Among all the peaceful still lives, noble portraits and soothing art pieces, there are paintings that give audiences a more unsettling and disturbing view on creativity. These paintings go from mildly weird or strange to absolutely shocking and deranged. Can you handle these 10 disturbing art pieces? Many have tried and many have failed. Caution: Contains disturbing images.


Gallowgate Lard
This thick oil painting by Scottish author Ken Currie is supposed to be his self portrait. Currie specialized in grim, socio-realistic subjects and depicted the bleak urban life of the Scottish working class.

Saturn Devouring His Son
One of the most famous and disturbing works by Spanish artist Francisco Goya was actually painted on his house wall between 1820 and 1823. Saturn Devouring His Son was based on the Greek myth of the Titan Chronus (Romanized to Saturn) who feared that he would be overthrown by one of his children. His solution was to eat each one upon their birth.


Death and the Miser
Currently housed in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C, Death and Miser by Hieronymus Bosch is a chilling example of a “memento mori” (Latin for ‘remember that you will die’). This type of art reminded the viewer of the certainty of death and the vanity of earthly life.

The Flaying of the Corrupt Judge Sisamnes
The Flaying of the Corrupt Judge by Gerard David is now deposited in the Groeninge Museum, Bruges, Belgium and was based on a Herodotus story about a judge who accepted a bribe and delivered an unjust verdict. As punishment, the king had him flayed alive.

Judith Beheading Holofernes
The beheading of Holofernes was depicted by artists such as Donatello, Sandro Botticelli, Giorgione, Gentileschi, Lucas Cranach the Elder and many others. However, Caravaggio’s 1599 painting highlights the moment of greatest dramatic impact, the moment of the decapitation itself.


The Nightmare
An oil painting by Swiss painter Henry Fuseli; The Nightmare was first displayed at the annual Royal Academy Exhibition in London in 1782 where it shocked visitors as well as the critics.

Heads Severed
French painter Theodore Gericault (who was known for his naturalistic renderings of distressed anatomy) finished this painting in 1818.

Massacre of the Innocents
This intense piece of art by Peter Paul Rubens consisting of two paintings and completed in 1612 is thought to have been influenced by famous Italian painter Caravaggio.

Figure with Meat
Francis Bacon finished this painting in 1954. He based the painting on Velazquez´s portrait of Pope Innocent X but made the Pope look like a gruesome figure. He even amplified the terrifying effect by adding two bisected halves of a cow.

The Disasters of War
The Disasters of War is a series of 82 prints created by Spanish painter Francisco Goya between 1810 and 1820. Goya was deeply affected by the conflicts between Spain and Napoleon´s French Empire and decided to express the war atrocities through these prints.


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