis Bacon (28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992) was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his emotionally charged raw imagery and fixation on personal motifs. Best known for his ...more
8
Tamara de Lempicka is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Tamara de Lempicka United States of America

Age: Dec. at 82 (1898-1980)

Birthplace: Warsaw, Second Polish Republic

Tamara Łempicka (born Tamara Rozalia Gurwik-Górska; 16 May 1898 – 18 March 1980; colloquial: Tamara de Lempicka) was a Polish painter who spent her working life in France and the United ...more
9
Robert Rauschenberg is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
United States of America

Age: Dec. at 83 (1925-2008)

Birthplace: Port Arthur, Texas, United States of America

Milton Ernest "Robert" Rauschenberg (October 22, 1925 – May 12, 2008) was an American painter and graphic artist whose early works anticipated the pop art movement. Rauschenberg is ...more
10
Jasper Johns is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
United States of America

Age: 88

Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia, United States of America

Jasper Johns (born May 15, 1930) is an American painter, sculptor and printmaker whose work is associated with abstract expressionism, Neo-Dada, and pop art. He is well known for his depictions ...more
11
David Hockney is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Brenna Zedan added United Kingdom

Age: 81

Birthplace: Bradford, United Kingdom

David Hockney, (born 9 July 1937) is an English painter, draftsman, printmaker, stage designer, and photographer. As an important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he is ...more
12
Gerda Wegener is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Gerda Wegener

Age: Dec. at 54 (1886-1940)

Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark

Gerda Marie Fredrikke Wegener (née Gottlieb; 15 March 1886 – 28 July 1940) was a Danish illustrator and painter, specialising in images of fashionable women in the style of Art Nouveau ...more
13
John Singer Sargent is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
United States of America

Age: Dec. at 69 (1856-1925)

Birthplace: Florence, Italy

John Singer Sargent (; January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American expatriate artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of ...more
14
Cy Twombly is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
United States of America

Age: Dec. at 83 (1928-2011)

Birthplace: Virginia

Edwin Parker "Cy" Twombly Jr. (; April 25, 1928 – July 5, 2011) was an American painter, sculptor and photographer. He belonged to the generation of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper ...more
15
Julie Mehretu is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
United States of America

Age: 49

Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Julie Mehretu (born 1970 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) is a contemporary visual artist, well known for her multi-layered paintings of abstracted landscapes on a large scale. Her paintings, drawings, ...more
16
Gwen John is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
United Kingdom

Age: Dec. at 63 (1876-1939)

Birthplace: Haverfordwest, United Kingdom

Gwendolen Mary John (22 June 1876 – 18 September 1939) was a Welsh artist who worked in France for most of her career. Her paintings, mainly portraits of anonymous female sitters, are rendered ...more
17
Paul Cadmus is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
United States of America

Age: Dec. at 95 (1904-1999)

Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York

Paul Cadmus (December 17, 1904 – December 12, 1999) was an American artist widely known for his egg tempera paintings of gritty social interactions in urban settings. He also produced many ...more
18
Sonia Sekula is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Sonia Sekula

Age: Dec. at 45 (1918-1963)

Birthplace: Switzerland

Sonja Sekula (8 April 1918 – 25 April 1963) (also known as Sonia Sekula) was a Swiss-born artist linked with the abstract expressionist movement, notable for her activity as an "out" ...more
19
Henry Scott Tuke is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Brenna Zedan added United Kingdom

Age: Dec. at 71 (1858-1929)

Birthplace: York, United Kingdom

Henry Scott Tuke (12 June 1858 – 13 March 1929), was an English visual artist; primarily a painter, but also a photographer. His most notable work was in the Impressionist style, and he is ...more
20
Gluck is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
England

Age: Dec. at 83 (1895-1978)

Hannah Gluckstein, known as Gluck (13 August 1895 – 10 January 1978) was a lesbian and gender-nonconforming British painter.
21
Amrita Sher-Gil is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
India

Age: Dec. at 28 (1913-1941)

Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Amrita Sher-Gil (30 January 1913 – 5 December 1941) was an eminent Hungarian-Indian painter. She has been called "one of the greatest avant-garde women artists of the early 20th ...more
22
Kehinde Wiley is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Kehinde Wiley United States of America

Age: 42

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Kehinde Wiley (born February 28, 1977) is an American portrait painter based in New York City, who is known for his highly naturalistic paintings of black people. He was commissioned in 2017 to ...more
23
Christopher Wood is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
United Kingdom

Age: Dec. at 29 (1901-1930)

Birthplace: Knowsley, Merseyside, United Kingdom

John Christopher Wood (7 April 1901 – 21 August 1930), also known as Kit Wood, was an English painter born in Knowsley, near Liverpool.
24
Leonor Fini is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Argentina

Age: Dec. at 89 (1907-1996)

Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Leonor Fini (August 30, 1907 – January 18, 1996) was an Argentinian surrealist painter, designer, illustrator, and author, known for her depictions of powerful women.
25
Ellen Day Hale is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
Ellen Day Hale United States of America

Age: Dec. at 85 (1855-1940)

Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts

Ellen Day Hale (February 11, 1855 – February 11, 1940) was an American Impressionist painter and printmaker from Boston. She studied art in Paris and during her adult life lived in Paris, London ...more