Is there a word for someone who is skilled at several talents in the arts, e.g. painting, sculpting, playing musical instruments and reading poetry. I am looking for a word that is analogous to polyglot when referring to someone who is fluent in several languages (spoken or e.g. using several programming languages). The word, if such exists, should be primarily associated with artistic activities, rather than a generalist term like multi-talented.

Thanks to @Zbyněk Dráb below, perhaps you could rephrase my question as:

polyglot is to linguists as polymath is to scientists as what(?) is to artists?

  • 1
    The term 'artists' is a bit open-ended. I sing. I'm an artist. But I don't paint. Edited to add: So what I'm saying is that the term artist itself is already a broad term that covers multiple disciplines. Leonardo da Vinci didn't sing or compose music either, but we still call him an artist.
    – Tim Ward
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 17:21

7 Answers 7


One traditional term was renaissance man, after the example of Leonardo DaVinci, an expert in many areas --that may be too gender-specific for modern usage.

A more recent term is multihyphenate, used often in a showbiz context for an "actor-singer-director" or similar.

  • Renaissance man seems closer to my intended meaning. I'll leave this open for 24 hours for anyone else to post an answer and if nothing else I will accept this answer. Thanks. Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 16:59

How about "versatile", or perhaps "a polymath"?

"Jack of all trades" would be a somewhat more colloquial and lengthy alternative.

  • polymath is good and on the right track, but it refers to problem solving and the sciences. Definitely on the right track here. Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 16:46
  • You can probably use it somewhat loosely to convey the intended meaning. Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 16:47

You may say that the person is eclectic, i.e. interested in various different domains.

Example: Ashley Bryan is an eclectic artist who uses painting, poetry, music, collage, and prose to tell stories. Bryan fuses these seemingly separate art forms within his books for children.


What about "multi-faceted"? I've heard it used to describe performing artists.


Someone who is gifted at all or many artistic pursuits could be called a creative genius.


Well, you could say that

Tommy is a triple threat: he is an actor, director, and screenwriter for big budget films.


Sally is a quadruple threat: she sculpts, paints, dances, and writes haiku.


They can be called cross-disciplinary artist, though like renaissance man, the term may relate to non-art disciplines as well.

Cross-disciplinary : of, relating to, or involving two or more disciplines - M-W

Usage example:

David Byrne also produces visual work – not just music. So, today, if I go to David Byrne’s website, I can peruse the Art and Books section. He also happens to have a Film and Theater section. - from "Who is the Cross Disciplinary Artist?" by Matthew White

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.