Life is very unfair, and it might always not go according to our plans. This popular notion can be perfectly supported by studying some interesting and shocking facts of the lives of some of the well-known artists of all times. No one of us wants to die being broke, left alone or unloved. Here are some of the artists whose paintings now sell for millions of dollars, a long time after their death. We bring 10 such artists to you here.
1. Jean-Honore Fragonard
From a self-portrait, at a Musee Fragonard Jean-Honore Fragonard was born in Provencal, France in 1732. He was considered one of the most popular artists of the Rococo period. The major pitfall in his life was that Fragonard could never adapt to the style known as Neo-classical. Thus his career came to an end and he died in 1806 in poverty.
Henri de Toulouse was a French painter, printmaker, and illustrator. He is a well-known painter from the Post-Impressionist period. He died because of his alcoholism after a depression and because of syphilis in 1901.
3. El Greco aka Domenikos Theotokopoulos
El Greco was born in 1541. He completed his studies in Rome and then moved to Spain. The Spanish royal family still has some of his well-known works. He used to earn well working as an artist for quite some time but then he lost that work and was mocked. He thus stopped earning and died in 1614 in abject poverty.
4. Amedeo Modigliani
Born in 1884, Modigliani was a sculptor and painter of Jewish-Italian descent and earned his living in France. He was famous for his paintings which comprised of portraits and nudes. He lived most of his life in poverty and died at the young age of 35 due to tubercular meningitis. His wife was so depressed over his death that she ended her life by jumping five stories to her death. He could manage only one solo exhibition before he died destitute.
5. Johannes Vermeer
Johannes Vermeer was born in 1632. He was a painter of Dutch descent and his famous works had the life of the regular middle-class households. His work ‘The girl with pearl earrings’ is his best one ever. Unfortunately, his talent was never recognized. He died aged 43 after borrowing money, and couldn’t return it. His family was also left in debt after his death.
6. Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin, born in 1848, was a French post-Impressionist artist. He was a well-known figure in Symbolist movement as a painter, sculptor, writer, printmaker and ceramist. Paul died of a heart failure without knowing the impact his work had in the art world. Some people say he was not as destitute as he pretended to be.
7. Egon Schiele
Egon Schiele, born in 1890, was an Austrian painter. He succumbed to the Spanish Influenza that took millions of lives in Europe, when he was just 28 years of age. Edith, his wife had been six months pregnant and had passed away three days prior to him in Vienna. They lived a life of abject poverty. They had no money for food. Egon spent his dying moments alone sketching his wife’s body before his untimely death.
8. Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson, born in 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts, was an American poet. It’s a shame that less than a dozen of her work got published when she was alive. Unfortunately most of her family and close friends passed away and she had a tough time adjusting to that. She passed away while living alone and some people thought had she had Agoraphobia and Epilepsy.
9. Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde, born in 1854, was an Irish poet, writer and playwright. He was a famous playwright during the 1890s and is known for his epigrams. He passed away in Paris, alone in a hotel room. He had become bankrupt due to the payment of legal fees because of his arrest for the crime of homosexuality. During this time his paintings were becoming immensely popular.
10. Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Willem Van Gogh, born in 1853, and was an artist from the post-impressionist era of the Dutch region. His artistry had a profound effect on the artists of the 20th century. Critics mostly ignored his work until after his death in 1890. Vincent Van Gogh passed away when he was 37 years old, due to suicide. We definitely lost a gem.