We are pleased and honored that the MIT Press journal Leonardo has chosen to publish a research paper which we here at Art Authority have been working on for nearly two years: “Ranking Artists: An Internet-era Analysis.” We are equally pleased that we are able to continue to give back to the art history community from which we (and our app users) have also benefited.

Quoting from the paper’s abstract, “To provide guidance to the vastly expanded, un-curated art world made available through the Internet, [we] developed a methodology for objectively and repeatably rating artists, … [and] applied that methodology to Western painters in particular, creating a ranked list of the significance of nearly 10,000 of those painters… [we] observed that the Internet not only greatly broadens access to art, but also provides the tools needed to curate that access in a meaningful scientific manner.”

We learned quite a lot in the process, and are happy to be making the major result of the study freely available online. So, without further ado, we are proud to unveil our ranked list of:

The Most Significant Western Painters

With close to 10,000 annotated entries, we feel that this scientifically-developed list provides a major resource for art historians, educators, students and just plain art lovers. And of course app developers :) Essentially for the art community as a whole. As we indicate in the paper, although one of the main goals of the study is to be as objective as possible, we realize that many of the specific decisions we made in the specific method we used are themselves subjective, and thus this ranking is simply one of many possibilities.

We also hope and believe that our research provides more than just this important list. As the paper concludes, “We hope that our work serves not just as a useful source of exploration, but as a template for other similar guides, and as a starting point for questions about how we all value artistic contribution in this massively connected and information-intense era.” We look forward to those questions.