We all like art in one form or the other. Not everyone may have the interest to appreciate Leonardo Da Vinci knowing fully well the immense fame of the artist but at the same time, that same person has enough taste to appreciate a street artist who draws with chalk. Our different tastes are well catered for since there are so many variations in art and that also allows us to experiment with our own expression if we so wish. With that said, we repeat, not everyone appreciates paintings, one form of art that it is, but if there is some controversy surrounding a certain piece of our, we go against our better judgment and take notice. This article will do just that, make you sit up and take notice of the ten most controversial paintings ever.
The first painting on our list of the most controversial paintings in the world is the one called Myra. This painting, as the name indicates, is sort of a portrait of a woman called Myra Hindley. It is the work of a British Artist Marcus Harvey. Thought the image of the woman looks innocent enough, Marcus created this picture using nothing but the handprints of little children. Now before you start admiring the ingenuity of the painting proclaiming how unique the concept is and everything, let us enlighten you to what fact made this painting as controversial as it was. Ladies and gentlemen, breaking the suspense here we would like to inform you that Myra Hindley was responsible for the murder of five little children who were aged between 10-17 years. Shocked? We bet! When this painting was displayed in the Royal Academy of Art, people splattered it with eggs and what not trying but in vain to destroy the work completely, so aggressive was the response and why not, some say. The art critic for The Time once said and we quote: “Far from cynically exploiting her notoriety, Harvey’s grave and monumental canvas succeeds in conveying the enormity of the crime she committed. Seen from afar, through several doorways, Hindley’s face looms at us like an apparition. By the time we get close enough to realize that it is spattered with children’s handprints, the sense of menace becomes overwhelming.” This painting, you see, appears at the top of our list for no small reason and thus occupies more space in our text.
9. One Nation Under Socialism by Jon McNaughton
The next entry on our list is fairly recent one and pretty expressive at that. As you can see from the accompanying picture, the painting shows the President of the US burning up the constitution and you can very well imagine the outrage that this painting must and should have caused. The controversy is pretty much in our faces as far as this painting concerned. McNaughton has been charged with being extremely negative when it comes to President Obama although critics believe this particular painting to be more of a shocker, an attention grabber if you will, rather than something that affects change.
8. The Gross Clinic by Thomas Eakins
This next painting is by Eakins, a celebrated painter from American History. This painting is from the year 1875, a time at which surgery was not as common as it now is. Therefore, at that time this painting was considered to be an explicit portrayal of what some called “gore” and that became the reason for the controversy although the painting merely shows Dr. Samuel lecturing some students on surgical procedures.
7. Sick Bacchus by Caravaggio
Let it be known to all those with little interest in art (at ease people, we no judge) Caravaggio was known particularly for his philandering ways and many women partners in his life. The painting in question became very controversial because it shows the artist himself suffering from Syphilis, a STD. Caravaggio was also known for murdering one of his many lovers and running from the authorities. No wonder people were aggravated when this pale lipped painting of the artist showed up, as if celebrating his own wicked ways.
6. The Trench of warfare by Otto Dix
The next painting on our list of the most controversial paintings in the world is called The Trench of Warfare by Otto Dix and as the name clearly indicates, this painting depicted the horrors of World War 1 with excruciating clarity. He himself participated in the war as a German Soldier and is known for depicting the war through his paintings in the most horrid of ways. He got wounded and was sent back to later join the Nazi Government which subsequently ended this particular genre of paintings by the artist.