Italian Word of the Day: Artista (artist)

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).

cover image with the word “artista” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of cofee

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.

female artist drawing
Un’artista che disegna = An artist drawing

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
young adorable girl fixing a computer hardware at the modern white working desk.
Questa ragazzina è un’artista del computer! = This young girl is a computer wizard!

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.

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