Who Were the Greatest Old Masters in the History of Art?

Art|Art History

The term ‘Old Masters’ is used to refer to the great European painters of the 15th-18th centuries. These artists were renowned for their technical skill, their expert use of light and color, and their ability to create powerful compositions. The Old Masters produced masterpieces which continue to be admired and reproduced today. Some of the most famous Old Masters include Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, Titian and Vermeer.

Leonardo da Vinci is widely regarded as one of the greatest painters in history. He is best known for his iconic painting ‘Mona Lisa’ which has become a symbol of Renaissance art. His other works include ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘The Vitruvian Man’. Leonardo was a master at creating realistic figures and capturing subtle expressions in his paintings.

Michelangelo was another great Old Master whose work continues to be admired today. He was a sculptor as well as a painter, creating iconic sculptures such as ‘David’ and ‘Pieta’.

Michelangelo was also an architect who designed the dome of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Raphael was another influential Old Master who produced some of the most famous works of the Renaissance period. His paintings include ‘The Wedding at Cana’ and ‘The School of Athens’. Raphael was renowned for his skill with composition and color.

Rembrandt is one of the most celebrated painters in history. He is best known for his portraits which capture striking psychological depth in each subject he painted. Rembrandt also excelled at creating religious scenes such as ‘The Raising Of Lazarus’.

Titian, another great Old Master, was one of the leading figures in Venetian painting during the 16th century. His works include ‘Bacchus And Ariadne’ and ‘The Assumption Of The Virgin Mary’. He was highly skilled at rendering flesh tones in his paintings.

Vermeer, from Holland, created beautiful interior scenes such as ‘Girl With A Pearl Earring’ which are filled with light and atmosphere. Vermeer’s work has been described as ‘photographic’ due to its incredible detail.

These six Old Masters were some of the greatest painters in European art history who created timeless works that continue to be admired today. Their technical skill, use of color, light, composition and psychological insight make them worthy contenders for being considered among ‘the greatest’.


In conclusion, it can be said that Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Raphael Sanzio da Urbino, Rembrandt van Rijn, Titian Vecellio Tiziano and Johannes Vermeer can all be considered amongst ‘the Greatest Old Masters’ in art history due to their timeless masterpieces that continue to inspire future generations around the world today.