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The Most Famous

PAINTERS from Netherlands

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This page contains a list of the greatest Dutch Painters. The pantheon dataset contains 1,421 Painters, 126 of which were born in Netherlands. This makes Netherlands the birth place of the 5th most number of Painters behind United States and Germany.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Dutch Painters of all time. This list of famous Dutch Painters is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Dutch Painters.

Photo of Vincent van Gogh

1. Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)

With an HPI of 90.02, Vincent van Gogh is the most famous Dutch Painter.  His biography has been translated into 199 different languages on wikipedia.

Vincent Willem van Gogh (Dutch: [ˈvɪnsɛnt ˈʋɪləɱ vɑŋ ˈɣɔx] ; 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 approximately 2100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterised by bold, symbolic colours, and dramatic, impulsive and highly expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. Only one of his paintings was known by name to have been sold during his lifetime. Van Gogh became famous after his suicide at age 37, which followed years of poverty and mental illness. Born into an upper-middle-class family, Van Gogh drew as a child and was serious, quiet and thoughtful, but showed signs of mental instability. As a young man he worked as an art dealer, often travelling, but became depressed after he was transferred to London. He turned to religion, and spent time as a missionary in southern Belgium. Later he drifted in ill-health and solitude. He was keenly aware of modernist trends in art and, while back with his parents, took up painting in 1881. His younger brother, Theo, supported him financially, and the two of them kept up a long correspondence by letter. Van Gogh's early works consisted of mostly still lifes and depictions of peasant labourers. In 1886, he moved to Paris, where he met members of the artistic avant-garde, including Émile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, who were seeking new paths beyond Impressionism. Frustrated in Paris and inspired by a growing spirit of artistic change and collaboration, Van Gogh moved to Arles in south of France in February 1888 with the goal of establishing an artistic retreat and commune. Once there, Van Gogh's art changed. His paintings grew brighter and he turned his attention to the natural world, depicting local olive groves, wheat fields and sunflowers. Van Gogh invited Gauguin to join him in Arles and eagerly anticipated Gauguin's arrival in the fall of 1888. Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions. Though he worried about his mental stability, he often neglected his physical health, did not eat properly and drank heavily. His friendship with Gauguin ended after a confrontation with a razor when, in a rage, he severed part of his own left ear. He spent time in psychiatric hospitals, including a period at Saint-Rémy. After he discharged himself and moved to the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris, he came under the care of the homeopathic doctor Paul Gachet. His depression persisted, and on 27 July 1890, Van Gogh is believed to have shot himself in the chest with a revolver, dying from his injuries two days later. Van Gogh's art gained critical recognition after his death and his life story captured public imagination as an emblem of misunderstood genius, due in large part to the efforts of his widowed sister-in-law Johanna van Gogh-Bonger. His bold use of color, expressive line and thick application of paint inspired avant garde artistic groups like the Fauves and German Expressionists in the early 20th century. Van Gogh's work gained widespread critical and commercial success in the following decades, and he has become a lasting icon of the romantic ideal of the tortured artist. Today, Van Gogh's works are among the world's most expensive paintings to have ever sold, and his legacy is honoured by a museum in his name, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which holds the world's largest collection of his paintings and drawings.

Photo of Rembrandt

2. Rembrandt (1606 - 1669)

With an HPI of 88.23, Rembrandt is the 2nd most famous Dutch Painter.  His biography has been translated into 166 different languages.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, Dutch: [ˈrɛmbrɑnt ˈɦɑrmə(n)ˌsoːɱ vɑn ˈrɛin] ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669), usually simply known as Rembrandt, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, printmaker, and draughtsman. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art. It is estimated Rembrandt produced a total of about three hundred paintings, three hundred etchings, and two thousand drawings. Unlike most Dutch masters of the 17th century, Rembrandt's works depict a wide range of styles and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes and animal studies. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural and scientific achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch art (especially Dutch painting) was prolific and innovative. Rembrandt never went abroad but was considerably influenced by the work of the Italian Old Masters and Dutch and Flemish artists who had studied in Italy. After he achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt's later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters.Rembrandt's portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible are regarded as his greatest creative triumphs. His approximately 40 self-portraits form an intimate autobiography. Rembrandt's foremost contribution in the history of printmaking was his transformation of the etching process from a relatively new reproductive technique into an art form. His reputation as the greatest etcher in the history of the medium was established in his lifetime.

