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Famous Artists With Untimely Deaths

Artists are known for their incredible creativity, using their natural talents to gift the world with unique and original works, and sometimes the work is so one-of-a-kind that it ends up changing the world. Like many other kinds of artists, painters and sculptors are known for often dying long before their time. This can sometimes be due to simple disease, but many take their own lives, as mental illness is tied deeply with intense creativity.

With that in mind, these are some of history’s most well-known artists that unfortunately died before they should have.


Raphael is often remembered alongside other great creators during the Renaissance period, including none other than Michelangelo. Raphael was something of a prodigy, being named a master at his craft at the young age of just 17.

In 1508, when he was 25, he was given the chance to paint the apartment of the Pope of the Vatican, a man who was one of the most powerful and revered in the world. This is where Raphael created his famous fresco painting, the School of Athens. It was truly a loss to the world, then, that Raphael died on his birthday at the age of 37.

Georges Seurat

Georges Seurat made a name for himself for creating works that were polar opposites to the Impressionists of the time and became a controversial figure during his time in the limelight. He’s widely regarded as the founder of Neo-Impressionism, with one of his most famous works being Sunday Afternoon, which is also one of the most well-known paintings in the western world.

Seurat was a notable figure for a number of reasons, including the creation of Pointillism, but sadly his career came to a short end when he suddenly died at 31. While it’s not clear exactly what killed him so young, many have speculated what it was meningitis.

Vincent Van Gogh

There are not that many who haven’t heard of Vincent Van Gogh. Attributed with such works as The Starry Night, many consider Van Gogh to be the greatest painter who ever lived. The Dutch artist was also known for suffering from a number of mental problems and would often overindulge in alcohol and drugs during the later years of his life.

Despite his achievements, Van Gogh’s life would come to an end not long after he turned 37, where it’s believed that he committed suicide. Many speculate, however, that his death was an accident, but without solid evidence, we’ll never know.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Basquiat became something of an overnight sensation when his graffiti began popping up around New York City toward the end of the 1970s, long before the modern age of smartphones and slots Canada. It didn’t take long for him to gain a celebrity status, especially after his first show was unveiled in 1980.

In fact, he became such a phenomenon at the time that he was friends with such artists as Andy Warhol and would become an important subject for art publications around the country. His career and life would be cut short when he was discovered to have died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27.