Five Art Masterworks That Should Be Metal Album Covers

Categories: Art Rock

Use Your Illusion.jpg
Axl Rose was surprisingly cultured.
It's not often that you get the opportunity to combine masterpieces of painting and metal. It's not completely unfounded, considering Guns N' Roses copped from Raphael's School of Athens for the cover of their Use Your Illusion set. But it's rare, like mixing pro wrestling and classical literature.

But if there's one thing I've learned from studying all these classic works of art, it's that some of these ancient artists possessed both the warped sensibilities of our modern-day metal stars and the artistic ability to translate that into some badass, demented paintings.

I'm not sure what it would take for a metal band today to license these works to use for their album cover, but if I was in a metal band, these would be high on my priority list.

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Sailko via
5. Donatello, The Feast of Herod
Metal album covers typically depict pretty gruesome scenes, and this bronze relief sculpture by Donatello is no exception. Here he is depicting the beheading of St. John the Baptist, whose head is delivered to King Herod on a plate right in the middle of a feast. That's a pretty awesome scene in and of itself.

What ties it all together though is Herod's daughter, Salome, who had demanded John's execution, seen here continuing to dance in a sultry manner even as everyone around her expresses shock over the severed head in front of them. The disparate nature of it would fit right into a David Lynch film, and fits the tone of most metal bands perfectly.

4. Otto Dix, Der Krieg (The War)
One recurrent subject in metal songs is war. It seems like musicians just can't get enough of discussing the great battles throughout history; ask Metallica, Iced Earth, or Iron Maiden about that. So this panorama by Otto Dix depicting the devastation of World War I would be perfect for any of the aforementioned bands' album covers.

The horrifying images depicted here show mangled bodies, ravaged landscapes, and the true cost of war in a way that most fail to capture. It's like Saving Private Ryan in a painting. Throw Eddie the Head somewhere in there and you're pretty much good to go.

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I clicked on this story fully expecting to see Goya's Saturn. Color me disappointed.

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