Ten Very Disturbing Pieces of Art to Prepare You for the Apocalypse

The Great Day of His Wrath, John Martin

When the end of the world comes to knock, it's best to be prepared. Have your home in order, and all that. So we at Mixmaster thought it would be fun to sew together some of art's most disturbing, prophecy-strangling, all-out night terror-inspiring legacy pieces. This way, your aesthetic muscle memory can tone up -- pump a little iron, and brace itself for the shape-shifting lizard people of the fourth dimension's imminent arrival. Also, because scary art is fun. Here's ten we think you might (not) enjoy.

10.) The Great Day of His Wrath, (The End of the World), by John Martin
At his best, Martin painted some of the most cavernously apocalyptic images of his day. We're talking summertime blockbuster status here. Lines of people formed, clamoring for peeks at his latest and greatest (largest and most over-the-top). He played into it, desperately. With time, his quasi-historical paintings spread larger. His mountains stretched higher. Flames became full-on infernos -- you get the picture: he knew then what we know now: damnation sells.

jon serl -- between two worlds.jpg
Between Two Worlds, by Jon Serl

9.) Between Two Worlds, by Jon Serl
Leave it to the folk artists to show a lighthearted look at limbo -- I mean at least those spirits seem happy. Our protagonist however, is less so. They're waiting in every corner, tickling his ear, and rudest of all, they're laughing while they do it. Jerks.

Judith and her Maidservant by Artemisia Gentileschi

8.) Judith and her Maidservant, by Artemisia Genileschi

Artemisia gets downright biblical in this one, which shows Judith and her personal assistant just after they've slaughtered Holofernes. It doesn't come from a place of wrathful soul-damning like some of the others in this list, but it is deliciously gruesome. Without looking closer, there could be anything in that basket. But then we see the severed head, and the "Did you hear that?" look on Judith's still oddly poised face. Pro tip: Ladies, you might need a sword come Friday.

Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils by William Blake

7.) Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils, by William Blake
Yes, I agree, you could put almost any William Blake painting or etching up for inclusion on this list. Ghost of a Flea? Yeah, that would have been a scarier visual image. Any of the Great Red Dragon paintings? Sure, they'd make for killer heavy metal album art, but you cannot beat the name of this one. Not now, not ever.

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Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The Bosch, hands down.  He captured surreal visions in a way that wouldn't be seen until four centuries later.

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