Artists and their artworks surprise us on a daily basis. During my time as a founder of an art startup, I learned a lot about art and the artists of the world. These amazing art facts are things you have hopefully never heard of before. They are very different than what you hear and see every day and quite exceptional. Enjoy the read!

Awesome Art Facts

1) Learning art correlates strongly with your achievements in math and reading.

Have you ever told yourself that you are either a humanitarian or a math person? Well, the facts tell otherwise: if you are good at art, there is a high probability you are also good at math or other technical sciences. Researchers find that learning art correlates strongly with higher achievement in math and reading. So, if you learn art at school it will apparently help with algebra!

2) Creating a website or designing a home requires mastering skills which are developed through arts education.

“Do I need to study art in school?” – an answer to this question can be only “YES”. Art basics will help you to photoshop, to make a proper color choice for your powerpoint presentation or to even decorate your house. Indeed, art education helps to prepare you for every kind of visual activity further in life.

3) Roman statues were made with detachable heads so that one head could be removed and replaced by another.

This comes not only in the line of amazing art facts but also amazing historical facts. I guess it seemed very practical for the ancient sculptors not to make a separate bust for every emperor, but to wait for him to be killed and create only a head instead. Handy, huh?

4) Picasso could draw before he could walk, and his first word was the Spanish word for pencil.

This is a cool fact about Picasso! We have to trust Picasso’s mother on this one 🙂  The Spanish for pencil was lápiz. This was Picasso’s first word and he was pronouncing it like “piz, piz”. The rest is history, and already when he was 13, Picasso’s father (being a painter himself) saw his drawing of a pigeon and concluded that his son had surpassed him.

5) Leonardo da Vinci was a vegetarian and animal rights activist.

Apparently, he loved animals so much, that he bought caged birds (on sale for food or as pets) and set them free. He was way ahead of this time in terms of the relation between men and animals. There was Greenpeace in every epoch.

6) In the top 25 of most expensive paintings, 5 are by Picasso!

So, if you ever posed a question of “Who is the best painter?” and couldn’t figure it out, maybe look at it from a numeric perspective. Of course, you can ask yourself, does money really talk in the case of art? In many cases it does not, but it’s for sure that painters like van Gogh, Pollock and Picasso dominate the top 25 of most expensive paintings in the world.

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7) In 1961, Henri Matisse’s painting Le Bateau was hung upside down at New York’s Museum of Modern Art

*ouch* It took 46 days before someone noticed!

Art Facts - Le Bateau

Le Bateau by Henri Matisse. Can you see the difference? Source: Wikipedia

8) When the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in 1911, the empty space it left on the wall attracted more visitors than the painting had.

The Mona Lisa has been in the Louvre since 1797, but was gone missing for a while! The masterpiece was stolen in 1911 by an Italian employee of the Louvre.

Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci, from C2RMF retouched

Copyright by Leonardo da Vinci via Wikimedia Commons

9) Anish Kapoor has recently received has his £350,000 in damages after an art storage company mistook one piece of work for rubbish and threw it away.

Art or not? One cannot deceive storage company workers. Modern art poses more questions than answers to many people. It’s not strange that sometimes there is confusion about whether something is art or not. But for the ones facing this issue, it may be better to ask first 😉

10) It took a year for German Art student Benjamin Harff to rewrite the Silmarillion in elfish style.

Benjamin is a German student of art and this is something he wanted to present as his exam assignment in the Academy of Arts. He was not exactly making the nice calligraphy, but rather illuminated the text he has printed and then bound the pages himself. For everybody who got bored after the ten first pages of the book: he probably knows it by heart…

This post was updated in July 2018 and written by Sabrina Bos, former founder of art startup accessART and now traveling and working around the world as a digital nomad.

Featured image by Unsplash

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