Culture
745 voters

Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists

5.6k votes 745 voters 37.8k views22 items

List RulesVote up the artists whose quirks are the absolute weirdest.

It's no secret that the art world attracts a lot of unusual people, but the quirks of artists always manage to surprise us. Some of our most revered artists had some pretty weird hobbies: stealing pens, carrying around guns, making time capsules. Others just really needed a bath.

Some of these artists, like Salvador Dalí, have famous quirks and are known for being unusual. However, even those who weren't known as quirky artists have their own strange habits, influences, or traits. Check out this list for some seriously weird facts, and vote up the strangest quirks!

Photo:
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

    Gustav Klimt is perhaps most famous for his painting "The Kiss," which portrays an intimate moment between lovers. However, Klimt himself never married; this may have had something to do with the fact that he never moved out of his mother's home. In fact, she died only three years before him, meaning he never really left the nest at all. Major dating red flag.

    • Age: Dec. at 55 (1862-1918)
    • Birthplace: Baumgarten, Vienna, Austria
    215
    74
    Is this weird?

    More Gustav Klimt 

    #1008 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time#17 of 31 The Greatest Painters Of All Time#3 of 47 Famous Symbolist Artists, Ranked

  • Photo: Wikicommons

    Marcel Duchamp created conceptual pieces and deliberately avoided conforming to any school of art, as he was more interested in parsing out notions of self-representation. One of his most unusual attempts at this is the creation of his female alter-ego. Named Rrose Sélavy (which sounds like the French phrase "eros c'est la vie," or "love is life"), she was the subject of many portraits and art pieces by Duchamp. She represented his belief in an ever-present undercurrent of sexuality in humanity, and her mysterious nature made her seem as complex a character as Duchamp himself.

    • Age: Dec. at 81 (1887-1968)
    • Birthplace: Normandy, Blainville-Crevon, Upper Normandy
    189
    90
    Is this weird?
  • Salvador Dalí made a point throughout his life of being as weird as possible. These efforts included owning an ocelot that he would walk throughout the city, having a very weird mustache, and speaking in the third person. He did not miss an opportunity to surprise, no matter how unnecessary it was. This is exemplified by his habit of stealing pens from fans who asked him for autographs. It's pretty harmless, but it's doubtful that he needed all of those pens.

    • Age: Dec. at 84 (1904-1989)
    • Birthplace: Figueres, Spain
    228
    125
    Is this weird?

    More Salvador Dalí 

    #132 of 2,753 The Most Influential People of All Time#271 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#76 of 344 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person

  • Paul Klee was a highly influential artist whose highly unique works spanned Cubism, Surrealism, and other art movements. His works were often bright pieces of color-blocked compositions that seem whimsical and even childlike. Turns out, Klee wasn't always a joy to behold. When he was a young boy in school, he could be quite the bully. In his diary, he recalls a girl "who was not pretty and wore braces to correct her crooked legs" whom he purposely pushed down in a field. Repeatedly. Definitely not a nice kid at the playground.

    • Age: Dec. at 60 (1879-1940)
    • Birthplace: Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland
    135
    68
    Is this weird?

    More Paul Klee 

    #12 of 65 The Greatest Famous Surrealist Artists#5 of 101 Famous Expressionist Artists#18 of 63 Famous Cubist Artists, Ranked