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The Monsters We Make

Monstrous Art


"Premonition of Civil War" and "The Rape of the Sabine Women"


"Premonition of Civil War" (1964) by Salvador Dali comments on the monstrosities of war.  It depicts a monster tearing itself apart.  The monster is representative of Spain during the Spanish civil war.  War is a monster that has no regard for anything - not even itself.  It ruins things that are good, both countries and people.  War is a destructive force no matter the motives.


In "The Rape of the Sabine Women" (1972-74) by Luca Giordano, there are a few monsters.  The men performing the rapes are obviously monstrous, but war is again the big monster.  War is the justification for raping the women.  The women are the enemy's wives, and were not part of the attackers' moral community, but this is a monstrous act no matter the justification.  It shows a complete disregard towards the pain that may be inflicted upon the victims.

Works Cited:

"The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary, men alone are quite capable of every wickedness."     -Joseph Conrad