16 Artists Who Became Famous After Death
There are many famous people who continue to live with us through their work. whether they sought recognition or not, none of them could have known how famous they would become posthumously. so here is a list of the top 16 people who had a profound impact on society and culture, even after their death.
1. vincent van gogh
This artist died in 1890 having sold only 1 painting, and popular recognition of his artwork only came after 1910.
vincent van gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime. It sold for the equivalent of approximately $109. He was a shy boy with low self-esteem but later discovered his love for drawing and painting, and later developed his artistic career in his 20s. he later fell into depression and suffered from epilepsy, which led to his death. After his passing, about 2,000 pieces of his art were discovered and are now valued in the millions.
2. Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson’s works depicting her personal thoughts on death, mortality, and nature only came to light after her death in 1886.
Emily Dickinson was a shy recluse who barely published any of her poems in her lifetime. Upon her death, Ella’s sister Lavina de Ella discovered 40 hand-bound volumes of nearly 1,800 of her poems and published them. many believe that an unfulfilled romantic relationship focused her writing style on being highly personal and related to events in her own life.
3. Franz Kafka
This German-language writer never lived to enjoy fame, as his work was not accepted by publishers and was not taken seriously during his lifetime.
Now regarded as the most influential existentialist writer of the 20th century, Franz Kafka never achieved fame in his lifetime. he died in 1924, because he suffered from tuberculosis and could no longer eat. Before his death, Kafka had instructed his friend Max Brod to burn all of his work. but luckily brod published all of his work and the rest is history.
4. Edgar Allan Poe
this American writer who died in 1849 did not even earn enough money to support himself during his lifetime.
poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. Although Poe was able to publish his prose and short stories, he never made enough money to support himself. and, after his wife’s death, he indulged in excessive drinking. His work is recognized throughout the world for introducing a new type of writing style and theme to the world of literature. The actual cause of Poe’s death remains a mystery.
5. Henry David Thoreau
This philosopher died in 1862 but his literature has inspired many leaders, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy.
An American author, philosopher, and historian, Henry David Thoreau, was able to truly emphasize the importance of natural life and being one with nature and the natural world. During his lifetime, people never understood Thoreau, so only two of his books were published while he was still alive. Today, his literature has inspired many leaders, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy.
6. Henry Darger
This artist died in 1973, but became popular only when his fantasy manuscript was discovered in the 1990s.
darger was considered to be a person with mental problems who lived a recluse life in chicago. but he used his experiences and his life’s journey to create amazing art and literature. today, he is best known for his fantasy manuscript ‘the story of the vivian girls, in what is known as the realms of the unreal, of the glaneco-angelinnian war storm, caused by the rebellion of the slave children’, together with several hundred drawings. and watercolors.
7. Gregor Johann Mendel
this scientist died in 1884 but his profound work was not recognized until the 20th century.
Gregor was a German-speaking scientist who gained posthumous fame as the founder of the modern science of genetics. he discovered the basic principles of heredity through experiments in his monastery garden with pea plants, but his discovery was largely misunderstood by the contemporary scientific community. today, he has two laws named after him, both related to genetics.
8. Galileo Galilei
This Italian astronomer died in 1642 but his theories were not accepted until the early 19th century.
galileo galilei was a scientist, mathematician, and astronomer who played an important role in the scientific revolution by providing valuable astrological information and tools to the scientific world. he built the first telescope & he discovered sunspots, lunar craters, and many other celestial bodies in outer space. although in his time, he was often criticized by those heavily involved in religion, who believed that the world was fixed and did not revolve around the sun.
9. Alfred Wegener
This meteorologist died in 1930 but his hypothesis was not widely accepted until the 1950s.
Alfred Lothar Wegener was a German polar researcher, geophysicist and meteorologist. during his lifetime, he focused his research largely on continental drift, in which he believed the continents were connected to each other and gradually moved around the earth. but the lack of concrete evidence never earned his work any approval. After his death, Tuzo Wilson found substantial evidence to prove Wegener’s theories correct.
10. Johannes Vermeer
This painter died in 1675 but was only recognized for his talent in the 19th century.
Best known for his paintings of domestic scenes of middle-class life, Vermeer never gained recognition for his talent during his lifetime. Although he made a living as a painter, he was not that famous beyond the city of Delft, and he was certainly never rich. it is stated that the stress of financial pressure is the reason for his death. Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Théophile Thoré-Bürger rediscovered Vermeer in the 19th century, publishing an essay attributing 66 paintings to him.
11. John Keats
Critics disliked Keats’s poetry during his lifetime, but by the end of the 19th century he had become one of the best-loved English poets.
Early critical opinion of Keats’s poetry was not favourable, with the notable exceptions of his close friends and the exiled Percy Shelley. only after his death at the age of 25 did his work begin to be appreciated for his style and sensuality.
12. Stieg Larsson
Well known as a journalist during his lifetime, he only became famous as an author after his death.
stieg larsson is best known for his millennium trilogy which includes novels such as ‘the girl with the dragon tattoo’, ‘the girl who played with fire’ and ‘the girl who kicked the hornet’s nest’. Although Larsson was known in Sweden as an outspoken journalist and editor, his legacy as a famous writer began after his death in 2004.
13. Oscar Wilde
This iconic author was totally broke at the time of his death, only gaining his fame after his death as a result of the circumstances of his imprisonment.
was an Irish playwright, novelist and poet. He died in 1900 in Paris completely bankrupt from paying the legal fees for his arrest and imprisonment for the crime of homosexuality. His work gained great popularity after his death and he became one of the most popular playwrights in London.
14. Nick Drake
This English musician who committed suicide in 1974 became famous after the release of his new albums in the 1980s.
nick drake, who died 41 years ago, was the perfect musician for the digital age. he failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime, but his work has gradually achieved greater notoriety and recognition. Drake suffered from major depression and died in 1974 after overdosing on antidepressants.
15. Jeff Buckley
The singer of the mythical song ‘Hallelujah’ rose to fame after the posthumous release of several of his productions.
Jeff Buckley, a musical legend who died too soon after releasing a single album, remains one of the most critically acclaimed artists of the 1990s. Buckley drowned at night while swimming near Memphis, tennessee. Since his death, there have been many posthumous releases of his creations, including a collection of four-track demos and studio recordings for his unfinished albums.
16. Johann Sebastian Bach
This baroque composer only became very famous after a revival of interest in his music in the 19th century.
Bach, one of the greatest composers of all time, was little known in his lifetime and was best known for playing the organ. Technically brilliant and highly skilled, he only became widely famous after a revival of interest in his music in the 19th century.