The word for an artist in Italian is artista. Despite the -a ending, this noun applies to both male and female artists, with the respective plurals being artisti (for men or mixed groups) and artiste (for women).
One way of telling whether the artist in question is male or female is by looking at the indefinite article. Whereas both require l’ (the) as their definite article, only the female version takes an apostrophe after un (a / an).
- male = l’artista / un artista
- female = l’artista / un’artista
Mauro sta studiando gli artisti del Rinascimento.
Mauro is studying the artists of the Renaissance.
In addition to denoting a person who creates drawings or paintings, artista can also refer more broadly to professionals involved in the field of entertainment including performers, actors, and singers. A street artist translates as artista di strada.
Ho sempre voluto essere un artista di teatro.
I’ve always wanted to be a stage performer.
What’s more, it can denote someone who is a genius, master or wizard in a particular field. For example:
- un artista del computer = a computer whiz
- un artista della finanza = a financial whiz
Finally, it can refer to a person who appreciates art and beauty and has a gentle character.
Paola ha un’anima d’artista.
Paola has the soul of an artist.