Artists Who Dabbled in Crime

By Abir Pothi



Renowned Baroque painter Caravaggio’s turbulent life was marked by violent brawls and even murder.

Benvenuto Cellini

The legendary goldsmith and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini was known for his extraordinary talents and fiery temper.


Banksy, the anonymous street artist, has pushed the boundaries of legality with his politically charged and often controversial art.

Pablo Picasso

Even Pablo Picasso was not immune to criminality. In 1911, he was accused of stealing the Mona Lisa from the Louvre, though he was later exonerated.

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali, the renowned 20th-century surrealist painter, displayed disturbing behaviour from a young age, pushing a friend off a bridge and biting an injured bat with ants.

Eugene Henri Paul Gaugin

Being a prominent figure in the symbolist movement, Paul Gaugin was known for his paintings, sculptures, printmaking and ceramics.

Charles Bronson

Bronson was famously known as the “most violent prisoner in Britain” as he was convicted of armed robbery in ‘74 and sentenced to years in prison.

Francisco Franco

Fransico Franco is famously known for being Spain’s fascist dictator and tyrant who caused the civil war.

Richard Dadd

Richard Dadd’s crime was more tragic than criminal in the traditional sense. In 1843, while suffering from severe mental illness, he murdered his father.

Wayne Lo

Wayne Lo’s criminal act was a tragic and violent one. In 1992, he went on a shooting spree at Simon’s Rock College, killing two people and injuring several others.

Harry Horse

Illustrator and author Harry Horse’s life ended in a murder-suicide. In 2007, the children’s book illustrator uttered “Its a wonderful night for killing” as he brutally murdered his wife so much so that the knife broke, but he continued with a second knife before taking his own life.