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Parents: art - horror
Related: grotesque - grotesque art - hell - fantastic art - macabre - visual arts
Gregor Baci (16th century) - ?
Saturn Devouring His Son (1819) - Francisco de Goya
Taddeo di Bartolo, Die Hölle - Geiz (1396). Cittá di San Gimignano.
Image sourced here.
The Last Judgement. Detail: The Damned. c.1431. Tempera on wood. 105 x 210 cm. Museo di San Marco, Florence, Italy.
The sleep of reason produces monsters (1797-98) - Francisco Goya
from Los Caprichos
Apollo Flaying Marsyas (1637) - Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652)
The Last Judgement (detail) (1467-71) - Hans Memling
Art horror, or horrific art is art that has a horrific sensibility, showing graphic violence, depicting human horrors, monsters, fantastic creatures, the tortures of the martyrs, portrayals of hell. [Jan 2006]
Ambivalence [...]Like tragedy, the horror genre generates an ambivalent reaction in its appreciators. Our enjoyment of horror is clearly more problematic than, say, indulging in the pleasures of a good romantic comedy. Monsters, aliens and psychopaths, committing acts of radical and unrelenting violence, should simply disgust and repel us, and to some degree they do. But many of us also take exquisite joy in the horrifying force, in watching its carnage unfold, and in the hunt that usually results in its destruction or expulsion. Explaining the ambivalence at the heart of our enjoyment of horror is crucial to understanding the genre.
The problem is to explain how we are both attracted to and repulsed by the monstrous threat that such a force embodies. -- Daniel Shaw via http://www.lhup.edu/dshaw/pohor.html 
Enduring Creation: Art, Pain, and Fortitude (2001) - Nigel Jonathan Spivey
Enduring Creation: Art, Pain, and Fortitude (2001) - Nigel Jonathan Spivey [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Nigel Spivey takes on one of the greatest taboos in Western culture in this brilliantly original work of cultural history: why is so much pain depicted in the art of the West? Beginning with a meditation on Auschwitz, the prizewinning author then takes us on a journey that encompasses the stone-bound screams of classical sculpture, the many depictions of the Crucifixion, the Massacre of the Innocents and St. Sebastians pierced with arrows, self-portraits of the aging Rembrandt, and the tortured art of Vincent van Gogh. Exploring the tender, complex rapport between art and pain, Spivey guides us through the twentieth-century photographs of casualties of war, Edvard Munch's The Scream, and back to the recorded horrors of the Holocaust.
Beauty and disfigurement, violence and thrill, horror and comfort-these are pairings fostered throughout Western art, for causes as various as religious martyrdom, judicial torment, artistic virtuosity, and erotic gratification. The ancient Greeks invented tragic drama: but how far was pity for tragedy's victims tempered by the notion of just deserts? The first Christians preached Christ Crucified: why then did it take some five hundred years before images appeared of Christ on the cross? The Massacre of the Innocents was an event that never happened: for what reasons were artists of the Italian Renaissance so eager to show it convincingly?
Enduring Creation reveals the amazing power of art to console, to warn, to prepare the viewer for the harsher experiences of life, raising intriguing questions: Can pain be beautiful? Do we always pity suffering? Are sainthood and sadomasochism linked? This compelling study concludes with a positive message of hope for the enduring human spirit.
The Philosophy of Horror or Paradoxes of the Heart (1990) - Noel Carroll
The Philosophy of Horror or Paradoxes of the Heart (1990) - Noel Carroll [Amazon.com]
How can we be genuinely frightened of vampires, though we know they don't exist? How is it that people find pleasure in being scared out of their wits? Carroll presents the first philosophical and aesthetic analysis of the horror genre. This book should be of interest to advanced students in philosophy, media and cultural studies and literary criticism.
Noel Carroll, film scholar and philosopher, offers the first serious look at the aesthetics of horror. In this book he discusses the nature and narrative structures of the genre, dealing with horror as a "transmedia" phenomenon. A fan and serious student of the horror genre, Carroll brings to bear his comprehensive knowledge of obscure and forgotten works, as well as of the horror masterpieces. Working from a philosophical perspective, he tries to account for how people can find pleasure in having their wits scared out of them. What, after all, are those "paradoxes of the heart" that make us want to be horrified?
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