Artists Alphabetically  


50 Greatest Paintings  

Art Movements 

100 Greatest Painters


Early American Art and Limner Portraits


The itinerant American limner was usually an unidentified painter who roamed the countryside in search of commissions. For the most part these artists were untrained and lived hardscrabble lives, often trading sign painting, a small portrait, interior mural for a bushel of potatoes or a few chickens. Limners often made their own pigments from the raw material they found along their way. The painters used crushed burnt walnuts, ground chicken bones, boiled eggshells, blueberries and even local clays and mud. 

One of the greatest American painters of all time, Edward Hicks, started his career as a sign painter and portrait painter..

Many nomadic painters infused a sense of whimsy and unintentional surrealism into their work. Each  limner possessed their own manner of painting. Almost all but typically accentuated the eyes of the subject and included narrative elements such as books, birds, pets, household objects. Their artworks overflow with surface ornamentation and are deliberately decorous. These fascinating paintings are highly valued by collectors. Such stylization brings to mind the illuminators who wandered around medieval Europe.

A List of some of greatest American Limners

Joseph Badger
Jacob Frymire
The Denison Limner
The Freake Painter
Charles Codman
Edward Hicks





Search for Artists by Century
Important Painters Born in the 13th Century
Important Painters Born in the 14th Century
Important Painters Born in the 15th Century
Important Painters Born in the 16th Century
Important Painters Born in the 17th Century
Important Painters Born in the 18th Century
Important Painters Born in the 19th Century


Require more facts and information about 
wandering Limners? Poke around every nook and cranny of the known universe for information this subject.
Search Here


If you feel you have worthwhile information you would like to contribute we would love to hear from you. We collect essential biographical information and artist quotes from folks all over the globe and appreciate your participation. When submitting please, if possible, site the source and provide English translation.  Please submit your comment to the editor, via e-mail and if possible site the source. Thank you! If you like this page and wish to share it, you are welcome to link to it, with our thanks.

copyright 20003 -



</The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Artists