13 Responses

  1. Michel
    Michel at |

    Also a “great” painting on horrific death, see the wiki page about “De Gebroeders De Witt”. (The De Witt Brothers) At the bottom you´ll find the haunting painting of their quartered and drwan upsidedown hanging corpsen. They were lynched by an angry mob.

    1. Dr. Matthew D. Zarzeczny, FINS
      Dr. Matthew D. Zarzeczny, FINS at |

      Dear Michel,

      Thank you for the suggestion!



      1. Michel
        Michel at |

        Here are some more pics of “Het Galgenveld” (“Field of Gallows”) in Amsterdam North, that´s the part of Amsterdam on the north bank of “Het IJ” were people were excuted. The prefered way was aby way of “wippen”,. A slow way of execution. The noose was slipped over the head and you would be dragged up. And when you turn purple they let you down again. Repeatedly. Another way was a contration like a see saw. The condemned would be sitting at the upper end (bound ofcourse), noose around his/her neck and then he/she would be lowered. Till the noose just started to throttle. Depending of what you have done this could be a long procedure. Up and slowly down. Neck snapping things were not on the menu. Hanging meant that you were simply hoisted up. And depending of what you have done that could be in stages. The end result was that you would hevae been put on display. From just dumped on the ground for everybody to gloat over to put on a wheel on top of a large pole. Or in a cage for nlonger use as a warning.
        See some examples here:


        Here is one made by Rembrandt Van Rijn:


        That is Elsje Christiaens.
        You can read all about her here:


        It´s a tragic story. Which made headlines in her and Rembrandt´s days.

        Anyway, enjoy.

        1. Michel
          Michel at |

          PS “Wipstrik” is a common name for various places in the Netherlands. The “wip” is the seesaw and “strik” is noose

        2. Michel
          Michel at |

          BTW Elsje probably was innocent.

  2. Louis Alexandre Simard
    Louis Alexandre Simard at |

    Guernica is for me the most beautiful and poignant painting in history. I always prevent to the way the candle held by women coming in from the door/window and shedding light on atrocities. While the electric light on the ceiling doesn’t show nothing. The purity of a flame holds more power than modern technology. And this is just one of the many little details I get from this painting. Others might see something else. That’s what makes art so beautiful and essential.

  3. Jerry
    Jerry at |

    Dr. Kevorkian had several brutal paintings depicting the genocide of Armenians committed by Turkey. During media coverage of his compassionate killings, it was used by the media to illustrate that the kindly doctor was psychotic. In fact, he was depicting his pain, his parent’s pain and that of the Armenian nation. And since the title of this segment is “modern”, what’s more modern than Dr. Kevorkian’s paintings done a decade or so ago, rather than the ones from the 15th century paintings.

  4. carrosserie maroc
    carrosserie maroc at |

    I don’t know if the Death of Marat qualifies as an atrocity compared to the others on the list

  5. Kayla Leech
    Kayla Leech at |

    You can certainly see how the style of painting changes through the decades. The painting of bloody massacre really accurately depicts how surreal the event was. The execution of Charles I is my favorite because you see the executioner holding the head and a woman in the crowd that has fainted. In the later decades we see the styles of Picasso that really makes the observer study what is going on in the scene of the painting. Love these artworks !

  6. Dani Dolezal
    Dani Dolezal at |

    This was a very interesting article! Seeing the way that all these artists depicted the atrocities reminds me of the images that were used later on to gain support for anti-war movements. In class we discussed the student protests during Vietnam and other happenings of the 1960s. Even though mass anti-war movements did not exist during the atrocities on this list, these images show that the atrocities still affected the public. It is always interesting to look at a painting that generates emotion beyond simply being told what happened in history. I am also intrigued by Picasso’s Guernica. My favorite song is actually Guernica by Brand New. I would be curious to know why the band chose this particular name for their song.

  7. Ryan Winchell
    Ryan Winchell at |

    The majority of these disturbing historical paintings provide a clear picture of how bloody and gruesome the events actually were. The Execution of Charles I by John Weesop is my favorite painting among the list because it depicts the impact of the gory event where the English king’s detached head is being held high for the horrified audience to see, especially the terrifed woman fainting to the ground.

    -Ryan W.

  8. Lindsay B
    Lindsay B at |

    I find these historical paintings to be quite disturbing yet interesting at the same time. The detail in the pictures give the viewer a realistic idea of how dramatic, terrifying, and bloody these dark actions were.

    Lindsay B.

  9. Chelsea P
    Chelsea P at |

    I really enjoyed these “disturbing” paintings. I love art and I find the meaning behind paintings to be fascinating. These pictures are extremely detailed and show true depth behind what was going on at the time. They also portray the horror of the time as well as the heros that tried to defend themselves.


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