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Curious Facts About Artists
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Curious Facts About Artists

People of art differ from the rest of the crowd and are notable for their uncommon outlook on the world. Many great artists had lives cloaked in mystery. Here are some fascinating facts about well-known painters. 

 

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Curious Facts About Artists

People of art differ from the rest of the crowd and are notable for their uncommon outlook on the world. Many great artists had lives cloaked in mystery. Here are some fascinating facts about well-known painters.

First of all, most of the famous artists were left-handed.

Leonardo da Vinci was a strict vegetarian and stuck to a severe vegetarian diet. He never drank cow milk, as he considered it a theft. He also was an animal activist and bought birds in cages just to set them free. Leonardo left behind less than 30 paintings, and not all of them even finished.

Leonardo da Vinci was able to paint with one hand and write with the other one at the same time.

In 1912 his “Mona Lisa” painting was stolen. During 3 years of search, 6 copies, each considered to be an original, were sold for a lot of money. “Mona Lisa” was priced at $ 100mln in 1962, and in 2009 – at $ 700mln.

Paul Cezanne was an illegitimate child of a wealthy merchant and his young mistress.

Georges Braque was the first artist, whose work was exhibited in the Louvre in his lifetime.

John James Audubon in the age of 18 fell in love with birds. The rest of his life he dedicated to painting each species of birds in America. During his life Audubon created about 435 watercolor paintings of birds.

Salvador Dali believed that he was the reincarnation of his dead brother. There were portraits or silhouettes of the brother in each of Dali's paintings. Dali came up with the idea of soft watches while observing Camembert cheese melting in the sun.

Dali's nickname was “Avida Dollars”, which means “the one who's mad about money”.

The painting “A boat” by Henri Matisse was hanging upside down for 46 days before someone noticed. By that time more than 1500 visitors had admired the artwork.

The work “The bronze age” by Auguste Rodin was so realistic that many people thought there was a real man inside the sculpture.

Vermeer in his work used the camera obscura. It's a question now whether he was a painter or more like a photographer.

Vincent van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime. It was “The red vineyard at Arles”. He sold it to his brother, who was the owner of an art gallery. Vincent Van Gogh had a brother, who died at birth. His name was also Vincent Van Gogh.

Pablo Picasso is considered the most famous artist in the world. By the way, his first word was “pencil”. Also, he wore long clothes and had long hair. It was unheard-of at that time.

The first personal exhibition of Paul Cezanne took place when he was 56-years old.

Claude Monet won 100 thousand Franks in a lottery. It allowed him to leave his work of a courier and devote himself to painting. Most of the time Claude Monet drew caricatures, and mostly of his teachers.


Vocabulary:

  • are notable for – are noticed for – выделяются, отличаются чем-либо
  • uncommon – unusual – необычный
  • outlook on the world – general attitude to things and the world – мировоззрение
  • cloaked in mystery – covered with mystery – окутан тайной
  • left-handed – with a natural tendency to use your left hand especially for writing – левша
  • stuck to – followed smth – придерживался (чего-либо)
  • severe – very strict – суровый
  • illegitimate child – born to parents who are not married to each other – внебрачный ребенок
  • merchant – a person or business that buys and sells goods – торговец
  • mistress – a woman who is having a sexual relationship with a married man – любовница (у женатого мужчины)
  • in his lifetime – the period of time when he was alive – при его жизни
  • dedicated to (doing something) – spent his time and effort doing something – посвятил себя (чему-либо)
  • came up with – thought of something such as an idea or a plan – придумал
  • observing – watching – наблюдая
  • melting – changing from a solid state into a liquid one – плавление
  • upside down – with the top part at the bottom – вверх ногами
  • vineyard – a farm that grows grapes and produces wine – виноградник
  • took place – happened – произошло
  • unheard-of – very unusual or has never happened before – неслыханно
  • at birth – at the time when somebody is born – при рождении