Skip to Main Content

Artists You Should Know: Home

Lists, facts, dates, links, and more, organized by period/movement


While this guide was made primarily for Art and Art History students, everyone can benefit from learning about at least a few representative artists from different time periods, movements, and countries.

The top boxes are artists that EVERYONE should know.

The lower boxes are artists that Art students should be familiar with.

Time Periods and Movements

The various time periods of art history are not usually precise and more than one movement was active at any given time.

The movements and dates we have used in this LibGuide are as follows:

Ancient: ~30,000 B.C. - 400 A.D.

Medieval: 400 - 1400

Renaissance: 1400 - 1600

Baroque: 1600 - 1750

18th & 19th Century: 1750 - 1880

Modern Art: 1880 - 1970

Contemporary Art: 1970 - present

These time periods reflect when the various artists were active, not their specific birth years.

Tips on Using this LibGuide

Links in this LibGuide:

  • Artist names are linked to their Wikipedia articles.
  • The library call numbers are linked to the UW-L library catalog if the library owns any books about them or their art.
  • The Representative Works are links to the images, preferably to the museum that houses each image.

Research Assistance

Reference Desk

Librarians can help you learn to make the most of the information resources, tools, and services of Murphy Library and beyond!

Weekdays & Sunday afternoons (fall/spring):

  • Visit us at the reference desk (1st floor)
  • Call us at 608.785.8508
  • Web Chat with us

Any time (year-round):

Local history and/or archives research? Special Collections / Area Research Center specialists are available!