Sure, you’ve heard of the Mona Lisa.
You might even have a few coffee-stained coasters lying around your apartment that depict Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night.’
But how much do you really know about the greatest artists who have ever lived? Brush up on your art history knowledge with these fast facts, I bet a few of them will surprise you.
Leonardo da Vinci
- Born on April 15, 1452 in Vinci, Italy
- Full name: Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci
- Died on May 2, 1519 and is buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert, Amboise, France
- Trades and talents: Painting, architecture, military engineering, sculpting, music, writing.
- Most Famous Works: The “Mona Lisa,” “The Last Supper,” and “Vitruvian Man.”
- The renowned artist was unschooled.
- He was a passionate lover of animals.
- His parents were not married, meaning he was considered an illegitimate child.
- Never finished his most famous piece, the Mona Lisa.
- The Renaissance man was arrested on charges of sodomy.
- The multi-talented man studied the laws of nature and science, applying his knowledge magically into his art.
- Born on: March 6, 1475 in the Republic of Florence, Italy
- Full name: Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
- Died: 18 February, 1564 and is buried in Santa Croce, Florence, Italy
- Trades and talents: Italian-style sculpting, painting, poetry, engineering, architect
- Most Famous Works: David, Pieta, The Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel ceiling, Bacchus
- Pope Julias II had originally chosen Raphael to work on Sistine Chapel instead of Michelangelo. In 1546, however, he was asked to redesign the old St. Peter’s Basilica and designed a large dome.
- He sculpted the infamous David statue from a discarded chunk of marble.
- People who knew him considered him unpredictable, due to constantly moody behavior.
- He is rumored to have been involved in many affairs with various women and men, but never got married.
- Michelangelo was the first person to have witnessed his own autobiography get published in his lifetime.
Vincent Van Gogh
- Born on: March 30, 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands.
- Full name: Vincent Willem van Gogh
- Died on: July 29, 1890
- Talents and trades: Infamous Dutch painter
- Most famous works: The Starry Night, Self-portraits, The Potato Eaters, Sunflowers
- Van Gogh is named after his own brother who died at infant age.
- He was a prolific writer and artist.
- “Starry Night” reflects Gogh’s mind from an Asylum.
- His Epilepsy medications influenced his art works a lot.
- He didn’t feel that “Starry Night” was one of his best works.
- Sadly, the revered artist died after he had shot himself in the chest.
- Born on: July 15, 1606 in Leiden, Netherlands
- Full name: Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
- Died: October 4,1669 and was buried in Westerkerk, Netherlands
- Talents and trades: Dutch painter and sketch artist
- Most famous works: The Night Watch, David and Uriah, Artemisia, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, Self-Portrait
- After school Rembrandt started training as an apprentice under two masters who saw his extraordinary talent immediately.
- Rembrandt married his art dealer’s cousin, Saskia.
- He witnessed his wife’s death and outlived four of his children.
- He added a silent “d” to his signature, to achieve the name “Rembrandt”.
- The artist had some financial peaks, but lost all by his later years, to avoid bankruptcy he had to sell most of his paintings and artworks.
- It is rumored that he painted his dead monkey.
- Born on: October 25, 1881 in Málaga, Spain
- Died: April 8, 1973 and was buried in Vauvenargues, France
- Talents and trades: Spanish painter, print-maker, sculptor, stage designer, ceramicist, playwright and poetry
- Most Famous Works: The old guitarist, The weeping woman, The
- Picasso’s full name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso.
- Pablo took his first art lesson from his father when he was seven years old. His father was an art professor and artist himself.
- Pablo went to the Academy of Arts for one year and then moved to Paris where he began to perfect his styling.
- The name of his first painting was Le Picador.
- He did not enjoy school and was not a good student at all.
- A true free-spirited, free-loving bohemian, he had four children with three different women.
- Sadly, he died during a dinner party at his own home.