Fun Facts About Art

Two weeks ago, we shared some fun and little-known facts about famous artists and artworks. This week, we’re going to be discussing some more fun facts about the history of art and its place in society.

1. The use of nuclear bombs in the 1940s created two new elements, cesium and strontium. Art collectors use this information to confirm the legitimacy of artwork that was made before the creation of those elements. If the artwork contains traces of cesium or strontium, it can’t have been produced before 1945.
2. From 1912 to 1948, contests in painting, music, architecture, and more were held as part of the Olympic games and gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded. The artworks created in these competitions were usually inspired by sport.
3. Even earlier than that, in the 1900s Olympic games, the winners received pieces of valuable artwork instead of medals.


Mona Lisa Painting
The Mona Lisa


4. While many Roman statues these days have lost their heads, you may not be aware that many of them were originally made with the intent to have the head removed. This is because the head would be exchanged depending on the ruler at the time, and an entirely new statue wouldn’t have to be made.
5. The Mona Lisa, displayed in the Louvre, has her own mailbox to accommodate all the love letters she receives. One man even allegedly killed himself in the 1850s over his love for the painted woman.
6. In Germany, they have something called art libraries. Library members can check out artworks from local artists to display in their homes for a time before giving them back to the library for someone else to loan out.




Philadelphia Graffiti Art7. During the Renaissance, art was considered a craft, like tailoring or carpentry. This is because an artist works with their hands. It was not considered suitable for someone of nobility to pursue art primarily.
8. Graffiti art as we know it today emerged in Philadelphia in the 1960s. At the time, it was used almost exclusively for political statements and gang slogans, though the art form has come to encompass murals and purely artistic works, as well.
9. Before Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, it was decorated as a sky with golden stars.


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