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These strange habits of Renaissance artists might’ve been what made them real geniuses

Por: Julieta Sanguino 4 de noviembre de 2022

There’s no doubt that the most important Renaissance artists had some quirks that made them iconic!

Leonardo Da Vinci was more than a painter; he was a genius in all areas of everyday life. In the Renaissance, science and art came together more than ever, and his studies are a great example of this. He began to investigate nature and the human body to capture it accurately in his paintings. In fact, a modern MRI, using the latest technology, is as accurate as Da Vinci’s works, in which every single detail of the human body can be admired with great vividness. Soon, other artists followed suit.

The Renaissance and its small scientific and cultural revolutions generated strange habits in the most representative artists, the same that today would seem to us the strangest. Here are some of the most curious and interesting, data that round off the genius and mystery of the great artists.

Leonardo Da Vinci

He was dyslexic, ambidextrous, and paranoid. He could draw forward with one hand while writing backward with the other, but this is not the most interesting thing about his daily habits and life. The strangest fact about Leonardo is his deep love for animals. He loved cats. Vasari assures that he went to the markets to buy birds and set them free; he was a vegetarian only to avoid the suffering of animals.


In most of his paintings, the characters he painted have six fingers. Many researchers at first claimed that this was an error in Raphael’s work, but soon after, they claimed that it was a symbol of a sixth sense because he almost always painted biblical characters or saints.

Sandro Botticelli

Botticelli never married and had a great aversion to the idea of even thinking about it. It is said that this was because he suffered from unrequited love for Simonetta Vespucci, a married noblewoman.

Michelangelo Bounarroti

His father was a wealthy man who lost all his fortune; his mother passed when he was 6 years old. Therefore, his loneliness formed in him a reluctant, gloomy, and sullen character.

In his work, Michelangelo was characterized by a fervent spirit. When he painted the Sistine Chapel he almost broke his spine by remaining in the same position too long, and in many of his works, there are hidden messages in which reason would always predominate over religion.

Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer was one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, in fact, he was the best representative of that movement in Germany. Like many other artists, he studied animals to make complex and complete compositions. In his time, many of the species known to our science were still a mystery, and Dürer intended to discover as many as possible.

It is said that one day he heard that there was a beached whale in the Low Countries and decided to go to see it; however, during that trip, he contracted malaria and passed.


When Donatello finished painting the Zuccone, he felt tremendous pride in what he considered one of the finest works of art. According to Vasari, Donatello was so satisfied that when he finished his work he asked him to speak. And instead of swearing by God, he swore by his Zuccone.

Story originally published in Spanish in Cultura Colectiva News

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