10 controversial paintings by famous artists that not everyone dares to hang at home
The paintings of famous masters are admired. They seek to acquire, if not originals, then at least reproductions. But among the huge number of paintings by great masters there are those that look frankly terrible, and hanging them at home is not at all recommended, unless, of course, you want to sleep peacefully.
1. “Diomedes devoured by horses.” Gustave Moreau
In the myths of the exploits of Hercules, the eighth task that the hero must fulfill is to steal the mares of Diomedes, king of Thrace. It would seem that stealing horses should be a simple matter for the son of God, but these were horses that were fed by humans. Not knowing that these horses are crazy, Hercules leaves them with his companions, whom the bloodthirsty animals killed and ate.
As a punishment for Diomedes for raising such monsters, Hercules fed him to his own horses. This plot formed the basis of the picture of Moreau, on which you can see how Hercules carelessly looks at the “revenge” of the horses of Diomedes. Moreau is famous for his symbolic paintings on biblical and mythological subjects, but not one of them is as bloody as this.
2. “Nightmare.” Henry Fuseli
As soon as Fuseli presented this picture to the public, she became famous for showing “the frightening effect of curses on people’s dreams.” The picture became so popular that the Fuseli wrote several versions of it. The main plot is a demonstration of a person’s sleep and the nightmares that he sees in him.
On this canvas you can see the incubus, a male demon who seduces women during sleep. He sits on the chest of a sleeping woman and causes her sexually explicit dreams. However, the popularity of the picture caused a lot of controversy (after all, the era was not so “free” in terms of expressing one’s desires). As a result, the canvas was used in many satirical images of the Georgian and Victorian eras.
3. “Water ghost.” Alfred Kubin
Unfortunately, few people today know about Austrian illustrator Alfred Kubin. He worked mainly in the style of symbolist and impressionistic graphics, and also became famous for his watercolors and drawings made in ink and pencil. He has few works done with oil paints, but this example perfectly conveys the gloomy style of Kubin. In fact, you can find few paintings that convey such a gloomy and depressive mood so well. Interestingly, the Nazis called the work of Kubin “degenerative.”
4. “Judith decapitating Holofernes.” Artemisia Gentileschi
This picture is very similar to the work of Caravaggio, but less known. Artemisia Gentileschi herself led a fascinating life, and some of the character traits of the biblical Judith can be seen in the artist herself.
The painting, the style of which largely coincides with naturalism and the transmission of the process of violence by Caravaggio, demonstrates an even more realistic scene of decapitation. In the case when you need to look for some hidden meaning in Caravaggio’s paintings, he is clearly visible at first sight from Gentileschi. Holofernes’ face in this version suggests that he clearly fell into a stupor in a drunken state, not understanding what was happening.
5. “Hands resist him.” Bill stoneham
This picture became an online sensation in 2000 when it was put up for sale on eBay. Sellers claimed that the children in the picture moved at night, and sometimes left the picture. Even sites dedicated to the picture began to appear on the Internet, on which some close-up photographs were shown, emphasizing the terrible stories associated with the canvas.
Both children have no eyes, but perhaps the most disturbing feature of the picture is the tiny hands pressed to the glass of the door behind the children. The artist was ordered to draw a continuation of this picture, showing in it the same characters a few decades later.
6. “Portrait of Dorian Gray.” Ivan Albright
Ivan Albright painted in the style of “magic realism”, but not all of his paintings are full of fantastic quirks. Magical realism in art can best be described as stylistic realism, designed to convey the “inner truth” of the object to the viewer.
This style is great for the plot of this picture. In Oscar Wilde’s novel “Portrait of Dorian Gray,” the sins of the young man were reflected in his image, but not in his character. This picture was commissioned for shooting the MGM film in 1945 based on Wilde’s book. During the film, the portrait “wears out”, like the soul of a young man, so Albright was hired to make changes to his picture during the filming.