Art: A product of man’s creative mind.
A work of art can be created in a variety of ways with the use of colors, words, sounds, lines, form and movement. It appeals to, and is understood through, our senses.
Perhaps, art is one of the main things that glues the world together – a universal language For decades, it has not been debatable whether art is a supreme form of expression.
While countless artists have produced numerous, and just as diverse, treasured works, it was not known to many that these very artists lived as colourfully as the canvases on which they painted, as poetically as the lyrics they created and as spontaneously as the masterpieces that they penned.
There are a few who have left glaring marks in history. Here are 3 top famous bad boys in the field of arts.
1. Michelangelo (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564)
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, or simply Michelangelo, died at the age of 88 in Rome. His artworks, like David and the Sistine Chapel ceiling, were among his various life achievements. He sculpted his famous Pieta before he turned thirty.
This bad boy was famous for quitting school at the age of 13. Sent to Florence under the tutelage of Francesco da Urbino, he expressed no interest in school but rather turned his attention to copying paintings from the churches.
He also sported a crooked nose because he was punched by a fellow pupil. This disfigurement is noticeable in all of his portraits.
He was also well-known for his ‘terribilita’ or fearsome personality. He was known as a loner, and exhibited eccentric and unpopular behaviors in his time, eating food only for sustenance rather than pleasure and sleeping heavily clad.
He viewed nature as the “enemy”. He exhibited a dark personality, especially when it was observed that he smashed the knee of Moses, a statue he had sculpted, while shouting “why don’t you speak to me?”
This left him friendless at times. However, this was not something that perturbed him as he preferred a life of solitude.
He left a remarkable legacy as one of the original men of the Renaissance period, with a reputation that rivaled the great Leonardo da Vinci. At age 24, Leonardo and his young companions were arrested for a sexual charge but no witnesses were found so they were released. He never married, had no children or relationships with women.
2. Niccolò Paganini (27 October 1782 – 27 May 1840)
Niccolò Paganini was an Italian violinist and composer. In his time he was revered both as a god and the son of the devil, especially when he enchanted audiences during his performances.
This earned him the reputation of a devil worshiper because when he played everyone was left spellbound. He was labelled as the devil’s son because of the way his playing cast hypnotic spells on his audience.
Despite the varied names he was coined, there was no denying the genius that was Niccolo. Concert halls were consistently filled with people as everyone rushed to see for themselves the legend that could cast trances and arouse tenor and reverence from the crowd.
There was one instance when Paganini was performing and the strings of his violin broke, leaving him with a single one. Still he played on, to the amazement of the audience, and perhaps to himself as well.
He adopted the practice in his future performances, manipulating the strings on his violin, by using old and worn strings that were sure to break during his act, leaving him with two or just the one string on which to continue his show. In this way he could display his vast expertise and divine or demonic talent, however the audience wished to attribute it.
Though he did not kill anyone, there was a rumor that his mother sold his soul to the Devil for a career as the greatest violinist in the world.
The rumours that encompassed his life and works pertaining to the devil, along with dying from internal bleeding (apparently quite unorthodox at the time), cast a dark shadow on the opinions of the church. When he died in 1840, he was declined a burial spot on consecrated grounds.
For four years, the Church would not allow him to be properly buried until an appeal was made to the Pope. His body was transported to Genoa, but he still was not laid to rest until 1876, thirty six years later, in a cemetery in Parma.
3. Ernest Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961)
Ernest Hemingway left a notable milestone in the world of literature that was not recognized until almost six decades after his death. His works are highly considered as literary masterpieces, and his achievements are nothing short of legendary.
He was a winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize, as well as a world class sports fisherman and a bullfighting aficionado.
His literary works include: In Our Time (1924), The Sun Also Rises (1926), The Torrents of Spring (1926), Men Without Women (1927) – a short story collection, A Farewell to Arms (1929), Death in the Afternoon (1932), The Snows of Kilamanjaro (1934), The Green Hills of Africa (1934), To Have and Have Not (1937) , For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), To Have and Have Not (1937), Across the River and into the Trees (1950), and The Old Man and the Sea(1952) – for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953, and Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.
After his death, his unpublished writings were unearthed and published: A Moveable Feast (1964), The Fifth Column and Four Stories of the Spanish Civil War (1969), Islands in the Stream (1970), The Nick Adam Stories (1972), The Dangerous Summer (1985), and the The Garden of Eden (1986).
Hemingway also agreed to report as a war correspondent in the Spanish Civil War. He received a Bronze Star for his bravery during World War II.
He was also known as an enthusiastic fan of boxing and had practiced this sport during his childhood. He even became a successful amateur boxer at one point.
The Bimini locals, who had participated in a fishing tournament where Ernest was named victor, became angry because of his ability to better them at fishing in their waters. He offered them a chance to regain their lost money.
The rules were simple – beat him in the ring for three rounds and their money would be returned. All the challengers went home bruised and beaten, and Ernest went home with his prize money.
His love for boxing translated into the literary world. Some of his memoirs and prose reflected his attempts to teach Ezra Pound to box during his years in Paris.
Ernest Hemingway died in 1961, believed to be an accidental death. Mary Hemingway confirmed that he committed suicide, only five years after his death.
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