1. Antoni Gaudi was hit by a tram in 1926 and he looked so ragged and poor, that nobody recognized him or helped him to a hospital. Gaudi was eventually taken to a hospital for the poor, where he wasn’t recognized until his friends found him there the following day. They wanted to move him but Gaudi refused, insisting that, “I belong here amongst the poor.” He died of his injuries three days later.
2. For about as long as humans have created works of art, they’ve also left behind handprints. People began stenciling, painting, or chipping imprints of their hands onto rock walls at least 30,000 years ago. Analyzing hand stencils dating back some 28,000 years in Spain’s El Castillo cave, archaeologist Dean Snow concluded many of El Castillo’s artists had been female. His findings suggest women’s role in prehistoric culture may have been greater than previously thought.
3. The first ready mixed paint was patented by D.R. Averill of Ohio in 1867, but it never caught on. The Sherwin-Williams company spent ten years perfecting the formula where fine paint particles would stay suspended in Linseed oil. In 1880 they succeeded in developing a formula. It was then that emulsions based on similar formulae, were produced and marketed as ‘oil bound distempers’. By 1880 the new paints were readily available in tins, in a wide range of colours, and came to be exported all over the World.
4. The meaning of the word “cartoon” (from the Italian “cartone” and Dutch word “karton”, meaning strong, heavy paper or pasteboard) has evolved over time. Its original use was in fine art, and meant a full size preparatory drawing for a piece of art such as a painting, stained glass, or tapestry. Cartoons were typically used in the production of frescoes, to accurately link the component parts of the composition.
5. Art crime is the third highest grossing criminal enterprise worldwide, behind only drugs and arms trafficking. It brings in $2-6 billion per year, most of which, since the 1960s is perpetrated either by, or on behalf of, international organized crime syndicates. They either use stolen art for resale, or to barter on the black market for an equivalent value of goods or services. Individually instigated art crimes are rare, and art crimes perpetrated for private collectors are rarest of all.