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A Profile of Prolific Artists Throughout History - Part Two

Artists Who Created One Hundred or More Pieces

Thursday, September 29, 2022

In part one of this look at prolific artists throughout the ages, we shared many artists who have spent their lives creating thousands of works of art. While this list includes greats like Da Vinci, Monet, Picasso, and O'Keeffe, it does not include many other incredible artists that were productive but short-lived. Or those who started creating art later on in life.

This second look at prolific artists shares a brief profile of the many notable painters, sculptures, and visual artists who created under a thousand works but over one hundred pieces during their lives.

A Look Back at Prolific Artists 
Who Created Under a Thousand Works

As we consider the works of renaissance painters, baroque sculptors, post-impressionists, and modern artists, we think about what is most important in each artist’s work. What are they trying to share with the world by creating powerful art? Are they hoping to move the viewer to tears? Do they wish the viewer to connect with a piece of history on a visceral level? 

Each of these intensely talented and hard-working artists was hoping to move you in some way. We hope this list helps you connect with an artist you may not have heard of or moves you in some way to connect more deeply with an artist you love.

1444-1510: Sandro Botticelli 

Italian Renaissance painter, Botticelli, created over one hundred works during his lifetime. Famous works include The Birth of Venus, Venus and Mars, The Virgin and Child, and Primavera.

Primavera by Sandro Botticelli

Primavera by Sandro Botticelli

1471-1528: Albrecht Durer 

In his lifetime, German Rennaisance painter, Durer created over eight hundred engravings, paintings, and woodcuts. His notable pieces include The Adoration of the Virgin, Adam and Eve, Virgin and Child, and Self Portrait at 26

Self Portrait at 24 by Albrecht Durer 

1475-1564: Michelangelo 

Probably one of the most famous Italian, High Renaissance artists, Michelangelo created over one hundred paintings, sculptures, and architectural marvels in his lifetime. Famous works include, of course, The Creation of Adam, David, and the entire Sistene Chapel ceiling. One could argue that the Sistene Chapel ceiling alone could be considered a series of many dozens of paintings by this incredible renaissance artist.

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo

1483-1520: Raphael 

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino was a High Renaissance Italian painter and architect who created over one hundred works in his lifetime. Raphael’s most notable works include Ressurection of Christ, The Madonna of the Goldfinch, and The Sistine Madonna.

The Sistine Madonna by Raphael

The Sistine Madonna by Raphael

1571-1610: Caravaggio 

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian Baroque painter who created over one hundred artworks. His most notable works include Narcissus, Bachus, Judith Beheading Holofernes, and Medusa.

Narcissus by Caravaggio

Narcissus by Caravaggio

1598-1680: Bernini 

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was an Italian architect and Baroque sculptor with over one hundred works to his name. His most notable works include Bust of Louis XIV, St. Peter's Baldachin, and David.

David by Gian Lorenzo BerniniDavid by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

1606-1699: Rembrandt 

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Baroque painter in the Netherlands who created hundreds of works. While he was incredibly prolific during his long life, the exact quantity of paintings, sketches, and prints he created during his life is in contention. His most notable works include The Night Watch, The Anatomy Lesson, The Prodigal Son in the Brothel, and Head of Christ.

The Night Watch by Rembrandt

The Night Watch by Rembrandt 

1832-1883: Édouard Manet

Manet was one of the original French impressionist painters. His work was pivotal in the transition from Realism to Impressionism. His most notable works include A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, Boating, and The Railway. 

The Railway by Édouard Manet

The Railway by Édouard Manet

1844-1926: Mary Cassatt 

The American impressionist, Mary Cassatt, is known for her many works showing the beauty of domesticity with an impressionist flair. Cassatt painted over three hundred pieces in her lifetime. Her most notable paintings include The Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, The Cup of Tea, and Girl Arranging Her Hair.

The Little Girl in a Blue Armchair by Mary Cassatt

The Little Girl in a Blue Armchair by Mary Cassatt

1848-1903: Paul Gauguin 

Post-impressionist painter Paul Gauguin used a style called synthetism that utilized two-dimensional patterns and enormously influenced the Symbolist movement. He painted over five hundred works during his lifetime, many of which were not appreciated until after his death. His most notable works include Vision After the Sermon, Where Do We Come From? / What Are We? / Where Are We Going?, and Arearea.

Arearea by Paul Gauguin

Arearea by Paul Gauguin

1853-1890: Vincent van Gogh 

A post-impressionist painter, van Gogh is one of the most influential contemporary artists. He created about 900 works; his most famous of these works include Starry Night, Sunflowers, Irises, and Cafe Terrace at Night.

Irises by Vincent van Gogh

1862-1918: Gustav Klimt

Klimt was one of the primary members of the Vienna Secession Movement. His over one hundred symbolistic works included paintings, murals, sketches, and other pieces. Most notable are The Kiss, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, and The Tree of Life, Stoclet Frieze.

