Strange Paintings

It’s time we had a bit of fun. I love finding paintings where all is not well. The artist might have made a mistake or the composition doesn’t work well. Perhaps the subjects are downright peculiar. Or there are unidentified objects distracting the viewer from appreciating the painting like all those medieval paintings with people carrying mobile phones!!!!!!

Let's start with the iphones. And we thought it was a new phenomenon seeing our young people walking along staring at their device!! Here we see it in The Expected One by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller-Die Erwartete painted in 1860!
And look at her young man, waiting expectantly with his love and flowers; but sadly she is too engrossed in text messaging. Of course the text being read by this young girl is not a phone but a prayer book.

Moving on to a most remarkable and somewhat confusing painting by Giovanni Francesco Caroto titled Portrait of a Young Boy holding a Child's Drawing (circa 1515). Words always fail me on this one.

But not on this one which is a very famous painting by American artist Grant Wood painted in 1930 titled American Gothic. The artist wanted to paint an American Gothic House which is a style of architecture as known as a Dibble house. Grant decided to include typical owners of such as house. The models for the painting are his sister and his dentist!! Now we know what the pitchfork was to be used for!!

One of my favourite artists is Norman Rockwell who is considered more of an illustrator. I love his work and it has influenced much of my own style. But look carefully into his People Reading Stock Exchange and you will see Rockwell has given the one poor man in the red top three legs!

Most of us love the works of Michelangelo and acknowledge that he was probably the greatest creative genius, ever, but I do worry a little about some of the women he painted. Here is Cumaean Sibyl as painted on the Sistine Chapel Ceiling. Any young man would be envious of her muscles. Academics argue endlessly why Michelangelo has many such masculine women. The simple explanation is that he was using male models but I'm sure it is far more complicated an issue than that.

While we are looking at classical and religious art let me show you what some people believe to be a flying Saucer in the top right hand corner in The Madonna with Saint Giovannino by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449 – 1494). The painting is on display in the Sala d’Ercole in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy.
Here is the object enlarged to show you that the artist deliberately painted it this way.

And speaking of unidentified objects. What do you think this is in the foreground of this painting (The Ambassadors) by Hans Holbein(1533). Any suggestions?

My award for the Strangest Painting goes to Rene Magritte (1898-1967) for his The Son of A Man (1946). His work is known for challenging our preconceptions of reality.

The Hero Image today is a slice from a painting by Maggie Taylor. Now that is taking gardening too far!! Maggie Taylor is a contemporary American artist who works with digital images.

Please submit your favourite Strange Painting and I will be happy to feature it.

Looking at Strange Paintings has renewed my interest in a question many people have asked: Is the brain of an artist different to that of other people? Tomorrow I'm going to start looking into this question. Maybe I should start with my own brain!!

Anne Newman

Oil Painter in realistic genre style, predominantly buildings and people. To continue the discussion contact Anne on or phone +61 407 516 522

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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