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Famous Expressionist Artists

Updated June 14, 2019 8.7k votes 1.8k voters 286.7k views101 items

List RulesVote up the best Expressionist artists.

This list of famous Expressionism artists features images, bios, and information about their notable works, many of which are the best Expressionist paintings in art history. You might also be interested in disturbing facts about Vincent van Gogh and weird personal quirks of famous iconic artists. All the greatest artists associated with the Expressionism movement are included here, along with clickable names for more details on that particular painter or sculptor. These notable Expressionism period artists are organized by popularity, so the best artists are at the top of the list. If you think the best Expressionism artist isn't as high as they should be then be sure to give them an upvote, as your votes can change the rankings!

What is Expressionism in art? Expressionistic art is a modernist art movement and its most iconic trait is presenting the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it for emotional effect with the aim to evoke moods or ideas. Famous expressionists are known for their artwork, paintings, portrait work, and even sculptures, creating some of the most memorable works of art in any movement.

The list below is made up of a variety of different expressionism painters and artists, including Edvard Munch and Francis Bacon. But who are the most famous Expressionism artists? Who are the best Expressionism artists? Almost every well-known or influential figure in this movement is listed below. You're able to copy this list to build your own just like it, re-rank it to fit your views, then publish it to share it on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networks where your artsy friends will marvel at your handiwork and opinions on this great art movement.

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    Edvard Munch ( MUUNK, Norwegian: [ˈɛdvɑʈ ˈmʊŋk] (listen); 12 December 1863 – 23 January 1944) was a Norwegian painter, whose best known work, The Scream, has become one of the most iconic images of world art. His childhood was overshadowed by illness, bereavement and the dread of inheriting a mental condition that ran in the family. Studying at the Royal School of Art and Design in Kristiania (today’s Oslo), Munch began to live a bohemian life under the influence of nihilist Hans Jæger, who urged him to paint his own emotional and psychological state ('soul painting'). From this would presently emerge his distinctive style. Travel brought new influences and new outlets. In Paris, he learned...  more
    • Artworks: The Scream, Madonna, Vampire, Girl Looking out the Window, Two Women on the Shore
    • Birthplace: Ådalsbruk, Løten, Norway
    • Associated periods or movements: Expressionism, Symbolist literature
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting, Printmaking, Drawing
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    Vincent Willem van Gogh (Dutch: [ˈvɪnsɛnt ˈʋɪləm vɑŋ ˈɣɔx] (listen); 30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of which date from the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterised by bold colours and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. He was not commercially successful, and his suicide at 37 came after years of mental illness and poverty. Born into an...  more
    • Artworks: The Starry Night, The Potato Eaters, Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers, Portrait of Adeline Ravoux, Portrait of Dr. Gachet (First Version)
    • Birthplace: Zundert, Kingdom of the Netherlands
    • Associated periods or movements: Post-Impressionism
    • Art Forms: Painting, Printmaking, Drawing
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    Egon Schiele (German: [ˈʃiːlə] (listen); 12 June 1890 – 31 October 1918) was an Austrian painter. A protégé of Gustav Klimt, Schiele was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. His work is noted for its intensity and its raw sexuality, and the many self-portraits the artist produced, including naked self-portraits. The twisted body shapes and the expressive line that characterize Schiele's paintings and drawings mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism....  more
    • Artworks: Portrait of Edith Schiele In A Striped Dress, Self Portrait with Black Vase, Self-Portrait, Dead City III, Agony (The Death Struggle)
    • Birthplace: Tulln an der Donau, Europe, Austria, Central Europe, Lower Austria
    • Associated periods or movements: Expressionism, Vienna Secession
    • Art Forms: Painting, Drawing
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    Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky (; Russian: Васи́лий Васи́льевич Канди́нский, tr. Vasíliy Vasílʹevich Kandínskiy, IPA: [vɐˈsʲilʲɪj vɐˈsʲilʲjɪvʲɪtɕ kɐnʲˈdʲinskʲɪj]; 16 December [O.S. 4 December] 1866 – 13 December 1944) was a Russian painter and art theorist. Kandinsky is generally credited as the pioneer of abstract art. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa, where he graduated at Grekov Odessa Art school. He enrolled at the University of Moscow, studying law and economics. Successful in his profession—he was offered a professorship (chair of Roman Law) at the University of Dorpat—Kandinsky began painting studies (life-drawing, sketching and anatomy) at the age of 30. In...  more
    • Artworks: Composition VII, Composition VIII, The Blue Rider, The White Dot, Autumn II
    • Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
    • Associated periods or movements: German Expressionism, Der Blaue Reiter, Abstract art, Expressionism
    • Art Forms: Painting
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