A careful study of art history tells us how society has changed. In the nineteenth century, artists dared to set aside the browns and beiges of the Renaissance. They gave themselves the freedom to experiment with movement and bright colors.

Like any great art form, painting has developed many different styles. In the nineteenth century, categories ranged from Impressionism to Modernism. While one favored detail, the other made daring use of colors and shapes. Both made valuable marks in the world of art.

Some of the most famous nineteenth-century painters include:

Pablo Picasso

Born in the Spanish city of Málaga, Pablo Picasso was a pioneer of the Modernist movement. Bold colors and brushstrokes characterized his style. While his work caused controversy in the beginning, he went on to become an icon. To this day, his paintings inspire artists to express themselves.

Edgar Degas

French Impressionist Edgar Degas’ paintings have little in common with Picasso but are also well known. His most famous paintings depict ballerinas and their performances on stage. Degas called himself a realist, and many art experts say that his scenes of dancers vibrate with life.

Vincent van Gogh

Though he’s now a universal figure, Impressionist Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. It was not until his tragic death that people took an interest in his work. Few people today haven’t seen the iconic Starry Night. The sunflowers he often painted in vases brighten our homes. Van Gogh’s use of texture continues to captivate audiences.

Claude Monet

The founder of the Impressionist movement, Claude Monet’s best-known work portrays French landscapes. He could balance a scene’s color and texture so that it came alive. To understand how light affected art, he would paint the same image at different times of the day. This allowed him to observe how shadows altered the image.

Nineteenth-century art forms varied from Picasso’s shapes to Monet’s meticulous portraits of light. All of them helped to shape us as a society. When we learn about the artists who created famous paintings, we are inspired to see the world from new angles.