There are so many delightful stories and interesting facts and characters in art’s rich and captivating history. Everyone knows the story of Van Gogh and his ear and artist Willard Wigan inhaling his own work. Perhaps you didn’t know about the latter? Here are some more quirky aspects of the artistic world that you may not know:

  1. The word “art” is derived from the Latin word “ars,” which means “skill, craft, art.”
  1. Pablo Picasso (real name; Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso) has five pieces in the top twenty-five most expensive paintings.
  1. Artwork by Andy Warhol is currently sitting on the moon. His drawing of the Apollo 11 lunar module was placed there by the astronauts of the craft.
  1. Salvador Dalí’s famous artwork “The Persistence of Memory” which features melting clocks was inspired by watching camembert cheese melting in the sun.
  1. Even the Roman’s enjoyed murals and graffiti on walls. Some were found in the remains of ancient Pompeii, the victim of Mount Vesuvius’s eruption in 79 AD.
  1. According to French heritage law, Mona Lisa cannot be bought or sold, she is truly priceless. She belongs to the public.
  1. A small sculpture carved around 40,000 years ago, is believed to be the oldest known example of figurative art. It was given the German name Löwenmensch, meaning “lion-person” (as it was found in Germany) and was crafted through use of a piece of mammoth tusk.
  1. Art used to be an Olympic event between 1912 to 1948. Medals were awarded for artwork inspired by sport. The categories were: architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture.
  1. There are six versions of Edvard Munch’s iconic painting “The Scream”, each one using different techniques and mediums. The National Gallery in Oslo, Norway houses the most famous version which was created in 1893.
  1. Vincent van Gogh was perhaps one of the greatest artists ever, however he was hugely unsuccessful during his lifetime only selling one of his paintings. ‘The Red Vineyard at Arles’, was sold to another painter, Anna Boch, just before the artist committed suicide.
  1. Although Mona Lisa is a relatively small piece it took Leonardo da Vinci fourteen years to complete. Even though he was a highly intelligent man, he was known for having had a terrible attention span.
  1. The tallest statue in the world ‘The Statue of Unity’ is located near Kevadia in the state of Gujarat, India. It has a height of 182 metres (597 feet).
  1. In his later years Claude Monet produced a series of paintings that were notable for their blue colours. It is believed that the reason for this was due to the artist becoming partially colour blind as a result of surgery to remove cataracts. Monet had major difficulty differentiating colours even labelling his paints so that he knew which colours he was using.
  1. Artist Willard Wigan once accidentally inhaled his own work. Apparently whilst holding a micro-sculpture of Alice from Alice in Wonderland with a pair of tweezers made from his own eyelashes, he gave a sigh and dislodged Alice from the scene, on taking a breath in, he inhaled it.

There we have it a nice selection of fun facts from the world of art.