I am going to produce my own list of artists with little bits about them to help reinforce my knowledge and to work out where people are chronologically and style wise.
Obviously not going to include everyone and everything read about but will try to put lots of major people in...
Giotti di Bondone (c1267 - 1337) Italian - First 'famous' artist. One of first to sign work and be written about by name. Lots of frescos.
Jan Van Eyck - (c1395 - 1441) Dutch. One of first to use oil painting techniques. Very finely realistic paintings.
Hieronymus Bosch (Jeroen van Aken) (1450 - 1516) Dutch. Very different from the other stuff about - imagination and made up stuff to illustrate religious themes. Very dark and a bit scary!
Leonardo de Vinci (1452 - 1519) Italian. Wanted to know everything. Lack of formal education led to trying it all out for himself. Drawings for loads of inventions that weren't invented until 100s of years later. Most famous for Last Supper and Mona Lisa. Loads of unfinished paintings, writing, unpublished books etc.
Albecht Durer (1471 - 1528) German - Hugely prolific. Loads of self portraits. Travelled to Italy and used techniques. Religious, follower of Lutherian protestant reformation. Became more religious as got older.
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 - 1564) Italian. Sculpter first and foremost. Said to be moody, disagreeable and proud. Loved to paint and sculpt young male nudes - put them in eveything controversially - lots were covered up but now restored back to nakedness! Sistine chapel - didn't really want to do it and had no experience of fresco but did it all almost single-handedly. He wanted to make a real distinction between what he did and craft "not a painter or a sculptor who sets up shop, NOT a manual labourer"
Raphael - (Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino) (1483 - 1520) Italian. Lots of Mary and childs. Nice character, agreeable. Died young. First artist to be buried in Pantheon. Myth in own lifetime.
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (1490 - 1576) Venetian. At the time used different compostions - groundbreaking. Did large religious peices but also smaller for private collectors. Lots of erotic curvy ladies. Really developed oil on canvas - as in Venice couldn't work on frescos very well due to damp climate.
El Greco (Doménikos Theotokópoulos) (1541 - 1614) Born in Crete but moved to Italy in 20s. Markedly different style from others at the time. Looks very 'modern'
Sofonisba Anguissola (1552 - 1614)
Eldest daughter of 7 - 6 girls and 1 boy. Noble family. Encouraged to perfect talents and continue painting. Pretty successful. Informally trained by Michelangelo. Couldn't train as much as men as not able to study anotomy or life drawing. Didn't marry til 38.
Lavinia Fontana (1552 - 1614)
Daughter of an artist continued family business. Started doing small religious paintings on copper. Married and had 11 children. Main breadwinner - husband helped her out in business.
Arremisia Gentileschi (1563 1652)
Female artist. Followed style of Carrivagio - specialised in scenes with dominant women - so0me pretty gory.
Carravagio (Michelangelo Merisi) (1571 - 1610
Bohemian, rebellious. Naturalism - style of unidealised boldly illuminated people on dark mysterious backgrounds. Portrayed holy figures as real people e.g. Virgin Mary as a neighbourhood house wife.
Annibale Carraci (1560 - 1609)
together with brother and uncle had style of idealised naturalism! Drew and drew and drew and planned and drafted. First cariacture - invented the word
Gianlorenzo Bernini (1589 - 1680)
primarily a sculptor but like Michelangelo also a painter, poet, architect, philosopher. Different personality than Michelangelo as witty, extrovert, freindly, family man, good natured, untroubled. Present day Rome has more of his stuff in than any other individual. Properly fancy pants twiddly widdly Baroque
Claude Lorraine (1600 - 1682)
French but lived in Rome. Classical landscapes. Made it so landscape painting a high art in Western society. His landscape paintings copied for actual landscape design.
Diego de Velazquez (1599 - 1660)
Spanish. In 1623 went to court of King Phillip IV and then produced pretty much just for him. most famous pic the maids of honor (las meninas). Unusual as scale of formal full length portraits but casual snapshot of a moment.
Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) active and high ranking diplomat as well as painter. Most highly esteemed artist in Europe during own lifetime. Very rich.
Had "new and very personal ideal of female beauty, full-breasted, broad-waisted, more womanly than girly." Rubenesque (Page 573) His studio was likened to a factory for its production line qualities - huge amounts of work coming out of it, lots mostly painted by his assistants with final touches added by him. Did some religious stuff for Jesuit churches. Did over 30 massive canvases for Maria de Medici mother of Louis XIV. Sweeping compositions.
Anthony Van Dyck (1599 - 1641) Assistant and follower of Rubens. Became very famous as portrait painter for King Charles first - painted loads of pics of him looking very noble and kingly.
Frans Hals (c1581/5 - 1666) thought of as founder of Dutch school of painting. Specialized in portraits. Loose style, quick brushstrokes, flicks of paint. Fell out of favor in his 60s but defiantly continued with own style instead of changing to suit people. Ended life very poor.
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606-1669) Very responsive to works of other artists, mostly Renaissance Italians but also v unusually for the time looked at what non Western artists were up to. Prosperity declined in later years. More self-portraits than any one ever before. Did lots of etchings too. Thought of himself as a religious painter - interpretations of sacred subjects.
Jan Van Goyen (1596 - 1656) Prolific landscape artists - over 1200 paintings survive. Dutch landscapes have lots and lots of sky - about 2/3 sky. Bit like Norfolk paintings to show all our sky against our flatness.
Rachel Ruysch (1664 - 1750) First woman to achieve an international reputation as a major artist. Mostly still lifes of flowers. Father was a botanist. Continued painting throughout her life right up til she died at age of 80. Married a painter and had 10 children.
Judith Lester (1609-1660) Female artist. Mostly genre and portrait paintings. Married another artist but didn't produce much after her children came along. Historians think probably a student of Frans Hals but also documentation shows that she sued him for stealing away one of her apprentices.