* Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) French painter called ''the father of all of us'' by modern painters. Retreated from Paris to home in Aix-en-Provence where he concentrated on underlying geometric structure of nature. His work, designed to appeal to both mind and eye, was a forerunner of Cubism. Known for still lifes of apples, portraits, and, especially, Mont Ste.-Victoire. Called ''the Christopher Columbus of a new continent of form.''
* Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) Frenchman who lived in US, called ''a one-man movement'' by Willem de Kooning, had central influence on many movements in Europe and America, from Dada to Conceptual Art. Advocated ''thinking man's'' art, with appeal to intellect, not eye. Invented ''readymade'' in 1913 (ordinary object like bicycle wheel exhibited as art). Famous for saying, ''It is art if I say it is.''
* Willem de Kooning (born 1904) Dutch artist who worked in US from 1926. Abstract Expressionist image of (most notably) ''Woman'' emerges from, and dissolves into, welter of slashing brush strokes. Lives in East Hampton, N.Y.
* Helen Frankenthaler (born in 1928) American painter who invented stain painting in late 1950s. Applied thinned paint to soak into raw canvas, creating embedded veils of color. Lives in New York and Connecticut.
* Jasper Johns (born 1930) American artist who, with Robert Rauschenberg, reintroduced recognizable imagery into art. Master of ambiguity; works like ''Flag'' seem simultaneously real and artificial. His art fluctuates between the known and the new. Lives in New York.
* Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) Russian artist credited with first abstract painting, said, ''The more abstract form is, the more clear and direct its appeal.'' Taught at Bauhaus school in Germany, extolled the spiritual dimension of art.
* Henri Matisse (1869-1954) French artist whose teacher told him, ''You were born to simplify painting.'' Supreme colorist who pursued ''form filtered to its essentials.'' Picasso said Matisse had ''sun in his belly.'' His paintings and cut-outs portray joy and pleasure.
* Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Spaniard who worked in France; most influential, prolific artist in 20th century. Worked in variety of styles and, with Georges Braque, invented Cubism. Convinced that painting should be conceptual rather than just visual, said ''Art is a lie enabling us to approach the truth.'' Peak achievement is horrifying indictment of war ''Guernica.''
* Jackson Pollock (1912-56) American painter who pioneered action painting. Total abstractions of swirling lines with no foreground or background, beginning or end, ''busted our idea of a picture all to hell,'' as De Kooning said. Sought to liberate unconscious imagery through flinging paint at canvas.
* Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) Dutch painter celebrated for intense art using heightened color, dense application of paint, emotive brush strokes. Served as missionary before deciding to console humanity through art in 1880. Did best work in South of France where he stuck candles on his hat so he could paint all night. Anguish led to suicide. Best-known work was done in an asylum: ''The Starry Night.''