Ghostly Art at the CMA
The days are growing chillier, the nights longer—it’s almost time for Halloween! Give yourself a treat (or a fright!) and get in the spirit of the season with these haunting works on view in the CMA’s galleries.
Visit gallery 207 to see The Race Track (Death on a Pale Horse). Grim and gloomy, this painting depicts a scythe-wielding skeleton astride a galloping steed. Albert Pinkham Ryder’s painting draws on a sad and unfortunate event in the artist’s life: his friend committed suicide after losing $500—his life savings—betting on a horse race.
In the same gallery, check out Memento Mori: “To This Favor” by William Harnett. A skull, a burned candle, and a spent hourglass—all symbols that evoke death—are spooky reminders of mortality. Harnett also included a line from Hamlet’s famous graveyard scene on the dangling cover of a book.
Make a stop in gallery 217 to see Salvator Rosa’s Scenes of Witchcraft, a set of four tondos (round paintings) depicting witches chanting invocations and cavorting with all manner of ghastly creatures at four different times of day. Inspired by the interest in sorcery and spellcasting that swept across Europe in the 1500s, Rosa explored the subject of witches through his paintings, drawings, and poetry.
Next, head to gallery 219 in the east wing to see Ruin by the Sea, a moody painting by Arnold Böcklin with stormy skies, rough seas, and a crumbling stone villa. Behind the walls of the ruin stand looming cypress trees. A symbol of mourning for the ancient Greeks and Romans, cypress trees are still often planted in cemeteries.
2 months 1 week ago
This Week at CMA: Listening Session: Heritage: Wadsworth and Jae Jarrell, Third Coast Percussion, Meditation in the Galleries2 months 1 week ago
This Week at CMA: MIX: Soul, Curator Talk: Brett Weston, FINAL WEEK: Fashionable Mourners, CMA at TS: Eating Atom Bombs2 months 2 weeks ago
This Week at CMA: OPEN NOW: Dana Schutz: Eating Atom Bombs, Brett Weston: Photographs, FINAL WEEKS: Fashionable Mourners2 months 3 weeks ago
This Week at CMA: Dana Schutz: Eating Atom Bombs, In Conversation: Dana Schutz & Nell Painter, Brett Weston: Photographs3 months 4 days ago
The Cleveland Museum of Art five things happening this week visitors birthday Special Exhibition Contemporary Art this week at the cma Education art Paul Gauguin: Paris Gauguin film wari performing arts this week at cma podcast curator university circle conservation Video interview playlists treasures of heaven Collection Events international #get2knowcaravaggio community arts Parade the Circle Caravaggio African Art Photography Cleveland guest artists textiles exhibitions museum behind the scenes music Exhibition