Have you ever looked at a painting, drawing, or sculpture and wondered about the creator? Sometimes, what you find is deeply unsettling but not altogether surprising. Prisons today formulate ways to encourage inmates to adopt art as a form of redemption, but it’s clear that art and criminality often have met historically.
1. David And Goliath – Caravaggio.
This striking painting is the renowned David and Goliath by Caravaggio, an Italian Baroque master of the 16th century. Caravaggio is no small name. His artwork influenced many an artist throughout time, including Rembrandt. Almost everyone views him as a perfect artistic genius, right? Not so much. As his fame grew, so did his rap sheet. In the space of six years, he was charged 14 times, usually over minor altercations such as hitting waiters on the mustache with plates full of artichokes.
2. Illustrations In A Friend For Little Bear – Harry Horse.
Harry Horse, a prominent children’s book illustrator and writer, changed a lot of little lives through his stories of little bears, horses, and the Loch Ness monster. His works were a staple in kids’ lives in the 1980s and ’90s. However, behind these adorable tales and drawings lies a sinister truth about a deranged and cruel man. In 2007, when he and his terminally ill wife were found dead in each other’s arms, the world believed that they had taken their own lives with painkillers in a romantic suicide pact.
3. Bear And Hounds – Francisco Franco.
It wouldn’t surprise a lot of people to learn that this slightly disturbing depiction of a bear being attacked by hounds was painted by none other than the fascist dictator Francisco Franco. the man was unequivocally evil. His encouragement of the Spanish civil war resulted in up to 500,000 deaths. Although many sources suggest that he protected Jews from Nazi Germany, he compiled a list of 6,000 Jews in Spain and gave it to the Nazis.
4. Man Under Threat – Jimmy Boyle.
This statue can be found in Hull and was created by none other than Scottish gangster Jimmy Boyle. It seems like gangsters have a flair for the creative. Who would’ve guessed? In 1967, he was imprisoned with a life sentence for the murder of William Rooney but was released only 14 years later.
5. Neuschwanstein Castle – Adolf Hitler.
Pretty breathtaking. But we’d argue that you’ll be more blown away by the artist, Adolf Hitler. This particular painting of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria sold for £71,500 in 2015 with questionable morality. In Mein Kampf, Hitler said he had aspired to become an artist at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in his youth.