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Fine art is capable of giving a whole range of emotions. Some paintings are shrouded in mystical riddles, while in others the main thing is their prohibitively high price.
There are many strange pictures in the history of world painting. And although the very concept of strangeness is subjective, it is possible to single out those well-known works that clearly stand out from the general series.
Edvard Munch "The Scream". The work measuring 91x73.5 cm was created in 1893. Munch painted it in oils, pastels and tempera; today the painting is kept in the Oslo National Gallery. The artist's creation has become a landmark for impressionism; it is generally one of the most famous paintings in the world today. Munch himself told the story of its creation in the following way: "I was walking along the path with two friends. At this time the sun was setting. Suddenly the sky turned blood red, I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence. I looked at the blood and flames over the bluish - a black fiord and a city. My friends went on, and I still stood, trembling with excitement, feeling the endless cry piercing nature. " There are two versions of the interpretation of the meaning drawn. We can assume that the depicted character is seized with horror and silently screams, pressing his hands to his ears. Another version says that the man closed his ears from the scream screaming around him. In total, Munch created as many as 4 versions of "Scream". Some experts believe that this painting is a classic manifestation of the manic-depressive psychosis from which the artist suffered. When Munch was treated in the clinic, he never returned to this canvas.
Paul Gauguin "Where did we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?" In the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, you can find this Impressionist work measuring 139.1 x 374.6 cm.It was painted in oil on canvas in 1897-1898. This profound work was written by Gauguin in Tahiti, where he retired from the hustle and bustle of Parisian life. The painting became so important for the artist that after its completion he even wanted to commit suicide. Gauguin believed that she was the best on the head that he had created before. The artist believed that he would not be able to create something better or similar, he simply had nothing more to strive for. Gauguin lived for another 5 years, proving the truth of his judgments. He himself said that his main picture should be viewed from right to left. There are three main groups of figures on it, which personify the questions that the canvas is entitled to. Three women with a child show the beginning of life, in the middle people symbolize maturity, old age is represented by an elderly woman who is waiting for her death. It seems that she has come to terms with this and is thinking about something of her own. At her feet is a white bird, symbolizing the meaninglessness of words.
Pablo Picasso "Guernica". Picasso's creation is kept in the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. A large painting, 349 by 776 cm, painted in oil on canvas. This mural painting was created in 1937. The picture tells about the raid of fascist volunteer pilots on the city of Guernica. As a result of those events, the city with a population of 6 thousand people was completely razed to the ground. The artist created this picture in just a month. In the early days, Picasso worked for 10-12 hours, in his very first sketches the main idea was already visible. As a result, the picture became one of the best illustrations of all the horrors of fascism, cruelty and human grief. In "Guernica" you can see a scene of atrocity, violence, death, suffering and helplessness. Although the reasons for this are not explicitly stated, they are clear from history. It is said that in 1940, Pablo Picasso was even summoned to the Gestapo in Paris. He was immediately asked: "Did you do it?" To which the artist replied: "No, you did it."
Jan van Eyck "Portrait of the Arnolfini couple". This painting was painted in 1434 in oil on wood. The dimensions of the masterpiece are 81.8x59.7 cm, and it is kept in the London National Gallery. Presumably the painting depicts Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini with his wife. The work is one of the most difficult in the Western school of painting during the Northern Renaissance. This famous painting contains a huge number of symbols, allegories and various clues. That there is only the signature of the artist "Jan van Eyck was here". As a result, the painting is not just a work of art, but a real historical document. After all, it depicts a real event that van Eyck captured. This picture has recently become very popular in Russia, because with the naked eye, Arnolfini's similarity with Vladimir Putin is noticeable.
Mikhail Vrubel "Seated Demon". This masterpiece by Mikhail Vrubel, painted by him in oil in 1890, is kept in the Tretyakov Gallery. The dimensions of the canvas are 114x211 cm. The demon depicted here is surprising. He appears as a sad young man with long hair. Usually people do not represent evil spirits that way. Vrubel himself, about his most famous painting, said that in his understanding the demon is not so much an evil spirit as a suffering one. At the same time, one cannot deny him authority and dignity. Vrubel's demon is an image, first of all, of the human spirit, which reigns within us in constant struggle with ourselves and doubts. This creature, surrounded by flowers, tragically clasped its hands, its huge eyes sadly look into the distance. The whole composition expresses the constraint of the demon's figure. He seems to be squeezed in this image between the top and bottom of the picture frame.
