Samantha Rochard

My creative process.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Famous Dark Works

 Yeah...its Halloween.
...and I would like to pay homage to some twisted minds who produced creepy paintings in their time. These were done when there were no computer graphics or horror movies, nothing but stories and imagination to create the image.....because the probability of these images being popular was nil!


Witches Sabbath- Goya, 1798
 Goya had to have been in defiance about what was going on around him to boldly produce this painting. With all the Inquisition accusations and murders (and I am determined to call them murders) exploring such a topic as this could easily have landed the artist in a bonfire...or a river to see if he could float. It portrays a supposed version of A Witches Sabbath......poking fun at the superstition at the time. Sadly, that superstition still reigns..... I have never seen dead babies or a goat at a witches Sabbath, though I do recall a goat being the star of a political rally here on this island!

The Nightmare- Henry Fusell -1781
 I know this feeling....lots of us have had this feeling. That tightness in your chest and you can't wake up because you feel like something is sitting on your chest. Back then people felt it too. Some of these images are so old, centuries old, that I wonder about people who believe that these are the end of times.......some images have not changed for centuries, and may just be part of the human story.

The Magic Circle - John William Waterhouse- 1886
 Not scary to me....but may be considered on the dark side for some. I love John William Waterhouse. I think his paintings of women are empowering. I would love to see this in the real, as the original is nearly two meters high....just glance at a door for reference...yeah...about that size. It depicts a woman, casting a ritual circle.....and for those of you who are need to start googling.

Saturn Devouring his Son - Goya , 1819-1823
 In the twilight of his years Goya purchased a house near Madrid, and painted a series of black paintings on their walls. Saturn, to prevent a prediction that one of his sons will overthrow him, devoured all of his children. Jupiter was the only child to survive. I always thought that these stories were about the creation of the planets in some way....but who can tell? The stories are as old as time. Personification of them give a dark twist.

Saturn Devouring His Son - Ruebens -1636

This was one earlier version of the subject matter, done by Peter Paul Rubens. Scholars have debated which painting is scarier for years. This version seems to depict a calculating Saturn, determined to destroy the child, whereas Goya's seemed to depict a madness setting in. I don't know which one is scarier, the psychotic behavior of a mad killer, or the calm purposeful;l behavior of a murderer.

Christopher Carrion Rising - Clive Barker , 2002
Not one of the Masters (YET!), Clive Barker's artwork is fascinating. Disturbing to most (except my daughter; who sees absolutely nothing creepy or dark about it. Now THATS disturbing), though known by very few.

This was done for a series of stories called ABARAT, and yes its first book is available in the Port of Spain Library. Go check it out. Barker wrote the story and did all the paintings and characters for this four book series.

...and for those who would like a daily dose of this type of subject matter, then check out this blog

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