Top 10 Controversial Paintings

A single piece of art may get different interpretations and only the artist knows what each piece truly means and what he was thinking and feeling when he was working on the piece. However, there are works of art that stirred people’s emotions – their interests, anger, sadness, and joy. Here are the top ten most controversial paintings.

10. Land of the Free. The painting entitled “One Nation under Socialism” which was painted by Jon Mcnaughton is something that is not free. The artist has been offered $300,000 for the painting. However, he was also not free from criticisms and anger when it went viral in the internet especially on social networking sites. It is said to be pure attack on President Obama who was shown burning the United States constitution.

9. X-Factor. Madame X, which was painted by John Singer Sargent in 1884, caused quite a scandal with its subject wearing a little black dress with one of the straps not in place and the reddish end of her ears suggestive of something that happened right before the painting was done. It is said to depict the secrets circulating within the high society.

Controversial Paintings

8. Gross Income. The Gross Clinic by Thomas Eakins features Dr. Samuel D. Gross and his students in a discussion while performing surgery. At the time, this was considered improper because it might sicken people who will view the painting, giving people who have not seen any of Eakins’ paintings and idea of how effective he painted the details in the painting.

7. Picasso Pick. Les Demoiselles D’Avignon by Pablo Picasso which was painted in 1907 shows five prostitutes. This piece of art was critiqued for the disambiguation of the women and angered women for undesirable manner that the subjects were portrayed.

6. Immaculate Concepcion. Virgin of the Rocks by none other than Leonardo DaVinci features Mother Mary’s Immaculate Concepcion. The members of the Catholic Church reacted with anger because of the absence of a halo on Mother Mary’s head as well as the angels. An angel who was looking straight to the audience and pointing to John the Baptist was also considered as dishonoring Mama Mary, taking the attention from her. This pushed DaVinci to come up with a more Catholic-friendly version of the painting.

5. Selfie. Nowadays, a self-portrait is one of the trends especially in social networking sites. However, Albrecht Durer’s self-portrait is nothing but trendy especially during his time. A self-portrait is okay even back then. What made the portrait controversial is the way he looks, the position of his hand which is right in front of his chest, and even his facial expression is very similar to how Jesus Christ would photograph.

4. Madonna. The art entitled “Holy Virgin Mary” by Chris Ofili is considered anything but holy.  The Catholic Church was outraged with the depiction of Mama Mary with the incorporation of pornographic cut-outs and having the piece of art supported by two chunks of elephant dung.

3. Can’t bear to be bare. La MajaDesnuda by Francisco Goya which was painted sometime between 1797 and 1800 was controversial because it was the first time that a female’s subject’s pubic hair was exposed in a painting.

2. American Dream. Evicted James 1:2-13, by Rarriagada shows the situation of the victims of Hurricane Katrina, just homeless and how another oppression which is the demolition that is to take place for a casino to be built, tramples on the American Dream idea.

1. Play by the rules. The Guitar Lesson by Balthazar Klossowski de Rola scandalized the audience with the erotic depiction of a woman holding a younger girl on her lap, the older woman’s hand pulling the girl’s hair and the other hand touching the exposed genitals of the girl.

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