The Madman's Gallery: The Strangest Paintings, Sculptures and Other Curiosities from the History of Art


Step into the enigmatic world of The Madman's Gallery, an extraordinary exhibition of illustrated wonders that will transport you to the hidden depths of art's mysterious history. Unveiling one hundred magnificently eccentric antique paintings, engravings, illustrations, and sculptures, each holding a captivatingly bizarre tale, this gallery will ignite your imagination like never before!

Delve into forgotten artistic treasures, unearthed from libraries, museums, dealers, and galleries around the globe. Encounter portraits of peculiar characters, like the British explorer who rode crocodiles and the levitating Italian monk hailed as the patron saint of airplane passengers. Behold impossible medieval land yachts, ethereal floating churches, and airships propelled by majestic eagles.

Witness dog-headed holy men, towering German giants, audacious 18th-century stuntmen, human chessboards, and the haunting visages of screaming ghost heads. This captivating odditorium showcases a pantheon of obscure and engaging figures, meticulously curated by the historian and connoisseur of the strange, Edward Brooke-Hitching. Immerse yourself in this richly illustrated and enthralling gallery, a haven for lovers of extraordinary art and captivating history.

Embark on a global survey that unveils European painters employing ground-up Egyptian mummies as pigments, ancient Japanese Gyotaku art capturing the essence of fish on dried printing plates, a Parisian art hoax featuring the creations of a chimpanzee, and countless other intriguing curiosities.

Prepare to encounter a myriad of oddities: carved depictions of demon worms believed to cause toothaches etched into human molars, a daringly nude rendition of the Mona Lisa crafted by Leonardo da Vinci's audacious apprentice, and a vivid portrait of a cannibal that remains one of the most arresting representations ever produced.

Written by the expert chronicler Edward Brooke-Hitching, acclaimed for his visually immersive explorations of peculiar historical subjects, such as The Phantom Atlas, The Sky Atlas, The Devil's Atlas, and The Madman's Library, this exquisite volume will captivate fans of beautifully illustrated works, art history aficionados, and those with a penchant for extraordinary world atlas collections.

Perfect for lovers of quirky history, such as Schott's Miscellany, Atlas Obscura, and the widely adored QI series, this book makes an exceptional gift for graduates, teachers, and students of world history, art history, library science, archaeology, sociology, and any discipline that revels in the exploration of curiosities and the intricate tapestry of human nature. Step into The Madman's Gallery and let your imagination soar on the wings of these extraordinary tales.

Size: 19.6 x 25.25 cm (7.7 x 9.9 inches)