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Top 10  Famous Artists Who Died Poor and Unknown

Few true artists pursue their passion for the purpose of being famous; however, the importance of having your work read or experienced by the public is of great importance. The greater the reach of the audience, the more impact the artist will have on the public’s thinking and opinion. Seminal artists have the ability to evoke the emotions and feelings of others and sometimes even change the way they look at the world. Having a known and experienced work is of utmost importance to an artist, and that is why his relative anonymity of our list of artists before his death is heartbreaking.  Here are the list of top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown.

Top 10  Famous Artists Who Died Poor and Unknown

10.El Greco –

top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown

Country – Greece

The list of top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown. starts with the great painter El Greco. Domenikos Theotokopoulos was nicknamed “El Greco” after working as an icon painter in the Eastern Orthodox tradition in Italy and Spain. Despite the clear influence of Michelangelo in his work, El Greco would say: “Michelangelo was a good man, but he did not know how to paint.” Others claim that El Greco’s works violated a basic rule of the Counter-Reformation: image in content was more important than style. He did not die a poor man  in any way, but his legacy after his death was a great disdain for critics. It was not until the eighteenth century when his work was completely re-examined that he began to get the credit he deserved.

9.Emily Dickinson –

top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown

Country – United States 

The 9th position to make her in to the list of top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown. is Emily Dickinson. It must not have come as too much of a surprise, to the friends that knew her best, when in 1886 Lavinia, Dickinson’s younger sister, discovered her collection of poems revealing the great cache of works to the public. Emily Dickinson’s first collection of poetry was published in 1890, and after initially meeting criticism, her works firmly place her amongst the best American poets. Although Dickinson produced a great number of works in private, fewer than a dozen of her nearly 1,800 poems were published during her lifetime. Additionally, the poems that were published during her lifetime were altered significantly.

8.Claude Monet –

top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown

Country – France

His seminal work  “Impression, Sunrise ” coined the new school, but it was not until the 1880s that his works began to sell, almost a decade after creating his best works. He would go on to say,  ‘A landscape does not exist in its own right, as its appearance changes at every moment, but the surrounding environment gives it life ‘. The form and technique he developed created a sense of atmospheric light with his representations of landscape scenes at a particular moment. Claude Monet would eventually go partially blind with his paintings consisting of large bursts of color without any particular color.

7.Johann Sebastian Bach –

top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown

Country – Germany

Even the most ardent opponent of classical music would be difficult to press to say that Johan Sebastian Bach was not at least a talented composer. During his lifetime, Bach was successful as an organist, while his works as a composer were largely ignored. Born into a musical German family, Bach learned multiple instruments with his brother who serves as a great guide and mentor after the early death of his parents. Bach was to die as a great organist and it was not until a revival of interest in the baroque period during the 19th century that his musical compositions finally came to light. 

6.Henry David Thoreau –

top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown

Country – Italy

While Henry David Thoreau was certainly too busy with his own musings to pay much attention to the public’s view of him, it’s disappointing that such a great thinker and influencer of the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi would be so poorly received. It would be an understatement to say that Thoreau was not widely known or read during his own time. The nature of his works and his social activism made him an outsider in most communities. That did not matter to Thoreau, who enjoyed the company of nature the most which was the theme for the now widely read work: Walden. However life was difficult for the writer, as he could not find a publisher for many of this works, and in one case took money out of his own pocket to publish, ultimately only selling a fraction of those that he printed. Thoreau died having only published two of his works which were not even well-received by the larger public. For all of his life Henry David Thoreau was an unknown in the literary world.

5.Franz Kafka –

top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown

Country – Czech Republic

“I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.”

