16 Things You Didn’t Know About Three of the World’s Greatest Artists

Van Gogh

It’s no secret that many fine artists aren’t like most people as they’re endowed with exceptional creativity. However, you may not be aware that some of the world’s most celebrated painters are even more eccentric that you thought they were. Here are 16 fun facts about three of the world’s most famous artists.

1. Leonardo da Vinci

• Leonardo da Vinci’s was a “love child” whose parents never tied the knot. Until the age of five, he lived with his mom, but then later moved in with his dad, who had married a woman who wasn’t his mother.
• As an avid animal rights activist, this Italian artist often bought caged birds only to set them free.
• He was probably one of the first home-schooled kids as he had no formal education but was taught at home in the basic subjects of reading, writing and arithmetic.
• He was a slow painter, leaving behind less than 30 paintings with several of them incomplete. Furthermore, at his death, he left many sketches, drawings and notes.
• Da Vince, along with some male companions, was arrested for sodomy charges when he was 24 years old.

2. Vincent Van Gough

• Van Gough wanted to be a pastor just as his father was, but his progressive religious views conflicted with those of the Dutch Reformed Church in the late 19th century. In fact, he spent time working as missionary, and many of his works depict Biblical themes.
• If you’re a late-blooming artist who never took an art lesson, take heart. Van Gough didn’t start painting until age 27. As a self-taught artist, he began his art career by painting peasants.
• Unlike Leonardo da Vince, Van Gough worked quickly. It only took him ten years to produce about 900 paintings.
• He struggled with depression, and his most celebrated painting, Starry Night, was done while being treated in a mental hospital in France. Today, it’s on display at the New York Museum of Modern Art.
• Tragically, he didn’t realize he would be recognized as one of the world’s greatest artists because he had only sold just one painting during his lifetime.

3. Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

• This famous Dutch painter, whose full name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn, was known by his first name, Rembrandt, rather than his surname.
• He had a strong faith, which was seen in his artwork.
• Rembrandt and his wife had ten children.
• It’s believed that he struggled with an eye condition known as “stereo blindness”, meaning that he saw everything flat, which can actually be beneficial if you’re an artist.
• He became bankrupt in 1656 and was so broke that he was forced to sell the grave of his wife.

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