The year 1585 in art involved some significant events and new works.
- Approximate start date of Flemish Baroque painting.
- March 3 - The Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza, designed by Palladio, and completed by Vincenzo Scamozzi, is opened, with trompe-l'œil scenery in one-point perspective.
- The Eclectic Academy of painting, also called the Accademia degli Incamminati, is founded in Bologna by Ludovico Carracci and others.
- French cardinal Matthieu Cointrel (Contarelli in Italian) dies, leaving an endowment and instructions for the decoration of the Contarelli Chapel in Rome.
- Pietro Francavilla – Saturn Devouring one of his Sons (sculpture)
- El Greco
- St. Dominic in Prayer
- The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception and St. John
- Nicholas Hilliard - Portrait miniature of Sir Walter Ralegh
- Taddeo Landini - Statue of Pope Sixtus V (now destroyed)
- Paolo Veronese - Lucretia
- John White – Indian Village of Secoton
- January - Hendrick Avercamp, Dutch painter (died 1634)
- May 17 (bapt.) - Esaias van de Velde, Dutch landscape painter (died 1630)
- June 28 - Sisto Badalocchio, Italian painter and engraver of the Bolognese School (died 1647)
- July 7 - Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel, English art collector (died 1646)
- August 25 - Giovanni Biliverti, Italian Mannerist painter (died 1644)
- date unknown
- Arent Arentsz, Dutch painter (died 1631)
- Sir Nathaniel Bacon, English landowner and painter of kitchen and market scenes with large vegetables, fruit, and buxom maids (died 1627)
- Boetius à Bolswert, Dutch engraver (died 1633)
- Isaac Briot, French engraver and draughtsman (died 1670)
- Angelo Caroselli, Italian painter of the Baroque period (died 1653)
- Huang Daozhou, Chinese calligrapher, scholar and official of the Ming Dynasty (died 1646)
- Lan Ying, Chinese painter of landscapes, human figures, flowers and birds during the Ming Dynasty (died 1664)
- John Taylor, English portrait painter (died 1651)
- Jacob van Geel, Dutch Golden Age painter (died 1648)
- Ottavio Vannini, Italian painter of altarpieces and churches, active mainly in Florence (died 1643)
- Giuseppe Vermiglio, Caravaggisti painter from Northern Italy (died 1635)
- Wen Zhenheng, Chinese Ming dynasty scholar, painter, and landscape garden designer (died 1645)
- September 6 - Luca Cambiasi, Italian painter (born 1527)
- December 19 - Wenzel Jamnitzer, Northern Mannerist goldsmith, artist, and printmaker in etching (born 1507/1508)
- date unknown
- probable - Jacob de Backer, Flemish Mannerist painter and draughtsman (born 1555)