Halloween is right around the corner! To celebrate we have rounded up 5 dark, macabre paintings. We do not have many since it is not many people’s taste for wall art, but the ones below are beloved and well known.
‘Skull With Cigarette’ by Vincent Van Gogh
No doubt one of Van Gogh's most macabre works, Skull with Burning Cigarette is probably the most distinguished of his paintings from the Antwerp period. It's likely that the work was painted from a skeleton in an anatomy class while Vincent was studying art. The work--a stark momento mori--was produced in a time when Van Gogh's health was poor (due to stomach ailments and rotting teeth) and may reflect Vincent's own concerns about his state of well-being.
‘Ophelia’ by John Everett Millai
Ophelia drowns to death in ‘Hamlet.’ The flowers floating on the river correspond with Shakespeare's description of Ophelia's garland and also reflect the Victorian interest in the "language of flowers." The prominent red poppy, not mentioned by Shakespeare's description of the scene, represents sleep and death. Despite the lush beauty and technical brilliance of 'Ophelia', the haunting subject matter made its debut very controversial. However, it is now admired around the world as Millai's masterpiece.
‘The Gulf Stream’ by Winslow Homer
In Homer’s most famous painting, we are left to wonder the fate of this man left for the sharks. His fishing boat is ruined and the look on his face is one of resignation as he lies back and accepts his fate. There is a schooner on the left horizon as a sign of hopeful rescue, it is up to us to decide if he makes it.
‘Wanderer Above The Sea of Fog’ by Caspar David Friedrich
This iconic painting of Romanticism reflects the struggle of man versus nature. Should we feel that he is a master of the land? Or is he looking over the vast world and pondering his insignificance? This painting captures both. It cannot help but to incite reflection in the viewer. Romanticism was heavily influenced by dark themes surrounding death and decay, but at the same time, immense beauty and inspiration was found in the temporality of life.
Sunset on Mount Diablo by William Keith
The dramatic fiery sunset and darker tones makes this painting an unconventional landscape. The mountain goats in the foreground add a touch of humor and symbolism. Rumor has it that Mount Diablo got its name as the site of numerous reports pertaining to the paranormal!
Happy Halloween! We at DecorArts wish you a safe, spooky time.