Art and architecture often go hand in hand. While most times architecture is derived from various forms of art, artists often draw inspiration from existing architecture as well. The Italian frescoes from the earlier centuries are directly inspired by the marble columns of buildings. The famous St Peter’s basilica was designed by the famous artist Michelangelo, who also created sculptures. Many architects start their journey exploring visual art before they learn the language of architecture. What makes a renowned artist? A unique characteristic style of art, use of interesting and varied mediums, and choice of subjects. Here are 20 famous artists that all architects must know about. 

1. Andy Warhol | Famous Artists

He was an American famous artist and a leading figure in the visual art category called pop art. Along with being an artist of varied mediums, he was a film director and producer. He has worked in mediums such as silk-screening, painting, photography, sculpture, and film.

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Marilyn Monroe – pop art by Andy Warhol ©
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Campbell soup cans – pop art by Andy Warhol ©

2. Claude Oscar Monet

He was a French painter and the founder of French impressionist painting. He has painted many architectural elements such as bridges, seaside houses, cottages, and even a palace; beautifully.

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By the sea – Claude Monet ©
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The water lily pond – Claude Monet ©

3. Karl Gustav Rodde

He was a German artist who predominantly worked along the lines of the Romanticism art movement. He painted buildings and villages in Europe. His style of detailed and realistic paintings where nature in the background accurately sets the context for the buildings is to be noted.

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Vista Do Lago Nemi – Karl Gustav Rodde ©
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An Italian village by a lake – Karl Gustav Rodde ©

4. Gustave Caillebotte

He was a member of the Impressionists group in France. His specialty was that he painted more realistically than any of his contemporaries. He has painted several urban spaces.

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Paris street, Rainy day – Gustave Caillebotte ©
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Rue Halevy – Gustave Caillebotte ©

5. Pierre Auguste Renoir

He was a pioneer in the Impressionist art movement in France. Although his paintings mostly consist of portraits of people, he has painted some detailed urban scenes.

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Pont-Neuf – Pierre Auguste Renoir ©
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The Piazza San Marco, Venice – Pierre Auguste Renoir

6. Giovanni Antonio Canal

He was an Italian painter from Venice, commonly known as Canaletto. His paintings mostly included city views, architectural paintings, and urban views. He used the etching technique and became one of the important printers of the time.

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The entrance to The Grand Canal, Venice – Canaletto
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Architectural Capriccio– Canaletto ©

7. Zaha Hadid 

Popularly known as the “Queen of the curve”, she is the first woman recipient of many international and prestigious awards. While her architecture speaks volumes, she has contributed to the art world as well.

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Vision for Madrid – Zaha Hadid ©
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The World at 89 degrees – Zaha Hadid ©

8. S. H. Raza

He was an Indian painter who lived and worked in France. His paintings are of the abstract style and depict interesting yet simple patterns. His earlier works feature landscapes and townscapes and he painted landscapes of the mind later on.

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Benaras – S.H Raza ©
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Hautde Cagnes – S.H Raza ©

9. Paresh Maity 

He is a painter, sculptor, film-maker, and photographer. His earlier works included atmospheric scenery and representation of human forms. His recent work consists of bold and striking paintings.

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City of Porto – Paresh Maity ©
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Sunlight – Paresh Maity ©

10. Subodh Gupta

He is a contemporary artist in Delhi. His works mainly consist of sculptures and installations drawn from common daily items such as pots from the kitchen and milk pails.

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Sculpture – Subodh Gupta ©
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Line of Control – Subodh Gupta ©

11. Akbar Padamsee | Famous Artists

He was one of the contemporaries of famous artists like M.F Hussein and S.H Raza. He was one of the pioneers in modern Indian painting. He is known for using varied mediums for his art such as oil painting, plastic emulsion, watercolor, sculpture, printmaking, computer graphics, and photography.

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Sun -Moon meta scope – Akbar Padamsee ©
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Townscape – Akbar Padamsee ©

12. Pieter Bruegel the Elder

He was the most significant Dutch artist and a painter and printmaker. He was widely known for his paintings of urban-scape and people.

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The Tower of Babel – Pieter Bruegel ©
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Winter Landscape – Pieter Bruegel ©

13. Edwin Lord Weeks

He was an American artist and painter, mostly known for his oriental works. He spent a lot of time painting Indian cities.

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The Rajah going for a hunt – Edwin Lord Weeks ©
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Before the Great mosque – Edwin Lord Weeks ©

14. Grant Wood

He was an American painter mostly known for his paintings that depicted the rural American Midwest. He has painted farmland scenes and landscapes.

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Stone City, Iowa – Grant Wood ©
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Schoolhouse – Grant Wood ©

15. Antonietta Brandeis

She was an Italian artist who was known for her landscape, genre, and portrait painter. Her architectural paintings have many beautiful details. She has mostly painted structures adjacent to water bodies.

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Vue de Palazzo – Antonietta Brandeis ©
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Palazzo Ducale – Antonietta Brandeis ©

16. Santiago Calatrava

He is a Spanish architect, sculptor, structural engineer, and painter, mostly known for his architectural structures. He has created various sculptural forms that are organic and interesting.

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Bird 1 – Santiago Calatrava ©
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Spiral structure – Santiago Calatrava ©

17. Elyn Zimmerman

She is an American sculpture artist. She emphasizes on large scale environmental art projects.

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Split rock sculpture – Elyn Zimmerman ©
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Mississippi Meanders – Elyn Zimmerman ©

18. William Mitchell

He was an English artist, sculptor, and designer. Large scale concrete murals and artworks in public are his characteristic style.

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Cement sculpture – William Mitchell ©
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Cement mural – William Mitchell ©

19. Edoardo Tresoldi | Famous Artists

He is an Italian sculptor known for his architectural sculptures. The medium he uses is almost transparent wire mesh. The structures often appear as blur optical illusions.

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Wire sculpture – Edoardo Tresoldi ©

20. James McNabb

He is a sculptor who works with wood as the medium. He creates detailed architectural wooden sculptures. He mostly works with skylines and urban cityscapes in a circular pattern.

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Wooden sculpture 1 – James McNabb ©

Sanika Bondre is an aspiring architect and artist. She is also good with words and hopes to combine her profession and hobby into a new passion. She is always reading about sustainable methods in the field of architecture. In her spare time, she loves reading, sketching and looking at photos of dogs.

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