The Most Eccentric Artists

about 4 years ago
product By Shrutika Patwardhan

Most Famous Painters & Artists Who Were Eccentric

Over the years, art-lovers have been acquainted with the lives of various artists. Michelangelo, Da Vinci,Picasso, Dali are just some of the masters whose lives have been discussed and documented in detail. Along with their work that makes them the pioneers of fine art, we have come to know about a lot about their life. 

The almost surreal habits of these characters are as famous as their creations. Often they were called mad for their way of life. But as Aristotle rightly said, "There is no genius without a touch of madness."


Michelangelo is one the most celebrated artists in human history. The depth of detailing in 'God created Adam', the realistic looking 'Pieta' and the life-like sculpture of 'David' all point to a man with a keen eye for detail. This attention to detail seemed to go for a toss when it came to personal hygiene Michelangelo.

Legend has it; Michelangelo would go on without a bath for days. He would even go to bed fully clothed (shoes included). His assistant once complained that,"He has sometimes gone so long without taking (his shoes) off that then the skin came away, like a snake's, with the boots."In fact, some believe that Michelangelo was autistic.

 He struggled with interaction and would often walk away in the middle of a conversation. He even skipped his brother's funeral.

Vincent Van Gogh

Ace painter who was recognized long after he was gone, Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting in his entire lifetime. His famous 'The starry night','sunflowers', 'the bedroom' and many more are worth much more than he could ever imagine. 

He is said to have shot himself with a revolver at the age of 37, although there are alternate explanations. These include epilepsy, bipolar disorder, sunstroke, acute intermittent porphyria, lead poisoning and Meniere's disease.

A man, with such a variety of theories around his death, led a life of torment in terms of mental health. He suffered from some sort of seizures or crises, and in one of these attacks, December 23, 1888, he cut off a part of his ear. Such behavior was classified as 'mental epilepsy' by some doctors at the time. 

These attacks would start with confusion and unconsciousness and he would become incoherent, to a point where he would fail to paint, draw and even write letters.

Ernest Hemingway

A literary genius that Hemingway was, he works were known for his gripping sense of style. He is famous for works like'The sun also rises', 'The old man and the sea' and'Indian camp'.He was awarded The Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1953 and the Nobel Prize in literature in 1954.

Ernest Hemingway's life was not a smooth one. He suffered from depression, psychosis and bipolar disorder. He was also known to have borderline and narcissistic personality traits. Instead of seeking medical help from psychiatrists, he indulged in alcohol, engaged in risky sports activities and wrote books to cope and escape from reality.

Salvador Dali

Dali's surreal paintings showed bold depictions of reality that would keep one rooted to the spot. Paintings like the 'persistence of memory' and'the disintegration of the persistence of memory' had people awed in wonder and amazement. Dali is famously said,'I don't do drugs. I am drugs.' He had the habit on engaging in outrageous and eccentric public behavior that alarmed critics and everyone around him.

Dali once wore a deep sea diving suit (complete with brass boots and a helmet) to the London Surrealist Exhibition in 1936. He declared that the suit provided him with creative energy. Dali would always look to shock or bemuse people. He was one of the few artists who worked to create a persona of eccentricity around them.

Explore the world of Salvador Dali

Francisco Goya

Goya's romantic paintings inspired the likes of ace artists like Picasso and Manet. His famous works included 'The Nude Maja', 'The Clothed Maja' and 'The Dutchess of Alba'. Ha was also the inspiration of various movies like 'Goya's Ghosts', 'Goya in Bordeaux' and 'The Naked Maja'. As he completed Yard with Lunatics, Goya was himself undergoing a physical and mental breakdown.

He claimed to hear voices and constantly lost his balance. Some records claim that he suffered from paranoid dementia. Like Van Gogh, he was suspected to have been suffering from one of many possible diseases. It is even possible that Francisco Goya suffered from lead poisoning, due to the high use of lead white in his paintings.

Here is a list of some popular Czech Artists

Bhimsen Joshi

Bhimsen Joshi is one of the most celebrated Indian classical singers. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna award which is India's highest civilian honor.

As a young boy Bhimsen Joshi was so allured by music that he would blindly follow processions that had musical bands and when he got tired, he would curl up and sleep. This would send the parents of Bhimsen Joshi to the police to help trace him. His father started writing 'son of teacher Joshi' on his clothes to tackle the problem of his wandering child.

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