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The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time

Updated September 7, 2018 1.1k votes 153 voters 3.6k 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.

...more
  • 1
    Leonardo da Vinci is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    70
    10

    Leonardo da Vinci

    Republic of Florence

    AgeDec. at 67 (1452-1519)

    BirthplaceVinci, Italy

    Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian polymath, painter, sculptor, architect,... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Michelangelo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    69
    17

    Michelangelo

    Italy, Republic of Florence

    AgeDec. at 89 (1475-1564)

    BirthplaceCaprese Michelangelo, Italy

    Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Frida Kahlo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    77
    25

    AgeDec. at 47 (1907-1954)

    BirthplaceCoyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico

    Frida Kahlo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈfɾiða ˈkalo]; born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Keith Haring is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    66
    21

    Keith Haring

    United States of America

    AgeDec. at 32 (1958-1990)

    BirthplaceReading, Pennsylvania

    Keith Allen Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) was an American artist whose pop art and... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Jean-Michel Basquiat is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    42
    13

    Jean-Michel Basquiat

    United States of America

    AgeDec. at 28 (1960-1988)

    BirthplaceNew York City, USA, New York

    Jean-Michel Basquiat (French: [ʒɑ̃ miʃɛl baskija]; December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Andy Warhol is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    53
    29

    Andy Warhol

    United States of America

    AgeDec. at 59 (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... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Francis Bacon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    32
    9

    Francis Bacon

    United Kingdom, England

    AgeDec. at 83 (1909-1992)

    BirthplaceRepublic of Ireland, Dublin

    Francis Bacon (28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992) was an Irish-born British figurative painter... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Tamara de Lempicka is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    29
    11

    Tamara de Lempicka

    United States of America

    AgeDec. at 82 (1898-1980)

    BirthplaceWarsaw, Poland

    Tamara Łempicka (born Tamara Rozalia Gurwik-Górska; 16 May 1898 – 18 March 1980; colloquial:... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Robert Rauschenberg is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    21
    4

    Robert Rauschenberg

    United States of America

    AgeDec. at 83 (1925-2008)

    BirthplacePort Arthur, Texas, United States of America

    Milton Ernest "Robert" Rauschenberg (October 22, 1925 – May 12, 2008) was an American painter... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    David Hockney is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    20
    9

    David Hockney

    United Kingdom, England

    Age83

    BirthplaceBradford, United Kingdom

    David Hockney, (born 9 July 1937) is an English painter, draftsman, printmaker, stage... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Gerda Wegener is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    15
    3

    Gerda Wegener

    Gerda Marie Fredrikke Wegener (née Gottlieb; 15 March 1886 – 28 July 1940) was a Danish... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Jasper Johns is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    17
    8

    Jasper Johns

    United States of America

    Age90

    BirthplaceAugusta, Georgia, United States of America

    Jasper Johns (born May 15, 1930) is an American painter, sculptor and printmaker whose work is... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    John Singer Sargent is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    18
    9

    John Singer Sargent

    United States of America

    AgeDec. at 69 (1856-1925)

    BirthplaceFlorence, Italy

    John Singer Sargent (; January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American expatriate artist,... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Paul Cadmus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    13
    6

    Paul Cadmus

    United States of America

    AgeDec. at 95 (1904-1999)

    BirthplaceManhattan, New York City, New York

    Paul Cadmus (December 17, 1904 – December 12, 1999) was an American artist widely known for... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Cy Twombly is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    16
    13

    Cy Twombly

    United States of America

    AgeDec. at 83 (1928-2011)

    BirthplaceVirginia

    Edwin Parker "Cy" Twombly Jr. (; April 25, 1928 – July 5, 2011) was an American painter,... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Charles Demuth is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    7
    2

    Charles Demuth

    United States of America

    AgeDec. at 52 (1883-1935)

    BirthplaceLancaster, Pennsylvania

    Charles Henry Buckius Demuth (November 8, 1883 – October 23, 1935) was an American... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Sonia Sekula is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    12
    10

    Sonia Sekula

    Sonja Sekula (8 April 1918 – 25 April 1963) (also known as Sonia Sekula) was a Swiss-born... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Kehinde Wiley is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    9
    6

    Kehinde Wiley

    United States of America

    Age43

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California

    Kehinde Wiley (born February 28, 1977) is an American portrait painter based in New York City,... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Romaine Brooks is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    9
    6

    Romaine Brooks

    United States of America

    AgeDec. at 96 (1874-1970)

    BirthplaceRome, Italy

    Romaine Brooks (born Beatrice Romaine Goddard; May 1, 1874 – December 7, 1970), was an... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Mandy McCartin is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    10
    8

    Mandy McCartin

    England

    Age62

    BirthplaceSheffield, United Kingdom

    Mandy McCartin (born 10 April 1958) is an English artist based in London, a "proud butch... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Gwen John is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    7
    5

    Gwen John

    United Kingdom

    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... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Joan Snyder is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    7
    5

    Joan Snyder

    United States of America

    Age80

    BirthplaceHighland Park, New Jersey, United States of America

    Joan Snyder, (born April 16, 1940), is an American painter from New York. She is a MacArthur... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Ethel Sands is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    10
    9

    Ethel Sands

    Ethel Sands was an American-born artist and hostess who lived in England from her early... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Henry Scott Tuke is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    8
    7

    Henry Scott Tuke

    United Kingdom

    AgeDec. at 71 (1858-1929)

    BirthplaceYork, United Kingdom

    Henry Scott Tuke (12 June 1858 – 13 March 1929), was an English visual artist; primarily a... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Gluck is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best LGBTQ+ Painters Of All Time
    8
    8

    Gluck

    England

    AgeDec. at 83 (1895-1978)

    Hannah Gluckstein, known as Gluck (13 August 1895 – 10 January 1978) was a lesbian and... more on Wikipedia
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