Culture

Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists  

Katie Mach
1.4k votes 333 voters 22.3k views 22 items

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!

Michelangelo 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

More Michelangelo

#13 of 1455 on The Greatest Minds of All Time #28 of 507 on Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person featuring Things You Didn't Know About The Sistine Chapel How Michelangelo's Relationships With Men Inspired His Art And Stuck It To The Catholic Church

Is this weird?
see more on Michelangelo
Pablo Picasso is listed (or ranked) 2 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: Dec. at 92 (1881-1973)

Birthplace: Málaga, Spain

More Pablo Picasso

#10 of 31 on The Greatest Painters Of All Time #5 of 10 on Modern Descendants Of Historical Figures Who Work In The Same Field featuring Every Hidden Symbol In Picasso's Guernica Pablo Picasso's Greatest Works of Art

Is this weird?
see more on Pablo Picasso
Caravaggio is listed (or ranked) 3 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

More Caravaggio

#17 of 19 on Famous Writers and Artists Who Were Terrible Humans #4 of 31 on The Greatest Painters Of All Time #16 of 77 on Famous Renaissance Artists, Ranked featuring Orphaned At 10, Caravaggio Became One of Italy's Most Famous Artists - But His Art Got Him Killed

Is this weird?
see more on Caravaggio
Salvador Dalí is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists
Photo: Metaweb (FB)

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 85 (1904-1989)

Birthplace: Figueres, Spain

More Salvador Dalí

#12 of 31 on The Greatest Painters Of All Time #31 of 61 on Cool Old Photos of Celebrities with Their Cats #6 of 63 on Famous Cubist Artists, Ranked #3 of 10 on Historical Figures Who Had Mental Illnesses or Crippling Phobias

Is this weird?
see more on Salvador Dalí