Gallery Reading Room Library Bruno Amadio ’Weeping Boy’ Share:

Popular Painting

Джон Уильям Уотерхаус - Цирцея

Bruno Amadio ’Weeping Boy’

automatic translate

Italian painter Bruno Amadio , known throughout the world under the pseudonym of Giovanni Bragolin , is one of the most mysterious artists of the 1920s. His life began rather prosaically. He was born on September 22 in 1981 in Venice, the city of Padua. Since childhood, fond of painting, he studied the work of great artists in the academy. He did not finish his studies in it, he began to create independently, developing his own manner of depicting the surrounding reality. His main income consisted in selling paintings to tourists.

Bruno Amadio - The Weeping Boy


Bruno Amadio liked to depict everything that surrounded him. Among his works one could see: flowers, children, everyday scenes from the life of different people, historical moments. But fame brought him pictures with the image of crying children.

Until now, the history of the origin of the cycle of these canvases is unknown. A huge number of legends are associated with them. The artist named them the name «Gypsy Cycle», in which 20 portraits of crying boys were depicted. It is still unclear why the author called them so? After all, the children depicted in the paintings are completely unlike the Gypsies. The image of horror, suffering, despair and anguish so excited ordinary people that the artist was ranked to the devil himself. However, the popularity of 70-80-ies in these works was frenzied: reproductions were massively sold out by both poor and rich people.

History of the cycle

The first wave of panic began with an article in the British newspaper The Sun. In it, the author talked about a married couple of May and Ron Hallov, who lived in Rotherham. They claimed that their house burned down after buying a painting on which was depicted a crying child. It burned to the ground, but the wall with the hanging canvas remained almost untouched. The couple were so frightened by this circumstance that they accused the picture of the arson of their house.

What was it: an accident, a usual journalistic poklep to attract readers, or did the artist himself decide to attract the attention of the townsfolk in such a way? It’s hard to say unequivocally, but the editorial board received a flurry of letters, where readers reported such incidents. They said that all their acquaintances or relatives who purchased one of the reproductions with crying children, suffered from a fire. In all houses, the fire destroyed everything except the «damned image.» From all sides heard such words as «corruption», «curse», «nightmarish portrait», etc. Moreover, there were eyewitnesses who claimed the following: they tried to burn the portrait, but they could not.

The journalists demanded reasonable explanations from the police and from the firemen. And although firefighters argued that the causes of all fires are real and understandable, but he could not explain the reason for the inviolability of the canvases. In addition, during the investigation it was found out: some portraits that were found on the scene, were not reproductions of Giovanni Bragolin, but copies made by Anna Zinkaysen.

And although the firemen continued to insist that the reasons for the fires were the usual disregard for fire safety technology, and the paintings were unaffected by hard paper, which is difficult to ignite, journalists did not believe in them and continued to insist on the mystical cause of all incidents. About the paper, you can argue, but there is a proven theory, which reads: if ordinary paper is immersed in ethyl alcohol, add a pinch of salt, allow the paper to soak well, and then allow the excess liquid to merge and ignite, then only alcohol will burn, but the paper remains untouched. All this is explained by purely chemical properties. Accordingly, it can be concluded that the artists could process something like their canvases for their preservation. But why are there fires? Quite everything could be done by their own hands to create mysticism around their creativity and attract attention. After all, if you look at the biography of Bragolin, she is content with the meager: he was born, studied, married, children, died of cancer of the esophagus. And only his work with crying boys is known.

Esotericists argue that these portraits themselves may well have been the causes of fires. When a manual portrait of a person is written, a piece of his soul is sealed on paper. Not just because of all the peoples there are a lot of legends about the damned portraits, in which the black magicians could even seal the man himself or tie his life to him. It is still unknown why the children on the canvases cry: the most common version is that the author specially frightened them, brought them to horror, and then painted. The faces of the children of an ordinary person lead to horror: wide-open eyes full of fear, resentment, despair, misunderstanding. The heart breaks, looking at them. And, it is possible that the picture, after its completion, retained this energy. And through her already small sitters took revenge on those who hung their images at home.


The end of the story is extremely sad: people were so scared that they demanded that the authorities take action. It was decided to destroy these paintings, after which they burned outside the city. But the legend of a weeping boy is still walking in the Internet, and modern mystics, and researchers are trying to solve this mystery.