Vasily Vereshchagin "The Apotheosis of War". The picture was painted in 1871, but in it the author seemed to foresee the horrors of future World Wars. Canvas measuring 127x197 cm is kept in the Tretyakov Gallery. Vereshchagin is considered one of the best battle-painters in Russian painting. However, he did not write wars and battles because he loved them. The artist tried to convey to people his negative attitude towards the war by means of fine art. Once Vereshchagin even promised not to paint battle pictures anymore. After all, the painter took the grief of every wounded and killed soldier too close to his heart. The result of such a heartfelt attitude to this topic was "The Apotheosis of War". A terrible and mesmerizing picture depicts a mountain of human skulls in a field with crows around. Vereshchagin created an emotional canvas, behind each skull in a huge pile is traced the history and fate of individuals and people close to them. The artist himself sarcastically called this picture a still life, because it depicts a dead nature. All the details of "The Apotheosis of War" shout about death and emptiness, it can be seen even in the yellow background of the earth. And the blue of the sky only emphasizes death. The idea of the horrors of war is emphasized by bullet holes and saber marks on the skulls.
Grant Wood "American Gothic". This small painting measures 74 by 62 cm. It was created in 1930 and is now kept at the Art Institute of Chicago. The painting is one of the most famous examples of American art of the last century. Already in our time, the name "American Gothic" is often mentioned in the media. The painting depicts a rather gloomy father and his daughter. Numerous details tell about the severity, puritanism and ossification of these people. They have disgruntled faces, an aggressive pitchfork in the middle of the picture, and the couple's clothes are old-fashioned even by the standards of the time. Even the seam on the farmer's clothes follows the shape of a pitchfork, doubling the threat to those who encroach on his lifestyle. The details of the picture can be studied endlessly, physically feeling discomfort. It is interesting that at one time, at a competition at the Chicago Institute of the Arts, the picture was accepted by the judges as humorous. But the people of Iowa offended the artist for putting them in such an unsightly perspective. The model for the woman was Wood's sister, but the prototype of the angry man was the painter's dentist.
Rene Magritte "Lovers". The painting was painted in 1928 in oil on canvas. However, there are two options. In one of them, a man and a woman are kissing, only their heads are wrapped in white cloth. In another version of the picture, the lovers look at the viewer. Drawn and surprising, and bewitching. Figures without faces symbolize the blindness of love. It is known that lovers do not see anyone around, but we cannot see their true feelings. Even for each other, these people, blinded by feeling, are actually a mystery. And although the main message of the picture seems clear, "Lovers" still make you look at them and think about love. In general, almost all of Magritte's paintings are puzzles, which are completely impossible to solve. After all, these canvases raise the main questions about the meaning of our life. In them, the artist talks about the illusory nature of what we see, about the fact that there are many mysterious things around us that we try not to notice.
Marc Chagall "Walk". The painting was painted in oil on canvas in 1917, now it is kept in the State Tretyakov Gallery. In his works, Marc Chagall is usually serious, but here he allowed himself to show feelings. The painting expresses the artist's personal happiness, it is full of love and allegories. His "Walk" is a self-portrait where Chagall depicted his wife Bella next to him. His chosen one soars in the sky, she is about to drag the artist there, who has already almost lifted himself off the ground, touching her only with the tips of his shoes. In the other hand of the man is a tit. We can say that this is how Chagall portrayed his happiness. He has a crane in the sky in the form of a beloved woman, and a tit in his hands, by which he meant his work.
Hieronymus Bosch "The Garden of Earthly Delights". This 389x220 cm canvas is kept in the Spanish Museum of Law. Bosch painted an oil painting on wood in the years 1500-1510. This is the most famous Bosch triptych, although the picture has three parts, it is named after the central one, dedicated to voluptuousness. There are constant debates around the meaning of a strange picture, there is no such interpretation of it that would be recognized as the only correct one. Interest in the triptych arises from the many small details that express the main idea. There are translucent figures, unusual structures, monsters, incarnated nightmares and visions and hellish variations of reality. The artist was able to look at all this with a sharp and searching look, having managed to combine dissimilar elements into a single canvas. Some researchers have tried to see in the picture a reflection of human life, which the author showed in vain. Others found images of love, someone discovered the triumph of voluptuousness. It is doubtful, however, that the author was trying to glorify carnal delights. After all, figures of people are depicted with cold detachment and innocence. And the church authorities reacted quite favorably to this picture of Bosch.
Gustav Klimt "Three ages of women". This painting is located in the Roman National Gallery of Modern Art. The 180 cm wide square canvas was painted in oil on canvas in 1905. This picture expresses both joy and sadness at the same time. The artist in three figures was able to show the whole life of a woman. The first, still a child, is extremely carefree. A mature woman expresses peace, and the last age symbolizes despair. At the same time, the middle age is organically woven into the life ornament, and the old one stands out noticeably against its background. The clear contrast between a young woman and an older woman is symbolic. If the flowering of life is accompanied by numerous opportunities and changes, then the last phase is ingrained constancy and conflict with reality. Such a picture attracts attention and makes one think about the artist's intention, its depth. It contains all life with its inevitability and metamorphoses.
