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
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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

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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

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Caravaggio is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists
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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

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Salvador Dalí is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists
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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

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