The horror of what your brain can do when you give it up to sleep is universal, yet the heyday of the nightmare in art seems to have passed.
PARIS — With the bloody revolutions of the late 1700s, the mood in Europe was apprehensive and brooding about the future. Perhaps then it’s no surprise that the art from that time has a certain gloominess to it as well. Yet what is unexpected is the strange beauty certain artists began to give their visions of horror, whether it was embracing the devil in the same way Milton did in Paradise Lost as an alluring prince of darkness, or portraying the apocalypse with a light that was inverted to our world, but curiously enticing. It’s this deviant use of beauty that is celebrated in L’Ange du Bizarre (The Angel of the Odd), an exhibition draped over the galleries of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris that beckons with its Dark Romanticism.