Egon Schiele "Family". This canvas measures 152.5x162.5 cm, painted in oil in 1918. It is now kept in the Vienna Belvedere. Schiele's teacher was Klimt himself, but the student did not at all try to copy him diligently, looking for his own methods of expression. We can safely say that Schiele's works are even more tragic, frightening and strange than those of Klimt. Some elements today would be called pornographic, there are many different perversions, naturalism is present in all its beauty. At the same time, the pictures are literally permeated with some kind of aching despair. The pinnacle of Schiele's work and his most recent painting is "The Family". In this canvas, despair is brought to the maximum, while the work itself turned out to be the least strange for the author. After his pregnant wife Schiele passed away from the Spanish flu, and shortly before his death, this masterpiece was created. Only 3 days passed between the two deaths, they were enough for the artist to depict himself with his wife and his never-born child. At that time, Schiele was only 28 years old.
Frida Kahlo "Two Frida". The picture was born in 1939. Mexican artist Frida Kahlo became famous after the release of a movie about her with Salma Hayek in the title role. The artist's work was based on her self-portraits. She herself explained this fact as follows: "I write myself because I spend a lot of time alone and because I am the topic that I know best." It is interesting that Frida does not smile in any of her paintings. Her face is serious, even somewhat mournful. Fused bushy eyebrows and a barely noticeable antennae above compressed lips express the maximum seriousness. The ideas of the paintings lie in the figures, background and details of what surrounds Frida. The symbolism of the paintings is based on the national traditions of Mexico, closely intertwined with the old Indian mythology. "Two Frida" is one of the best pictures of the Mexican woman. In it, the masculine and feminine principles are displayed in an original way, having a single circulatory system. Thus, the artist showed the unity and integrity of these two opposites.
Claude Monet "Waterloo Bridge. Fog Effect". This painting by Monet can be found in the St. Petersburg Hermitage. It was painted in oil on canvas in 1899. On closer examination of the picture, it appears as a purple spot with thick strokes applied to it. However, moving away from the canvas, the viewer understands all its magic. First, vague semicircles passing through the center of the picture become visible, the outlines of boats appear. And from a distance of a couple of meters, you can already see all the elements of the picture, which are connected in a logical chain.
Jackson Pollock "Number 5, 1948". Pollock is a classic of the genre of abstract expressionism. His most famous painting is the most expensive in the world today. And the artist painted it in 1948, simply spilling oil paint over fiberboard measuring 240x120 cm on the floor. In 2006, this painting was sold at Sotheby's for $ 140 million. Previous owner, collector and film producer David Giffen, sold it to Mexican financier David Martinez. Pollock said that he decided to move away from such familiar artist tools as the easel, paints and brushes. His tools were sticks, knives, scoops and pouring paint. He also used a mixture of it with sand or even broken glass. Starting to create. Pollock surrenders to inspiration, not even realizing what he is doing. Only then comes the realization of the perfect. At the same time, the artist has no fear of destroying the image or changing it inadvertently - the picture begins to live its own life. Pollock's task is to help her to be born, to go outside.But if the master loses contact with his creation, then the result will be chaos and dirt. If successful, the painting will embody pure harmony, ease of receiving and embodying inspiration.
Joan Miró "A man and a woman in front of a heap of excrement." This painting is now kept in the artist's collection in Spain. It was painted in oil on a sheet of copper in 1935 in just a week from October 15 to 22. The size of the creation is only 23x32 cm. Despite such a provocative name, the picture speaks of the horrors of civil wars. The author himself thus depicted the events of those years taking place in Spain. Miro tried to show a period of worry. In the picture, you can see the motionless man and woman, who, nevertheless, are drawn to each other. The canvas is saturated with ominous poisonous flowers, together with enlarged genitals it looks deliberately disgusting and disgustingly sexy.
Jacek Jerka "Erosion". In the works of this Polish neo-surrealist, pictures of reality, intertwining, give rise to a new reality. In some ways, even touching pictures are extremely detailed. They feel the echoes of the surrealists of the past, from Bosch to Dali. Yerka grew up in an atmosphere of medieval architecture that miraculously survived the bombings of the Second World War. He started drawing even before entering the university. They tried to change his style to a more modern and less detailed one, but Yerka himself retained his individuality. Today his unusual paintings are exhibited not only in Poland, but also in Germany, France, Monaco, and the USA. They are found in a number of collections around the world.
Bill Stoneham "Hands Resist Him". The painting, painted in 1972, is hardly a classic painting. However, there is no doubt that she is one of the weirdest creations of artists. The painting depicts a boy, next to him is a doll, and numerous palms are pressed against the glass from behind. This canvas is strange, mysterious and somewhat mystical. It is already overgrown with legends. They say that because of this picture someone died, and the children on it are alive. She looks really creepy. It is not surprising that the painting evokes fears and terrible fantasies for people with a sick mentality. Stoneham himself assured that he painted himself at the age of 5 years. The door behind the boy is the barrier between reality and the world of dreams. The doll, on the other hand, is a guide that can take a child from one world to another. Hands are alternative lives or human capabilities. The painting became famous in February 2000. It was put up for sale on eBay, telling that it has ghosts. In the end, Hands Resist Him was bought for $ 1,025 by Kim Smith. Soon, the buyer was literally inundated with letters with scary stories associated with the painting, and demands to destroy this canvas.