Great Art is an area often ignored or misunderstood but there is value in understanding how they work for both a key inspiration and for getting themed Art museums relatively early. Considering great artists are created regardless and do not cost additional to create (like Archaeology) they can be faster to fill and theme than using archaeological museums to some degree.
Great Artist Points
- A great artist creates 3 great works of art for use in various buildings for culture and toward a culture victory
- Great Artists are civilian units that can move 4 tiles, have no ZOC and cannot be killed apart from by nukes. Instead they are returned the nearest friendly city.
- A museum holds 3 slots for great works of art.
- A great work of art can only be moved once per 10 turns
Generating great artist points early in the game so you can gain the Humanism Civic inspiration requires the use of theatre projects (or using one of Brazil’s entertainment projects).
Note: Oracle and Divine Spark do not provide any +GPP points benefit for great artists.
- Theatre squares +1
- Museums (art and Archaeological) +2
- Stockholm CS Suzerain increases museums by +1
- Broadcast centres +1
- Hermitage +3 (Natural History – 1760 prod)
- Queens Bibliotheque +2 (Sweden)
- Frescoes Policy Card +2 (at Humanism)
- Lavra (Russia) +1 (not affected by oracle)
- Pingala’s Grants promotion doubles the great artists points generated in a city but not from projects.
- Kongo’s Nkisi ability provides +50% Great Artist points from all sources (but not projects)
- A theatre Square project creates 5+(project production/5)/2 great artist points
- A Street Carnival (Brazil) creates (5+(project production/5))/2 great artists points
- When a great artist has been recruited, Brazil gains back 20% of the points put toward the next great artist.
Great Artists Slots
Slots are places in buildings you can place great artists work
- Palace 1
- Kongo’s Palace provides 5 (Nkisi ability)
- Apadana 2
- Art Museum 3
- Hermitage 4
- National History Museum 4
- Cathedral 1 (only Religious)
- Queens Bibliotheque 2 (Sweden)
- Bank 2 (only 1 bank with Great merchant Giovanni de’ medici)
Great Art types
- Great artists create great art and you can see what types of great art they will produce by hovering over their unit. The art is produced in the order listed.
- Great art is produced when you move a great artist to a tile that has a building able to store an additional great work of art and you choose the create great work button on the unit.
- When great art is placed in a building it cannot be moved for the next 10 turns.
Great art comes in 4 types listed with the great work.
Religious art is not counted as a religious item for negative tourism modifiers due to religion
- Religious – the first available great art form able to be themed in the Renaissance era.
- Portrait – First able to be themed in the Modern Era
- Landscape – First able to be themed in the Modern Era
- Sculpture – first able to be themed in the Atomic Era
Great Art culture and tourism and culture values
The museum on the left has 3 works from the same great artist so is only producing 5 culture (3+1+1) and 4 tourism (2+1+1) while the museum on the right has art from 3 different artists so is producing 9 culture (3+3+3) and 6 tourism (2+2+2). Please refer to the theming section to see additional values from theming.
- A single great work of art produces 3 culture and 2 tourism. These are called the base values.
- A second great work of art from the same artist in the same museum only produces 1 culture and 1 tourism so try to avoid this at all possible. This restriction does not exist for other buildings like Apadana and Hermitage so use them to store duplicates with the best value.
- Great work of art in a museum can be themed to double their base values (see theming)
- Various tourism modifiers can also increase the tourism value further (see modifiers)
- To theme an art museum, you must have art of the same type but of different artists.
- Themed art is worth double the culture and tourism value
- You can move a great work of art once per 10 turns.
- It is possible to have 19 themed art museums.
- The Swedish Queens Bibliotheque automatically themes great works in it once all 6 slots are filled.
Great Art Bonuses
- Creating a great artist triggers the Humanism inspiration worth 216 culture.
- Creating an art museum triggers the Opera and Ballet Inspiration worth 290 culture.
- Creating a themed museum triggers the Cultural Heritage inspiration worth 680 culture.
This image shows 2 themed art museums with the Heritage tourism card slotted. The one on the right has 3 works of art (6 base tourism), the base is doubled for Heritage tourism and doubled for theming making 18 tourism. The museum on the right is in a city with Pingala showing the base is doubled again (6 base +100% base for Heritage tourism +100% base for Theming +100% base for Pingala = (6+6+6+6) = 24)
- The Heritage Tourism card (Cultural Heritage civic) provides +100% tourism for great works of art. This is 100% of the base tourism value, not the total.
- Pingala with the Curator promotion doubles the base value of a great work of art in the city, not the total value.
- Great art is also increased by other global tourism modifiers at the city, civilization or route level which is covered in other areas of the tourism guide.
Purchasing Great Artists
Stealing Great Artists
- Oracle provides a 25% discount purchasing Great artists with faith
- Theocracy provides a 15% discount purchasing Great Artists with faith
- Democracy provides a 25% discount in purchasing great artists with Gold.
Stealing the right great artist is not easy. For a start the choice is random and may be a work of great writing of music instead. The great work of art may not be housed in a museum and therefore not be able to be stolen. If a city has an art museum and little else, then persistence with espionage will pay off but will take some time. Therefore, stealing great works for theming is normally not the best approach and trading/purchasing the great work is often better. Steak great works is primarily to break other civs theming and to generally reduce their culture output. At this stage of the game you have other more powerful options for tourism.
The hermitage does degrade the value of work by the same artist nor does it provide value for themed art.
