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Famous Italian Artists: Part 1

Some of the greatest artists of all time were Italian (hint, Giotto, Donatello, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci). So it’s to no surprise that most are somewhat familiar with the famous Italian art that sits on the walls of the world’s most prestigious museums. We’ve put together a list of famous Italian artists, combining the lesser-known with the legendary to create a concise but complete list of famous Italian artists. Read on to learn more about these famous Italian sculptors, painters & more!

Leonardo da Vinci

When speaking of famous Italian artists, it would be offensive not to include one of the most renowned artists of all time, Leonardo da Vinci. He is arguably most famous for the Mona Lisa. In fact, it’s so popular that the estimated 30,000 daily visitors of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France are known to wait in queues for hours on end to catch a glimpse of the da Vinci masterpiece. Although Leonardo da Vinci achieved his legendary status due to his extraordinary paintings, his genius didn’t end there as he was also a talented sculptor, architect, engineer, and scientist. To make the most of your trip to Italy, make sure to include a stop to Milan to see his other equally famous painting, The Last Supper, at the church Santa Maria delle Grazie.

Michelangelo Buonarroti

Next up on our list of famous Italian artists is the iconic sculptor Michelangelo Buoncannoni. Although one of his most iconic works is the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, Michelangelo mainly identified as a sculptor instead of a painter. So it’s no surprise that he’s also known for the incredible sculpture, David, which can now be seen in the Accademia in Florence, Italy. Like da Vinci, Michelangelo was a true and original Renaissance man, enriching himself in learning and knowledge throughout his life. So much so that his timeless masterpieces include sculptures, paintings, architecture, and poetry. In fact, he had written hundreds of sonnets and madrigals at the time of his death and had been made chief architect of St. Peter’s Basilica; Michelangelo indeed did it all.

Giovanni Bellini

Next up on our list of famous Italian artists is the talented painter Giovanni Bellini. Like Michelangelo and da Vinci, Bellini was also a renowned artist from the Italian Renaissance, widely respected for his painting skills in 15th-century Venice. He painted everything from religious subjects and mythological scenes to portraits. He loved Venice so much that he never left the city of canals throughout his 65-year career. A couple of his most famous paintings are Madonna and Child and The Agony in the Garden, which can be seen at The National Gallery in London.

Francesco Paolo Michetti

Last but not least, Francesco Paolo Michetti is another famous but lesser-known Italian artist from our Abruzzo region, specifically Tocco da Casauria in the Province of Pescara. The endless beauty of Abruzzo was the inspiration behind his paintings, and you can see this through the way he portrayed the Abruzzese people, animals, and local events throughout his artwork. In the late eighteenth century, Michetti bought a convent and turned it into his studio as well as a hotspot for Abruzzi art and culture. Currently, his artwork is featured at The Art Institute of Chicago.

That’s it for part one of our two part series featuring some of Italy’s most famous artists. Wondering how you can continue to learn about Italian art and the rest of its world-famous culture? What about visiting Italy, with a local expert guide? Check out our variety of authentic experiences for more information!

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