Infernal Grotesque: Classical Paintings Of Hell, Demons, Witchcraft & Death

Type: Books

The three centuries from 1400 to 1700 saw not only a great rebirth of European art, but also a religious mania centred on fears of Hell, damnation, and witchcraft ― the latter igniting Europe's great witch persecutions, a blood-crazed holocaust against women. The combination of classical painting and the war against Satanic forces produced some of the most astonishing images in the history of art: landscapes of Hell populated by demons, twisted monsters and the bloody tortures of the damned; saints tormented by infernal visions of devils, sin and the corruption of the flesh; witches' sabbats of baby-eating, corpse resurrection and bestial fornication; and, finally, grim evocations of death, scattered with skulls, as a warning against earthly avarice and pride.


Infernal Grotesque collects over 120 of these images from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, steeped in beautiful horror, swirling with bizarre and hallucinatory nightmare. The artists featured include Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Breugel, Pieter Huys, Jan Mandyn, Jacob von Swanenburg, Herri Met de Bles, Hans Memling, Jacopo Ligozzi, Peter Paul Rubens, Salvator Rosa, Frans Francken, Frans Floris and Lucas Cranach, as well as numerous others.