In the below Hermitages, the left one is 3 sculptures by different artists and a landscape painting, the centre one is 3 religious works by 1 artist and a religious work by another. The right one shows for religious works by different artists. All are treated the same.
Great Work Analysis
- The below graphic shows in what era different great art is available and the order in which the great artists creates the great work. Note the order great artists appear within an era is random.
- If you can get all great artists (push with projects) you can get 1 themed religious art museum in the Renaissance era and three additional themed religious art museums in the industrial era.
- You can get three themed religious museums without creating more great art but the fourth religious art museum would require Rembrandt to create 2 portraits which will need to be stored/sold/traded somewhere.
- Further theming is not possible until the modern era when you will be able to get 6 additional themed museums, 3 portrait and 3 landscape.
- The Atomic era allows for 3 themed sculpture museums and a landscape museum
- The information era then allows for 1 themed sculpture museum, 2 portrait museums and 1 landscape museum.
In order of their power purely from a great art point of view
Kongo being able to gain 50% great artist points from all sources allows for a rapid gain of great artists and more guarantee of gaining all the early ones. Kongo can store 5 great works in their palace allowing for more flexibility and more use. These slots are also useful for other things and the key is you can store Rembrandts portraits to allow for 4 religious themed museums with more guarantee. Kongo also is the only civ that can gain additional value from sculpture in the form of +2 food, +2 Production and +4 gold per sculpture. Using Donatello’s 3 charges for the other 3 slots (if not used by relics) will provide a significant boost to the capital and it must be clarified you can place these sculptured before museums are made. On the downside Kongo’s artefact Museums provide very large food/production and gold bonuses and Kongo would be crazy not to take advantage of these which detracts from their value in getting great artists. However, having 3-4 art museums and the rest archaeology museums seems like the best mix for a faster victory. Kongo currently appears to suffer from a bug that causes theatre projects to have half GPP including Great Artists which makes them less strong for a CV. Also note that Kongo has 5 palace slots and there are 5 early sculptures, coincidence?
Russia gains +1 great Artist points from each Lavra. This benefit allows earlier Great Artist point creation from a specialist district it makes perfect sense for Russia to build early. One may even pose that not going for a culture victory these Great Artist points allow for a Humanism inspiration that is difficult to get otherwise. Having Lavras naturally also encourages Cathedrals for great religious art slots which are an option if not building theatres thereby gaining some additional culture benefit rather than just discarding great artists.
Brazil gets 20% back on great person points earned, a sort of 20% retrospect benefit. It is not as good as Kongo’s 50% by any measure, but it helps with great artists. Additionally, in cities without a theatre or if wanting to run carnival projects for other reasons these also provide the same amount of great artists points but also great engineer and great merchant points.
Sweden’s Queens Bibliotheque allows the storage of 2 great works of art that are automatically themed once the museum is full (also requires 2 great writings and 2 great music pieces. The ability to theme these is a little useful, but it is the ability to store Rembrandts 2 portraits that provides great artist use.
Tips and tricks
By far the biggest tip is to keep an eye on who is getting great artists how fast as the loss of a religious great artist can be quite a setback. With Russia in the game it may be better not to go for them as Russia often does not even use the artists it gains so they cannot be traded for.
Great Artists can be gained in advance so when Humanism is reached you can already slot religious art in preparation for early theming and additional artists can possibly be bought at this stage for very fast theming. This is the real benefit of great art over archaeology. You do not have to wait until natural history for archaeologists and then pay 1600 to get one to then travel to dig up artifacts. Additionally, at 1600 each archaeologist become quite expensive and getting 8 is very expensive so maxing both types of museums normally seems the best idea. It is really understanding that great art really is about great religious art.
Getting the Humanism inspiration (create great artist) and therefore getting to Art Museums earlier is a help for tourism. Unless Kongo or Russia this is unlikely to happen without running a few theatre projects or buying a great artist. A CV is time dependent and if great writers are not quite enough great art can be the balance tipper.
If you can see yourself getting the first 3-4 great artists, it is worth buying some art museums if you can. These can normally be filled a lot faster than an archaeological museum and as you can theme 3-4 early you are much more likely to get more tourism off 4 art museums. A museum costs 1160 gold as opposed to an archaeologist which is 1600 and you still must build the museum for archaeology. Museums give great artist points regardless of type and having at least one archaeological museum for the Natural History inspiration is more important than the Opera and Ballet inspiration.
Only create religious works of art and ideally only place each piece where it will end up which means having 3 art museums ASAP. It is perfectly fine to just place all your religious works other places like Apadana and the Hermitage, just do not place art by the same artists in the same museum as a 1 culture 1 tourism work is near useless.
The Hermitage is useful to some degree but not necessary unless playing for a lot of great works of art which seems pointless as by this stage in the game you are creating enough culture to get to the better bonuses like ski resorts faster. It costs 1760 production and cannot theme your works. If it auto themed, then that would make it worth getting but it does not. If you can build it early and fast it is useful to hold duplicate works as it adds a fair amount of culture and tourism you may otherwise have wandering around.
Regardless of your victory type getting 3 art museums and 1 archaeological museum is worth it for inspirations and for culture gain if you are in no risk of getting a tourism victory. Remember, once you have gained inspirations you can always sell great works if need be.
It is common to have another civ building theatres or to have Russia in the game. You need to get 4-5 times as many great artist points as they do so getting many early theatres and running projects is the way to go.
Civ VI Great Artists
A guide to using Great Artists