5 Facts About Famous Artists You Probably Didn't Know!

African woman standing in the bush
Credit: Chris Dacus

When someone talks about “Art” you’re probably going to think about all sorts of different things, from paintings to photography or architecture, literature and music. That’s totally fine! Art is basically an expression of creative ability and imagination in a visual form. Today Anuwai Arts presents to you-our dear readers, five interesting facts about legendary artists you probably didn’t know!



1. Pablo Picasso could draw before he could even walk.


Ma Jolie by Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso is hailed as a true legend of his time. As a pioneer in the field of contemporary art , much of his work can be categorized into periods in which he explored a wide variety of styles. Picasso is recognized greatly for the development of cubism, a style of art which aims to depict variable dimensions of an object or a person, using geometric shapes and interlocking planes.


2. Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime.


Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

A master of post-impressionism, Vincent Van Gogh lived a short but interesting life. Starry Night (a personal favourite of mine) shows Vincent’s perception of a town through his artistic mind. He uses a subjective approach in painting to evoke emotion rather than implementing techniques found in realism. It is rumoured that he did not begin painting until he was twenty-seven years old.


3.Paul Cezanne was brought up in a wealthy family and would have become a lawyer.


Apples and Oranges by Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne, although greatly talented sought to fulfil his wealthy father’s desires to be a lawyer. He enrolled in law school while simultaneously pursuing his love for art, eventually fleeing to Paris to commit himself to artistic development-much to the displeasure of his father. His works are deemed as the precursor to Cubism.


4. Michelangelo rose to fame after a failed attempt at art fraud.


Creation of Adam by Michelangelo

When Michelangelo was in his formative years as an artist he produced a sculpture which intrigued his patron Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de Medici. Lorenzo offered to resell the sculpture as an antique piece if Michelangelo could make it appear as if it was a recent archaeological discovery. The artwork was sold to Cardinal Raffaele Riario. To make a long story short, the scam was eventually exposed, but the Cardinal was so impressed with the young artist’s skill that he invited him for a meeting in Rome. Michelangelo would eventually rise to fame after lingering in Rome, obtaining various commissions for artworks which would last for centuries.


5. Leonardo Da Vinci was a skilled musician

The Baptism of Christ by Andrea del Verrocchio and Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci excelled at everything he touched. He was a man of great skill with diverse interests in many fields. It should come as no surprise that with his little formal education, almost everything he learned was self-taught-including music. He sang and played the lyre and flute beautifully, often performing at noble gatherings. Leonardo believed that music was directly related to visual arts and indeed, we couldn’t agree more.


Which fact intrigued you the most? Who is you favourite artist among the lot? Let us know!