The Tree of Life, Stoclet Frieze by Gustav Klimt

The Tree of Life, Stoclet Frieze by Gustav Klimt

1863-1945: Jean Mannheim 

German-born Mannheim became a significant figure in the California impressionism movement in the early 1900s. A prolific painter, Mannheim created more than one hundred works during his lifetime. Notable works include Eucalyptus Landscape, Happiness, and Irvine Cove-Laguna Beach.Happiness by Gustave Klimt

Happiness by Gustave Klimt 

1864-1949: William Ritschel

Another German-born California impressionist, Ritschel was entranced by the areas around Carmel-by-the-Sea. He painted over two hundred works, many of which depict Carmel. Notable works include Point Lobos, Monterey Coast, Claire de Lune, and Coast Sentinels.  

Monterey Coast by William Ritschel

Monterey Coast by William Ritschel

1877-1917: Tom Thomson

Canadian painter Tom Thomson was one of the original members of Canada’s post-impressionist movement called The Group of Seven. While his life was tragically cut short, Thomson created over four hundred paintings and sketches in his lifetime. His notable works include The Jack Pine, Northern Lake, and The West Wind.

The Jack Pine by Thom Thomson

The Jack Pine by Thom Thomson

1884-1920: Amedeo Modigliani 

Italian Fauvist Modigliani was not well received during his lifetime but was recognized as a great expressionist and fauvist painter after his death. Of his three hundred pieces, his notable works include Alice, Reclining Nude, and Madame Pompadour.

Alice by Amedeo Modigliani

Alice by Amedeo Modigliani

1884-1947: Grace Vollmer

California impressionist Grace Vollmer painted over one hundred works in her lifetime. Her most notable works include Seated Dancer, Olive Grove, Berkeley, Still Life with Fruit, and Tulips and Watercan. 

Tulips and Watercan by Grace Vollmer

Tulips and Watercan by Grace Vollmer

1886-1957: Diego Rivera 

Modern artist and mural painter Diego Rivera utilized many painting styles such as cubism and post-impressionism to create signature pieces during his lifetime. He created over one hundred works that are featured around the world. Some of his notable works include The Detroit Industry Murals, Flower Carrier, and Flower Vendor. He is also well known for his marriage to the legendary Frida Kahlo. 

Flower Vendor by Diego Rivera

Flower Vendor by Diego Rivera 

1888-1949: Frank Johnston

A member of Canada’s Group of Seven, Johnston painted the Canadian landscape in a classical style. His over two hundred works include Thunderers, Woodland Tapestry, Algoma, and Moose Pond.

Moose Pond by Frank Johnston

Moose Pond by Frank Johnston

1907-1954: Frida Kahlo 

Kahlo was a Mexican painter of great renown. She mainly specialized in portraiture, and her art is most commonly classified as surrealist. Kahlo created about two hundred works in her lifetime. Some notable pieces include Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair, Memory, The Heart, and Self-Portrait - Time Flies. 

Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair by Frida Kahlo

Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair by Frida Kahlo

1912-1956: Jackson Pollock

Pollock will long be remembered as a significant figure in the abstract expressionist movement. He created over three hundred works during his life. Some notable pieces include Convergence, Mural, and Free Form. 

Convergence by Jackson Pollock

Convergence by Jackson Pollock

1960-1988: Jean-Michel Basquiat

An American street artist, Basquiat, heavily influenced the world of neo-expressionism. In his short life, he created over six hundred works of art. Some notable pieces include Self Portrait, Warrior, and Riding with Death.

Warrior by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Warrior by Jean-Michel Basquiat

1957-present: Ai Weiwei

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei calls his style Excessivism. His art creates commentary and discussion about Chinese and worldwide political and social issues. He has produced over seven hundred works so far in his lifetime. Notable among these works are Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, Sunflower Seeds, and Map of China.

Sunflower Seeds by Ai Weiwei

Sunflower Seeds by Ai Weiwei

You may be wondering where Erin Hanson figures into this list. After all, you are on the Erin Hanson Gallery website. Hanson has painted well over two thousand paintings to date and will likely paint thousands more in her lifetime. Erin very much urges aspiring artists to create in volume to hone their craft and hone in on a defined "voice" as an artist. There is nothing that will shape an artist and their abilities as much as unabashed creativity. 

If you’d like to explore Erin Hanson’s prodigious collection of works, click here to enjoy her painting portfolio.

Otherwise, we hope you’ve enjoyed this look at prolific painters of the past and present. We will be doing a deep dive into many significant painters’ lives in future articles. We hope you will come back and enjoy the art and art history we share.

About Erin

ERIN HANSON has been painting in oils since she was 8 years old. As a teenager, she apprenticed at a mural studio where she worked on 40-foot-long paintings while selling art commissions on the side. After being told it was too hard to make a living as an artist, she got her degree in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley. Afterward, Erin became a rock climber at Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. Inspired by the colorful scenery she was climbing, she decided to return to her love of painting and create one new painting every week.

She has stuck to that decision, becoming one of the most prolific artists in history, with over 3,000 oil paintings sold to eager collectors. Erin Hanson’s style is known as "Open Impressionism" and is taught in art schools worldwide. With millions of followers, Hanson has become an iconic, driving force in the rebirth of impressionism, inspiring thousands of other artists to pick up the brush.