Photo of Johannes Vermeer

3. Johannes Vermeer (1632 - 1675)

With an HPI of 85.26, Johannes Vermeer is the 3rd most famous Dutch Painter.  His biography has been translated into 101 different languages.

Johannes Vermeer (, Dutch: [vərˈmeːr], see below; also known as Jan Vermeer; October 1632 – 15 December 1675) was a Dutch Baroque Period painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. He is considered one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. During his lifetime, he was a moderately successful provincial genre painter, recognized in Delft and The Hague. He produced relatively few paintings, primarily earning his living as an art dealer. He was not wealthy; at his death, his wife was left in debt.Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, and frequently used very expensive pigments. He is particularly renowned for making masterful use of light in his work. "Almost all his paintings", Hans Koningsberger wrote, "are apparently set in two smallish rooms in his house in Delft; they show the same furniture and decorations in various arrangements and they often portray the same people, mostly women."The modest celebrity he enjoyed during his life gave way to obscurity after his death. He was barely mentioned in Arnold Houbraken's major source book on 17th-century Dutch painting (Grand Theatre of Dutch Painters and Women Artists, pub 1718) and, as a result, was omitted from subsequent surveys of Dutch art for nearly two centuries. In the 19th century, Vermeer was rediscovered by Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Théophile Thoré-Bürger, who published an essay attributing 66 pictures to him, although only 34 paintings are universally attributed to him today. Since that time, Vermeer's reputation has grown enormously.

Photo of Pieter Bruegel the Elder

4. Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525 - 1569)

With an HPI of 81.00, Pieter Bruegel the Elder is the 4th most famous Dutch Painter.  His biography has been translated into 82 different languages.

Pieter Bruegel (also Brueghel or Breughel) the Elder ( BROY-gəl, also US: BROO-gəl; Dutch: [ˈpitər ˈbrøːɣəl] ; c. 1525–1530 – 9 September 1569) was among the most significant artists of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, a painter and printmaker, known for his landscapes and peasant scenes (so-called genre painting); he was a pioneer in presenting both types of subject as large paintings. He was a formative influence on Dutch Golden Age painting and later painting in general in his innovative choices of subject matter, as one of the first generation of artists to grow up when religious subjects had ceased to be the natural subject matter of painting. He also painted no portraits, the other mainstay of Netherlandish art. After his training and travels to Italy, he returned in 1555 to settle in Antwerp, where he worked mainly as a prolific designer of prints for the leading publisher of the day. At the end of the 1550s, he switched to make painting his main medium, and all his famous paintings come from the following period of little more than a decade before his early death in 1569, when he was probably in his early forties. In the 20th and 21st centuries, Bruegel's works have inspired artists in both the literary arts and in cinema. His painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, now thought only to survive in copies, is the subject of the final lines of the 1938 poem "Musée des Beaux Arts" by W. H. Auden. Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky refers to Bruegel's paintings in his films several times, notably in Solaris (1972) and The Mirror (1975). Director Lars von Trier also uses Bruegel's paintings in his film Melancholia (2011). In 2011, the film production titled The Mill and the Cross was released featuring Bruegel's The Procession to Calvary (Bruegel).

Photo of Piet Mondrian

5. Piet Mondrian (1872 - 1944)

With an HPI of 80.46, Piet Mondrian is the 5th most famous Dutch Painter.  His biography has been translated into 67 different languages.

Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan (Dutch: [ˈpi:tər kɔrˈneːlɪs ˈmɔndrijaːn]), after 1906 known as Piet Mondrian (, also US: , Dutch: [pit ˈmɔndrijɑn]; 7 March 1872 – 1 February 1944), was a Dutch painter and art theoretician who is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. He is known for being one of the pioneers of 20th-century abstract art, as he changed his artistic direction from figurative painting to an increasingly abstract style, until he reached a point where his artistic vocabulary was reduced to simple geometric elements. Mondrian's art was highly utopian and was concerned with a search for universal values and aesthetics. He proclaimed in 1914: "Art is higher than reality and has no direct relation to reality. To approach the spiritual in art, one will make as little use as possible of reality, because reality is opposed to the spiritual. We find ourselves in the presence of an abstract art. Art should be above reality, otherwise it would have no value for man." He was a contributor to the De Stijl art movement and group, which he co-founded with Theo van Doesburg. He evolved a non-representational form which he termed Neoplasticism. This was the new 'pure plastic art' which he believed was necessary in order to create 'universal beauty'. To express this, Mondrian eventually decided to limit his formal vocabulary to the three primary colors (red, blue and yellow), the three primary values (black, white and gray) and the two primary directions (horizontal and vertical). Mondrian's arrival in Paris from the Netherlands in 1911 marked the beginning of a period of profound change. He encountered experiments in Cubism and with the intent of integrating himself within the Parisian avant-garde removed an 'a' from the Dutch spelling of his name (Mondriaan). Mondrian's work had an enormous influence on 20th century art, influencing not only the course of abstract painting and numerous major styles and art movements (e.g. Color Field painting, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism), but also fields outside the domain of painting, such as design, architecture and fashion. Design historian Stephen Bayley said: "Mondrian has come to mean Modernism. His name and his work sum up the High Modernist ideal. I don't like the word 'iconic', so let's say that he's become totemic – a totem for everything Modernism set out to be."

Photo of Hieronymus Bosch

6. Hieronymus Bosch (1450 - 1516)

With an HPI of 80.10, Hieronymus Bosch is the 6th most famous Dutch Painter.  His biography has been translated into 79 different languages.

Hieronymus Bosch (, Dutch: [ɦijeːˈroːnimʏz ˈbɔs] ; born Jheronimus van Aken [jeːˈroːnimʏs fɑn ˈaːkə(n)]; c. 1450 – 9 August 1516) was a Dutch/Netherlandish painter from Brabant. He is one of the most notable representatives of the Early Netherlandish painting school. His work, generally oil on oak wood, mainly contains fantastic illustrations of religious concepts and narratives. Within his lifetime his work was collected in the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, and widely copied, especially his macabre and nightmarish depictions of hell. Little is known of Bosch's life, though there are some records. He spent most of it in the town of 's-Hertogenbosch, where he was born in his grandfather's house. The roots of his forefathers are in Nijmegen and Aachen (which is visible in his surname: Van Aken). His pessimistic fantastical style cast a wide influence on northern art of the 16th century, with Pieter Bruegel the Elder being his best-known follower. Today, Bosch is seen as a highly individualistic painter with deep insight into humanity's desires and deepest fears. Attribution has been especially difficult; today only about 25 paintings are confidently given to his hand along with eight drawings. About another half-dozen paintings are confidently attributed to his workshop. His most acclaimed works consist of a few triptych altarpieces, including The Garden of Earthly Delights.

Photo of Jan Steen

7. Jan Steen (1626 - 1679)

With an HPI of 69.49, Jan Steen is the 7th most famous Dutch Painter.  His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.

Jan Havickszoon Steen (c. 1626 – buried 3 February 1679) was a Dutch Golden Age painter, one of the leading genre painters of the 17th century. His works are known for their psychological insight, sense of humour and abundance of colour.

Photo of Jacob van Ruisdael

8. Jacob van Ruisdael (1628 - 1682)

With an HPI of 67.33, Jacob van Ruisdael is the 8th most famous Dutch Painter.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.

