Many of the most famous artists around the world were European born and paved the way for generations of artists from all walks of life. Many of these great names were not only artists but poets, philosophers and even scientists and architects. So even when not sitting at an easel, they were creating things; whether through building or experimenting the urge to explore and create was ingrained so deeply that it flowed through their everyday lives.

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was born in Italy and grew to be a renown artist, scientist and philosopher. With pieces such as the “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper”, he has become world famous for his artwork. He was one of the first artists to introduce drama and movement to his paintings, and he started to define his images and forms though the contrast of darkness and light which would be known as “Chiaroscuro”

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh painted with a spontaneous and hurried style that would be very influential in shaping key components of developing art. His paintings were modern and hinted at abstract art and he rose to fame for pictures such as “Vase with 12 Sunflowers”. His swirling night skies carried across many of his paintings but are best known for “The Starry Night”.


Born during the Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo was an architect, sculptor, poet, and painter. He is still considered by Western civilization to be one of the most influential artists of all time. Two of his most famous works are the statue of David, carved from a single piece of marble in perfect likeness of the human form. The other is the Sistine Chapel, on whose ceiling he painted many Old Testament images – the one of the most well-known image being the creation of Adam.