12 History Crushes: Artists, Musicians & Writers

A while ago, I did a couple of historical crush posts about hotties from history. We had hot scientists and hot military & world leaders, but I never finished the series. These poor names have been sitting in my drafts folder ever since. Without further ado, here are the history’s hottest artistes. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite at the end!

Originally, I was only going to do 10, but I couldn’t narrow down the list, so now it’s an even dozen. History: now with more hotness!

12. Dmitri Shostakovich


Who is he?

Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (25 September 1906 – 9 August 1975) was a Soviet Russian composer and pianist and a prominent figure of 20th-century music.

Why is he on the list?

Ol’ Shosty here has a Harry Potter thing goin’ on if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m personally not, but he does have excellent lips and piercing eyes, plus, talent out the wazoo.

What he left us:

One of my favorites.

11. Gustave Doré


Who is he?

Paul Gustave Doré (January 6, 1832 – January 23, 1883) was a French artist, engraver, illustrator and sculptor. Doré worked primarily with wood engraving.

Why is he on the list?

I’ve long been a fan of Doré and have a book of his collected works, but I had no idea what he looked like until this post. Meow.

What he left us:

The Creation Of Fish And Birds, Dore. Image from wikipaintings
The Creation Of Fish And Birds, Gustave Dore, c.1868
Image from wikipaintings

10. Arthur Rimbaud


Who is he?

Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud (20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891) was a French poet born in Charleville, Ardennes. As part of the decadent movement, he influenced modern literature and arts, inspired various musicians, and prefigured surrealism. All of his poetry was written as a teenager; he gave up creative writing completely before he turned 20.

Why is he on the list?

He’s rather young in this picture, but he only lived to the age of 37. Who doesn’t love a troubled French poet?

What he left us:


Reality being too thorny for my great personality.
–I found myself nevertheless at my lady’s,
an enormous gray-blue bird soaring toward the moldings
of the ceiling and trailing my wings
through the shadows of the evening.
At the foot of the canopy supporting her adored gems
and her physical masterpieces, I was a great bear
with violet gums, fur hoary with sorrow,
eyes on the silver and crystal of the consoles.
Everything became shadow and ardent aquarium.
In the morning,– bellicose dawn of June,–
a donkey, I rushed into the fields,
braying and brandishing my grievance,
until the Sabine women of the suburbs
came and threw themselves on my neck.

9. Edward Steichen


Who is he?

Edward Jean Steichen (March 27, 1879 – March 25, 1973) was an American photographer, painter, and art gallery and museum curator.

Why is he on the list?

He’s kind of got a little Aidan Quinn thing happening:


And I’m a sucker for a man who can pull off a bowtie without looking like a dork.

What he left us:

Some remarkable photographs, that’s what.

Gloria Swanson, Stechen, Image from Smithsonian.com
Gloria Swanson, Steichen.
Image from Smithsonian.com

8. Sergei Rachmaninoff


Who is he?

Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1 April 1873 – 28 March 1943) was a Russian-born composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music.

Why is he on the list?

Another Russian composer. I admit my weakness for Russian composers: Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovitch, Mussorgsky, Prokofiev… good stuff. Oh, and I like his eyes.

What he left us:

Here he is playing his own composition.

7. Robert Bridges


Who is he?

Robert Seymour Bridges (23 October 1844 – 21 April 1930) was a British poet, and poet laureate from 1913 to 1930.

Why is he on the list?

Look at that magnificent beard! His eyes are nice, too.

What he left us:


The sickness of desire, that in dark days
Looks on the imagination of despair,
Forgetteth man, and stinteth God his praise;
Nor but in sleep findeth a cure for care.
Incertainty that once gave scope to dream
Of laughing enterprise and glory untold,
Is now a blackness that no stars redeem,
A wall of terror in a night of cold.

Fool! thou that hast impossibly desired
And now impatiently despairest, see
How nought is changed: Joy’s wisdom is attired
Splended for others’ eyes if not for thee:
Not love or beauty or youth from earth is fled:
If they delite thee not, ’tis thou art dead.

6. Michael Ancher

Michael Peter Ancher

Who is he?

Michael Peter Ancher (9 June 1849 – 19 September 1927) was a Danish impressionist artist. He is most associated with his paintings of fishermen and other scenes from the Danish port of Skagen. His paintings are classics and he is probably one of Denmark’s most popular artists.

Why is he on the list?

Mikey was an incredibly talented realistic painter turned impressionist. Plus, he’s hot.

What he left us:

Actors Lunch, Skagen, Ancher, 1902
Actors Lunch, Skagen, Ancher, 1902

5. Henry James


Who is he?

Henry James (15 April 1843 – 28 February 1916) was an American-born British writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism.

Why is he on the list?

He didn’t age well, but as a moderately-aged man, he was quite handsome.

What he left us:

Mr. James wrote a ton of stuff, so here are just a few of his quotes.

“I don’t want everyone to like me; I should think less of myself if some people did.”

“She feels in italics and thinks in CAPITALS.”

“Don’t mind anything any one tells you about any one else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself.”

“We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”

4. Albert Camus


Who is he?
Albert Camus (7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960) was a French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist, and philosopher. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He wrote in his essay “The Rebel” that his whole life was devoted to opposing the philosophy of nihilism while still delving deeply into individual freedom.

Why is he on the list?

Happy 100th birthday, Albert! I admit that as a wee lass, just making my way in the world and forming my belief system, Mr. Camus was a big influence. I’ve always had a mild crush on him. He had a remarkable mind.

What he left us:

Like Mr. James, he also wrote a ton, so here are some quotes.

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”

“Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.”

3. Anton Chekhov


Who is he?

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (29 January 1860 – 15 July 1904) was a Russian physician, dramaturge and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. Chekhov practiced as a medical doctor throughout most of his literary career: “Medicine is my lawful wife”, he once said, “and literature is my mistress.”

Why is he on the list?

He was a doctor and an author and had a swell mustache. Plus, his short stories are rather good.

What he left us:

Also a prolific writer, so quotes.

“Any idiot can face a crisis; it’s this day-to-day living that wears you out.”

“When asked, “Why do you always wear black?”, he said, “I am mourning for my life.”

“The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.”

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

2. Johannes Brahms


Who is he?

Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer and pianist. Brahms is often considered both a traditionalist and an innovator.

Why is he on the list?

Seriously, I had no idea Brahms was such a hottie.

What he left us:

Good stuff.

1. Vladimir Mayakovsky

With hair.
And without.

Who is he?

Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky (July 19, 1893 – April 14, 1930) was a Russian and Soviet poet, playwright, artist and stage and film actor. He is among the foremost representatives of early-20th century Russian Futurism.

Why is he on the list?

I know what you’re thinking. That man looks crazy! And deranged! And like he escaped from an institution for the criminally insane! And I say, YES, that’s what makes him hot!

What he left us:

“A Cloud in Trousers

Your thoughts,
dreaming on a softened brain,
like an over-fed lackey on a greasy settee,
with my heart’s bloody tatters I’ll mock again;
impudent and caustic, I’ll jeer to superfluity.

Of Grandfatherly gentleness I’m devoid,
there’s not a single grey hair in my soul!
Thundering the world with the might of my voice,
I go by – handsome,

You don’t have to agree with me. You can pick your own favorite. Your turn to vote!