Culture
230 voters

The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time

Updated September 7, 2018 1.5k votes 230 voters 7.3k views40 items

List RulesVote 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.

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  • 1

    Leonardo da Vinci

    Republic of Florence
    103
    14

    AgeDec. at 67 (1452-1519)

    BirthplaceVinci, 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

    Michelangelo

    Italy, Republic of Florence
    90
    18

    AgeDec. at 88 (1475-1564)

    BirthplaceCaprese 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
  • 3
    90
    29

    AgeDec. at 47 (1907-1954)

    BirthplaceCoyoacán, 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, self-portraits, and...  more
  • 4
    Brenna Zedan added

    Keith Haring

    United States of America
    76
    28

    AgeDec. at 31 (1958-1990)

    BirthplaceReading, 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

    Jean-Michel Basquiat

    United States of America
    54
    14

    AgeDec. at 27 (1960-1988)

    BirthplaceNew York City, USA, New York

    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, an...  more
  • 6
    Brenna Zedan added

    Andy Warhol

    United States of America
    68
    29

    AgeDec. at 58 (1928-1987)

    BirthplacePittsburgh, 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
  • 7

    Francis Bacon

    United Kingdom, England
    44
    10

    AgeDec. at 82 (1909-1992)

    BirthplaceDublin, 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

    United States of America
    42
    13

    AgeDec. at 81 (1898-1980)

    BirthplaceWarsaw, 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 States. She...  more
  • 9

    Robert Rauschenberg

    United States of America
    25
    5

    AgeDec. at 82 (1925-2008)

    BirthplacePort 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 well known for his...  more
  • 10

    John Singer Sargent

    United States of America
    33
    18

    AgeDec. at 69 (1856-1925)

    BirthplaceFlorence, 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 Edwardian-era luxury. He...  more
  • 11

    Paul Cadmus

    United States of America
    23
    8

    AgeDec. at 94 (1904-1999)

    BirthplaceManhattan, 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 highly...  more
  • 12

    Gerda Wegener

    21
    6
    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 and later Art...  more
  • 13

    Jasper Johns

    United States of America
    21
    8

    Age91

    BirthplaceAugusta, 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 of...  more
  • 14

    Gwen John

    United Kingdom
    15
    6

    AgeDec. at 63 (1876-1939)

    BirthplaceHaverfordwest, 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 in a...  more
  • 15
    Brenna Zedan added

    David Hockney

    United Kingdom
    26
    19

    Age84

    BirthplaceBradford, 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 considered...  more
  • 16

    Cy Twombly

    United States of America
    19
    13

    AgeDec. at 83 (1928-2011)

    BirthplaceVirginia

    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 Johns. Twombly's...  more
  • 17

    Sonia Sekula

    24
    20
    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" lesbian in the...  more
  • 18

    Romaine Brooks

    United States of America
    18
    12

    AgeDec. at 96 (1874-1970)

    BirthplaceRome, Italy

    Romaine Brooks (born Beatrice Romaine Goddard; May 1, 1874 – December 7, 1970), was an American painter who worked mostly in Paris and Capri. She specialized in portraiture and used a subdued tonal...  more
  • 19

    AgeDec. at 28 (1913-1941)

    BirthplaceBudapest, 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 century" and a...  more
  • 20

    Leonor Fini

    Argentina
    10
    5

    AgeDec. at 88 (1907-1996)

    BirthplaceBuenos 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....  more
  • 21

    Clare Atwood

    United Kingdom
    9
    4

    AgeDec. at 96 (1866-1962)

    BirthplaceRichmond, London, London, United Kingdom

    Clare 'Tony' Atwood (11 May 1866 – 2 August 1962) was a British painter of portraits, still life, landscapes, interiors and decorative flower subjects. Atwood lived in a ménage à trois with the...  more
  • 22

    Kehinde Wiley

    United States of America
    15
    12

    Age44

    BirthplaceLos 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 paint...  more
  • 23

    Christopher Wood

    United Kingdom
    9
    6

    AgeDec. at 29 (1901-1930)

    BirthplaceKnowsley, 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....  more
  • 24

    Charles Demuth

    United States of America
    7
    5

    AgeDec. at 51 (1883-1935)

    BirthplaceLancaster, Pennsylvania

    Charles Henry Buckius Demuth (November 8, 1883 – October 23, 1935) was an American watercolorist who turned to oils late in his career, developing a style of painting known as Precisionism. "Search...  more
  • 25
    Brenna Zedan added

    Henry Scott Tuke

    United Kingdom
    14
    15

    AgeDec. at 70 (1858-1929)

    BirthplaceYork, 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 probably...  more