Jacob Isaackszoon van Ruisdael (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjaːkɔp fɑn ˈrœyzˌdaːl] ; c. 1629 – 10 March 1682) was a Dutch painter, draughtsman, and etcher. He is generally considered the pre-eminent landscape painter of the Dutch Golden Age, a period of great wealth and cultural achievement when Dutch painting became highly popular. Prolific and versatile, Ruisdael depicted a wide variety of landscape subjects. From 1646 he painted Dutch countryside scenes of remarkable quality for a young man. After a trip to Germany in 1650, his landscapes took on a more heroic character. In his late work, conducted when he lived and worked in Amsterdam, he added city panoramas and seascapes to his regular repertoire. In these, the sky often took up two-thirds of the canvas. In total he produced more than 150 Scandinavian views featuring waterfalls. Ruisdael's only registered pupil was Meindert Hobbema, one of several artists who painted figures in his landscapes. Hobbema's work has at times been confused with Ruisdael's. Ruisdael always spelt his name thus: Ruisdael, not Ruysdael. Ruisdael's work was in demand in the Dutch Republic during his lifetime. Today it is spread across private and institutional collections around the world; the National Gallery in London, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg hold the largest collections. Ruisdael shaped landscape painting traditions worldwide, from the English Romantics to the Barbizon school in France, and the Hudson River School in the US, and influenced generations of Dutch landscape artists.

Photo of Han van Meegeren

9. Han van Meegeren (1889 - 1947)

With an HPI of 67.07, Han van Meegeren is the 9th most famous Dutch Painter.  His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Henricus Antonius "Han" van Meegeren (Dutch pronunciation: [ɦɛnˈrikʏs ɑnˈtoːnijəs ˈɦɑɱ vɑˈmeːɣərə(n)]; 10 October 1889 – 30 December 1947) was a Dutch painter and portraitist, considered one of the most ingenious art forgers of the 20th century. Van Meegeren became a national hero after World War II when it was revealed that he had sold a forged painting to Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.Van Meegeren attempted to make a career as an artist, but art critics dismissed his work. He decided to prove his talent by forging paintings from the Dutch Golden Age. Leading experts of the time accepted his paintings as genuine 17th-century works, including Dr. Abraham Bredius.During World War II, Göring purchased one of Meegeren's "Vermeers", which became one of his most prized possessions. Following the war, Van Meegeren was arrested on a charge of selling cultural property to the Nazis. Facing a possible death penalty, Van Meegeren confessed the painting was a forgery. He was convicted on 12 November 1947, and sentenced to one year in prison. However; he died on 30 December 1947 after two heart attacks. A biography in 1967 estimated that Van Meegeren duped buyers out of more than US$30 million; his victims included the government of the Netherlands.

Photo of Pieter de Hooch

10. Pieter de Hooch (1629 - 1684)

With an HPI of 66.59, Pieter de Hooch is the 10th most famous Dutch Painter.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Pieter de Hooch (Dutch: [ˈpitər də ɦoːx], also spelled "Hoogh" or "Hooghe"; 20 December 1629 (baptized) – 24 March 1684 (buried) was a Dutch Golden Age painter famous for his genre works of quiet domestic scenes with an open doorway. He was a contemporary, in the Delft Guild of St. Luke, of Jan Vermeer with whom his work shares themes and style. De Hooch was first recorded in Delft on 5 August 1652, when he and another painter, Hendrick van der Burch witnessed the signing of a will.

Pantheon has 126 people classified as painters born between 1415 and 1921. Of these 126, none of them are still alive today. The most famous deceased painters include Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Johannes Vermeer. As of April 2022, 19 new painters have been added to Pantheon including Jan Miense Molenaer, Jan Mandijn, and Frans van Mieris the Elder.

Deceased Painters

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Newly Added Painters (2022)

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Which Painters were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Painters since 1700.