Gory Paintings That Chill- 15 Troubling Images

I’ve seen the following quote attributed to both Banksy and Cesar A. Cruz , “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”  The 15 gory paintings listed here may prove the latter part of that quote convincingly, no matter who actually said it first, as they are all a bit disturbing.  I guess though there are others they might comfort. Freaks. LOL 

Seriously though, these are not paintings of sunflowers or stars or anything else bright and airy.  Take a look and let us know what you think.  We’re interested in hearing your opinions.

The Flaying of Marsyas

flayingThe Flaying of Marsyas by Titian
A scene from Greek mythology depicting where Marsyas is being flayed for defying the god Apollo.


Gallowgate Lard

self-portraitGallowgate Lard by Ken Currie
Currie was a Scottish author who specialized in depicting the bleak urban life of the Scottish working class. This is supposed to be his self-portrait.


 Anatomical Pieces

disturbung-art-pieces-anatomical-piecesAnatomical Pieces by  Theodore Gericault
The artist used human remains as subjects for this gory and troubling work.


 Dante and Virgil in Hell


Dante and Virgil in Hell by W. A. Bouguerea
Dante and Virgil in Hell was inspired by a short scene from Dante’s Inferno where Dante, accompanied by Virgil, watches a fight between two damned souls.


Deterioration of Mind over Matter

disturbung-art-pieces-deterioration-of-mind-over-matterDeterioration of Mind over Matter by Otto Rapp
This image of a decomposing human skull on a devilish birdcage was painted in 1973.


Diodes Being Eaten by His Horses

disturbung-art-pieces-diomedes-being-eaten-by-his-horsesDiodes Being Eaten by His Horses by Gustave Moreau
The dramatic climax from the 8th labor of Hercules, who ordered the capture of King Diomedes’ four flesh-eating horses. Hercules killed Diomedes in battle and fed his body to the horses. (Watercolor)


 Figure with Meat

disturbung-art-pieces-figure-with-meatFigure with Meat by Francis Bacon
Based on Velazquez´s portrait of Pope Innocent X this makes the Pope look like a gruesome figure. He also added two bisected halves of a cow.


Heads Severed

disturbung-art-pieces-heads-severedHeads Severed by Theodore Gericault
Heads Severed is a popular example of his disturbing works. This was finished in 1818.



disturbung-art-pieces-hellHell by Hans Memling
It was one of the scariest art works during its time (1485) and was attempting to force people to live virtuous lives. The banner saying “In hell there is no redemption” amplifies this effect.


 Judith Beheading Holofernes

disturbung-art-pieces-judith-beheadin-holofernesJudith Beheading Holofernes by Caravaggio
In 1599, highlighting the moment of greatest dramatic impact – this picture portrays the moment of decapitation.


 Necronom IV

disturbung-art-pieces-necronom-ivNecronom IV by Hans Rudolf Giger
Giger suffered from night terrors and his paintings are to some extent inspired by his experiences with sleep disorder. This is the image used to portray the alien in the movies by that name.


 The Temptation of Saint Anthony

disturbung-art-pieces-temptation-of-saint-anthonyThe Temptation of Saint Anthony by Matthias Grunewald
The Temptation of Saint Anthony is one of the most impressive and most intense among the works of many famous painters. There is so much going on in this it’s hard to know where to begin looking.


 The Flaying of the Corrupt Judge Sisamnes

disturbung-art-pieces-the-flaying-of-the-corrupt-judge-sisamnesThe Flaying of the Corrupt Judge Sisamnes by Gerard David
This was based on the Herodotus story about a judge who accepted a bribe and delivered an unjust verdict. The king had him flayed alive as punishment.


The Water Ghost

disturbung-art-pieces-the-water-ghostThe Water Ghost by Alfred Kubin
Kubin is an important representative of symbolism and expressionism and this is meant to show the torment and impending doom at sea.


 A Negro Hung Alive

disturbung-art-pieces-a-negro-hung-aliveA Negro Hung Alive by William Blake
A slave suspended to a gallows by means of a hook through his ribs is truly gruesome This was based on the account of J.G. Stedman, a Dutch soldier who personally witnessed the event.

And there you have it.  Don’t forget to let us know what you think.