Can You Identify These 5 Very Famous Artists From Their Childhood Photos? Take Our Adorable Quiz to Find Out

We think you'll get this first one...

An early photograph of the Hockney family. Courtesy of Legend Press.

Even titans like Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, and Yayoi Kusama had to start out somewhere. Before they went to art school, they were finger-painting children just like the rest of us—and now we have the photographic evidence to prove it.

Below, we’ve assembled the childhood photos of some of the art world’s most recognizable figures. See if you can guess who’s who, and then highlight the text in black to read the answer. (On iPhone, highlight and select “look up.”) Just below the caption is a bit more about the artists and their young lives, so don’t scroll too fast. That would be cheating.

Jeff Koons in 1955. Courtesy Jeff Koons.
Jeff Koons

This photo goes back to 1955, the year of Jeff Koons’s birth. Despite his young age, the stare is so intense you can imagine the notorious perfectionist already inspecting the world around him.

Koons seemed destined for a life as an artist from his early days. When he was just nine, his father, a furniture dealer and interior decorator, placed Old Master paintings in the window of his business, and young Jeff began to copy them. As a teenager, he became such an admirer of Salvador Dalí that he once made a pilgrimage from Pennsylvania to visit him at New York’s St. Regis Hotel.


Lucian Freud with his brothers. Photo Sigmund Freud Copyrights/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Lucian Freud

The look of this famous family is pretty unmistakable, but this sweet image of three brothers isn’t what springs to mind when you think of the weighty and intellectual Freud dynasty. Lucian, on the right, is gazed upon lovingly by his brothers as he seems to laugh to himself. It was captured by their grandfather, Sigmund Freud.

This photograph, although not dated, perhaps would have been taken before the family left Berlin for London in 1933 to escape the Nazis before the start of World War II. Freud attended boarding school in the U.K. before going on to the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing and, later, Goldsmiths College. 


Salvador Dali as a child c. 1906. Photo by Apic/Getty Images

Salvador Dalí

You may have recognized him by his strong brows and flamboyant outfit… This sweet boy waving at the camera is non other than Salvador Dalí, father of Surrealism.

Dalí had a pleasant childhood in the Catalan town of Figueres, in Spain, and spent summers in the seaside village of Cadaqués. His family was well off and although his father was strict and bad tempered, he sought refuge with the household servants, who were said to spoil him. While his artistic ambitions weren’t encouraged by his father, family friend and artist Ramón Pichot was a creative presence in Dalí’s life growing up.

Andy Warhol's first painting, 1937. Photo by Remi BENALI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Andy Warhol

The King of Pop art was born in Pittsburgh, to a family of devout Byzantine Catholics. Occasionally staying home from school with a neurological disorder known as St. Vitus Dance, Warhol would read comics and celebrity magazines, and play with paper cutouts. His parents bought him his first camera when he was just eight years old.


Pablo Picasso at 10 years old on 1891 in Malaga, Spain. Photo by API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Pablo Picasso

Looking at the level of attitude emanating from this child, he was always going to go on to something big. Taken in 1910, this photograph captures a defiant 10-year-old Pablo Picasso, hand on hip and eyes burning into the camera with a gaze you might recognize from later images of him as an adult.

Picasso grew up in the Spanish city of Malaga and, as the son of an art professor, he was always geared toward a career in the arts. He went on to survive this home-cut hairdo to fulfill his parents’ dreams by going on to invent Cubism, and more.


Photo credits: courtesy Jeff Koons; Sigmund Freud Copyrights/ullstein bild via Getty Images; Apic/Getty Images; Remi Benali/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images; API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images.

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