Wrestling with Demons: Fantasy and Horror in European Prints and Drawings from The Huntington’s Art Collections

Aug. 29, 2014Dec. 15, 2014
Huntington Art Gallery, Works on Paper Room

This focused exhibition explores the darker side of the imagination through a variety of works on paper depicting death, witchcraft, and the demonic in European art. While Renaissance prints often presented the concept of horror through the lens of Christian philosophy—as the manifestation of sin and hell or as allegories of the dangers of temptation—monsters from the realm of folklore and popular culture also served to both admonish and thrill.

By the 18th and 19th centuries, such gruesome visions turned inward, becoming tools for expressing psychological turmoil. In this group of 15 works spanning the 16th to the 19th centuries, artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Jan Lievens, Francisco de Goya, and William Holman Hunt tap into human fascination with the macabre in works of art that demonstrate our attempt to wrestle with the unknown.