Top 5 Bizarre And Weird Paintings by Famous Artists
There have been many bizarre and weird paintings throughout art history, as artists have often used their work as a means of exploring unconventional ideas and subject matter.
Artists showcase the ability of how art can be used to provoke thought and dialogue in unexpected ways, and they continue to spark people's interest today.
Some examples of bizarre and weird paintings include:
Giuseppe Arcimboldo is a painter that most people aren't familiar with. But his peculiarity lies in the fact that even though he worked during the Renaissance, his artworks are extremely bizarre and thought-provoking.
Most of his paintings are composite portraits where he mindfully arranges various categorically related objects to take the human form.
It results in a fascinating balanced allegory of various elements such as different occupations or seasons.
The Gardener Flipped
Gabrielle d'Estrées and One of Her Sisters
Is it acceptable for siblings to share a bath? Maybe until a certain age, but after that, it becomes increasingly bizarre. At first look, the sister with her arm extended appears to be pinching the other sister's nipples, which could be interpreted as a sexually suggestive gesture.
As if on a stage, the observer peers through the curtains to catch a glimpse of the action taking place. This artwork was once thought to be a homo-erotic work. However, evidence from the past suggests otherwise. The woman with her nipple being pinched is thought to have been the king's mistress.
This peculiar action has been interpreted by several art historians as the woman, Gabrielle's public confession that she is carrying the King's child. The woman in the backdrop, sewing baby garments, adds to the image's connotation.
Dante and Virgil in Hell
Painted during the Romantic Period, this particular painting showcases the dark side of the period. A page from Dante's Inferno has served to be an inspiration for William Adolphe Bouguereau's creation.
The lovely setting of this painting is the eighth circle of hell. Everything seems perfect till you take notice of the bat-demon creature hovering over the head and the bodies being piled on the backdrop.
But the bizarre part of the painting lies in the fact that it's based on real-life characters who received capital punishment for crimes comitted. Dante was aware of the incident and he chose to include them along with many others in his epic poem.
And as we see, behind the two characters, Dante and Virgil stand. Dante dons a red cap and is seen to turn Virgil away. If you take a closer look, you will see Virgil is staring at something off to his right. This painting is regarded as a classical painting technique that has shaped numerous artworks coming in the latter years.
Saturn Devouring His Son
A prophecy dictated that one of the sons of Saturn will usurp him from his power. Saturn was obsessed with his power and ready to go to any extent to protect it. And what did he do for this? He simply ate his son. Yes, you read that right! But what Saturn was unaware of was that his wife, Rei had hidden their youngest son, Zeus, who in turn, would conquer Saturn himself.
At the time when this work was painted, Francisco Goya was contemplating the influence of ego and power on humanity. Goya successfully created a dark image reflecting the impact of power on our minds and soul. Art historians, curators, and collectors all agree that it is a masterpiece of Spanish art.
Magdalena Ventura with Her Husband and Son
While it appears at the first glance that this is a portrait of two men, a closer look would tell you that the figure in the front is none other than the Bearded Woman of Abruzzi.
While gender fluidity is a cliché concept nowadays, it dates back to centuries back as we see in this painting. Jusepe de Ribera's lady Magdalena didn't approve of the ideal Renaissance beauty.
Therefore, she defied the existing standards and created her own. What's more, the Viceroy of Naples was stunned by this painting. At a closer look you might see that her breast is slightly out of place, but this is purposefully done to show that anatomically she is a woman.
On the other hand, the facial features, beard, and muscular figure contradict the womanly image. Magdalena's husband is positioned right behind her and appears weak, older, and feeble.
In the art world, a "weird" painting is one that deviates from the norm in terms of its subject matter, aesthetic, or formal conventions. It may feature illogical or fantastical imagery, or it may question conventional ideals of aesthetics and representation.
Most often, artists who want to test the limits of conventional art or investigate new concepts make bizarre works of visual art. Some of the methods they may employ to achieve this otherworldly quality are distortion, exaggeration, and abstraction.
The Surrealist art movement, which developed in the early 20th century and is generally associated with surreal and dreamlike images, is often linked to strange paintings. Strange paintings, however, have been produced by artists throughout art history and across cultural boundaries.
Again, a "strange" artwork, in the broadest sense, is one that deviates from the norm in order to provoke the observer.