We have Franz Kafka in the list of  top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown.Franz Kafka had a truly unique way of looking and experiencing the inner and outer world. Like many artists, Kafka’s writing was largely the result of his experiences. Kafka had a difficult relationship with his domineering and strict father, and his mother worked long hours that left young Kafka alone with servants and servants for much of his youth. He succeeded in school, studying law, but eventually settled as an insurance officer. The long hours greatly annoyed Kafka and left his job to give himself more time to write. In addition, embarrassing his father, Kafka would quickly accept a job investigating workers’ compensation inquiries and soon die at the age of 40. Franz Kafka would die of a complete unknown (without a single published work), and if it were not for some good fortune may have remained one. Dying of hunger caused by tuberculosis, a weak Kafka asked his close friend to burn all his works when he died. The rejection of his friend has endowed us with great works like “The Judgment” and has led to the creation of the term “Kafkaesque”.

4.Johannes Vermeer –

top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown

Country – Holland

The artist on our list who had the longest waiting after death for his work to be recognized was Johannes Vermeer. Born in Holland, little was known of the early life of Johannes Vermeer for some time. He was baptized in 1632 and was the son of an art dealer. When Vermeer’s father died, he took over the family art business. It is unknown whether he learned as an artist or whether simply his experience around the business allowed him to study the techniques and forms of others. However, Vermeer began producing his own work, but was never commissioned by the church or nobility. On the contrary, Vermeer’s genre of painting was supplied to the provincial middle class, and consequently, in 1675, Vermeer borrowed money in Amsterdam, using his mother-in-law as co-signer. In effect, he could not pay the loan because of the lack of sales and left his family in debt.

 

3.Edgar Allan Poe –

top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown

Country – United States

Edgar Allan Poe holds the 3rd place in this selection of top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown. The dark nature of most of the stories and poetry of Edgar Allan Poe is truly a reflection of his troubled and painful life. Born in 1809 for Elizabeth and David Poe – itinerant actors, young Poe would see his father leave the family and his mother die of tuberculosis. Shortly afterwards, his father would also die. Death seemed to follow Poe, with the death of his brother serving as the catalyst for his writing career. However, he found it extremely difficult to survive as a writer with the lack of international copyright law. Another cause of pain in his life would come from the marriage of his cousin, Virginia. Edgar Allan Poe was 26 years old and was only 13 years old, but died four years later, also of tuberculosis. His death seemed to have a profound effect on the writer. His pain and anguish was evident in the very successful poem “The Raven”, which tells the mysterious visit of a talking crow to a desperate lover, after the man’s fall into madness. Despite the success of the poem, Poe was paid only $ 9 for publication.

2. Herman Melville –

top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown

Country – United States

We have Herman Melville in 2nd position in the list of top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown.  The author of one of the most beloved books of the twentieth century saw the failure after the failure after the initial success of his debut work. Ironically, it was only his first book “Typee”, inspired by his experiences in the Polynesian Islands, that seemed to generate some attraction on the part of his contemporaries, whereas his best works would languish accumulating dust. Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” was exhausted at the time of his death and his other novels received no major criticism or financial security. Sadly, Melville was forced to go on the lecture circuit, which was lucrative at the time, while still manages to continue his writing through the poetic form. Melville died at his home in New York City with some accounts that indicate that the obituary misspelled his name. With the rediscovery of his works, the name of Herman Melville will remain alive forever.

1.Vincent Van Gogh –

top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown

Country – Netherlands

1st place is acquired by Vincent Van Gogh in this list of top 10 famous artists who died poor and unknown. Born in 1853 in the Netherlands, Vincent Van Gogh was Anna’s oldest surviving son and Theodorus van Gogh, a retired minister. Van Gogh managed to experience other cultures with his trips to London and Paris. It was in Paris that he discovered French Impressionism, which would have such a profound impact on his work of art. After moving to southern France, Van Gogh’s paintings began to grow brighter, appearing inspired by the strong color of the region and sunlight, a sharp contrast to what would be considered one of his earlier works seminal, The Potato Eaters. During his stay in the south of France, Van Gogh produced more than 2,100 works of art, 860 of which were oil paintings. Vincent Van Gogh would commit suicide at the age of 37 years. It is difficult to speculate on what led to his decision, but there is no doubt that the world lost one of its greatest artists.

 

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About Srideep Sarkar