Famous artists who were superstitious
April 13, 2018

From fearing the worst on Friday 13th to never walking under a ladder, there are many of superstitions of old that remain very much a part of daily life. For a number of world-famous artists, superstition played a big part in the creative process too. We look at the rituals and habits of three prevalent creators starting with one of the world’s most prolific artists, Pablo Picasso.

Rumour has it, the Spanish designer was somewhat of a hoarder, keeping items such as old clothes for years on end and not throwing away hair trimmings or fingernail clippings in case it lessened his artistic ability or what he called, his “essence.”

Another Spanish painter, Salvador Dalí apparently kept a little piece of Spanish driftwood on his person to ward off evil spirits.

Dali's painting St. John of the Cross

Click here to find out more about the artist by exploring one of his works in tactile form, Christ of St. John of the Cross.

Although there’s no evidence Leonardo da Vinci was himself superstitious, his famous painting The Last Supper depicts Judas Iscariot having knocked over a container of salt with his elbow. It’s said that the painting enhanced the superstitious view that spilled salt was an omen of bad luck – and in this case, it preceded Judas betraying Jesus and his crucifixion.

Explore the painting with our tactile version, available in Touch to See Album 14. Biblical Scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

Da Vinci's Last Supper

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