arts Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists  

Katie Mach
345 votes 103 voters 7.3k views 22 items Embed

List Rules Vote 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!

Pablo Picasso is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists
Photo:  George Rinhart/Getty Images

Whatever career path you choose, it seems you get asked the same questions over and over again. Most people just grin and bear it, but Picasso had other ideas. When people would ask about the meaning of his paintings, question the almighty Cézanne (who was a close friend), or just rub him the wrong way in general, he would point his revolver at them. Don't worry, he's not a mass murderer: the gun was filled with blanks, but it still sends a message.

Age: Died at 92 (1881-1973)

Birthplace: Málaga, Spain

Profession: Sculptor, Scenic Designer, Painter, Printmaker, Artist

Credits: Le mystère Picasso, Something's Gotta Give, Bezoek aan Picasso, Picasso

see more on Picasso Carried Around a Gun for People Who Annoyed Him
Leonardo da Vinci is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Although his art and mechanical designs are his most well-known achievements, PETA is one of da Vinci's greatest admirers. He was an avid vegetarian and would buy caged birds just to let them go. Turns out that Leonardo was also Italy's sweetheart.

Age: Died at 67 (1452-1519)

Birthplace: Vinci, Italy

Profession: Military Engineer, Musician, Scientist, Inventor, Architect, + more

Also Ranked

#82 on The Best Writers of All Time

#3 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#1 on The Greatest Minds of All Time

#4 on The Most Influential People of All Time

see more on Leonardo da Vinci Was a Vegetarian
Michelangelo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Michelangelo, the painter of the Sistine Chapel, was one of the lucky artists who became famous during his lifetime. However, despite his wealth, Michelangelo was pretty lackluster in the hygiene department. He apparently never bathed and rarely changed his clothes. In fact, on his deathbed, it is believed that his clothing had to be peeled off of him. It may have been 500 years ago, but FYI, this was still considered very disgusting.

Age: Died at 89 (1475-1564)

Birthplace: Caprese Michelangelo, Italy

Profession: Sculptor, Painter, Poet, Architect, Artist, + more

Also Ranked

#32 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#10 on The Greatest Minds of All Time

#62 on The Best Gay Authors

#39 on The Most Influential People of All Time

see more on Michelangelo Never Bathed
Salvador Dalí is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists
Photo: Freebase

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: Died at 85 (1904-1989)

Birthplace: Figueres, Spain

Profession: Painter, Screenwriter, Actor, Writer, Artist, + more

Credits: An Andalusian Dog, The Golden Age, Destino, Impressions de la Haute Mongolie, Babaouo, + more

Also Ranked

#9 on The Most Psychedelic People Ever

see more on Salvador Dalí Stole Pens