Fearful looks

Rmn-Grand Palais

Religious and mythological paintings showed their subjects suffering body and soul.

Poussin's Massacre of the Innocents depicts a distraught mother wide-eyed and screaming in fear of her child's imminent and agonizing death, which she can do nothing to prevent.

David shows Andromache helpless and dramatically splayed out, looking skyward with eyes swollen from crying for her husband.

Romantic painters sought to create expressive figures and strong feelings, so produced ever more dramatic images:

a man with a nightmarish look fighting for his family's survival during a terrible flood;

a helpless young orphan frightened by something or someone suddenly beside her;

a haggard-looking Lady Macbeth standing at the gates of madness.

The Symbolists took the same approach, such as Swiss artist Böcklin and his hallucinatory Medusa head with the most terrible expression in the history of humanity; the only being able to turn anyone who dares to gaze upon her to stone.

RMN- Grand Palais
Credits: Story

We would like to thank:
- For design, illustrations, writing, and coordination of the RMN-Grand Palais project: Cécile Maisonneuve (Doctor of Art History, Policy Officer, Scientific Council), Nathalie Gathelier (National Museums Speaker), Annie Madec (Iconographer), Françoise Lombardi-Peissel (Project Manager) at RMN-Grand Palais.
- For reproductions: French museum collections represented by the Photo Agency of the Réunion des musées nationaux-Grand Palais:
Montpellier, Musée Fabre; Versailles, Musée Lambinet; Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts; Paris, The Louvre; Paris, Centre Pompidou (Musée National d'Art Moderne - Centre de Création Industrielle).

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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