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Table of contents

Author Louis Hanson with illustrator and long time friend, Daisy Squires.

His son was bullied for nail polish. So he painted his nails, too

Violet is one of the characters in the 'Be You Collection'. Louis Hanson muses on the small victories of self-acceptance in a world of heteronormative pressures. In Social. Trending Topics My nanna was stolen as a child and her trauma lives on in me.

Kieron's tips for landscape painting

Why my mother went to jail when she was Australian fashion is confusing to a stylish Romanian. Here's why. Why the Folau 'free speech' debate misses the point.

The Handmaid's Tale. While the paintings have not been reprinted for decades, their bizarre subject matter and backstory have kept the legend going, from copy-pasted internet legends to books of local lore. The artworks bear the prominent signature of one Giovanni Bragolin, but for quite some time no one could find information about the man.

Rumors abounded; he painted hundreds of crying children, many of them street urchins, it was said, in either Italy or Spain.

The following backstory, from , seems to be a mash-up of reportage from The Sun and Mallory: one of the urchins he painted was a boy named Don Bonillo, who accidentally started a fire in which his parents died in Spain. From then on, wherever the boy went, a fire followed, prompting his nickname, Diablo. Some believe the boy was adopted against the will of a priest, and was abused by the painter; in the s the boy was consumed by fire as well, in an explosion caused by a car accident.

According to journalist Dr. David Clark, who researched the crying boy legend for Fortean Times and on his website , this legend has more than a few holes.

Kieron's tips for landscape painting

Giovanni Bragolin and Seville seem to have been one of a few pseudonyms for Spanish painter Bruno Amadio, and Clark could not find evidence that George Mallory nor Don Bonillo ever existed. Amadio likely painted of these crying boys after training in Venice after WWII, prints of which were sold in department stores through the s, wrote Clark. Another artist, Anna Zinkeisen, had a similar series of crying children paintings that were regarded as equally cursed. He attempted to track down the homes involved, and found Jane McCutchin, who had hung the print in her living room in the s.

McCutchin, a mother of two, was cleaning her kitchen when she found that her hand-made drapes, blinds and curtains were suddenly ablaze. Her family escaped alive, but her home had been destroyed—except for a single painting hung in her living room, of the crying boy.

Most of the fires had normal causes, like cigarettes, or unwieldy deep-frying pans. Since most of the myth surrounds the nearly unbelievable fire resistance of the painting, Punt bought a crying-boy picture of his own; after being inexplicably delayed on his destination several times, Punt began to feel a bit nervous about the possible curse. This may have been due to a fire-retardant varnish, he and Shipp surmised, which would easily account for why the painting would remain little-touched in burned homes across the U.

During his own investigation, Clark also discovered that the painting was printed on compressed board, making it difficult to burn.

Such explanations would not have sufficed in The story was much the same; an ordinary fire turned creepy when an unscathed crying-boy painting was found hanging in the house. The legend of the crying boy survived into the internet age, and even sparked fan clubs. Klingemann has collected several of the paintings, occasionally fielding requests to sell or buy from enthusiasts.


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  • This kicked off a chain reaction that’s come to be known “paintception.”;

Despite his fascination with the story, Klingemann maintains that he does not believe in the curse. According to Gail-Nina Anderson in her paper about art folklore, the crying boy legend grew quickly because everyone could participate—the paintings were cheap and easy to find. The bonfire blazed near the River Thames, dissolving the curse into smoke. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders.

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The Painted Bird

Please click below to consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our privacy policy. Just Released! The second edition of our bestselling book. One of the articles from The Sun newspaper about the so-called curse of the crying boy. Courtesy Dr.