vote on everything
Culture
602 voters

Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists

4.3k votes 602 voters 32.0k 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:
  • Michelangelo Never Bathed is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / 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: Dec. at 89 (1475-1564)
    • Birthplace: Caprese Michelangelo, Italy
    379
    45
    Is this weird?
  • Caravaggio Was Not to Be Messe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

    Caravaggio did things his own way, which was a little more unorthodox(and violent) than most. He lived by his own complicated and severe honor code in which missteps were met with oddly specific physical punishments. For example, a Roman waiter questioning the painter's meal got a plate smashed in his mouth, and Caravaggio night-stalked a young painter who had insulted him behind his back and attacked him with a sword.

    • Age: Dec. at 39 (1571-1610)
    • Birthplace: Milan, Italy
    212
    40
    Is this weird?

    More Caravaggio 

    Orphaned At 10, Caravaggio Became One of Italy's Most Famous Artists - But His Art Got Him Killed#466 of 1,357 The Greatest Minds of All Time#5 of 31 The Greatest Painters Of All Time

  • Picasso Carried Around a Gun f is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists
    Photo: George Rinhart/Contributor / Corbis Historical/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: Dec. at 92 (1881-1973)
    • Birthplace: Málaga, Spain
    284
    98
    Is this weird?

    More Pablo Picasso 

    Every Hidden Symbol In Picasso's Guernica#227 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#170 of 2,443 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • The famed painter of the Campbell's soup can unsurprisingly had a thing for objects. At the end of every month, he would put together dated time capsules that included many memory-filled tokens, such as a mummified foot or Clark Gable's boots. You know, just the charming stuff.

    • Age: Dec. at 59 (1928-1987)
    • Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    191
    67
    Is this weird?
PeopleArtArtistsHistoryWeirdtop 20top 10Art History