The Crying Boy was part of a series of popular paintings completed by artist Giovanni Bragolin in the 1950’s. The artist, whose real name is Bruno Amadio, also went by the name Franchot Seville. The series showed young tearful children. The children depicted were often poor and very beautiful. The pictures were popular all over the world, selling 50,000 copies in the UK alone. Approximately 60 paintings were completed by Bragolin, and the prints and reprints of these images continued to be mass-produced in the 1980’s.
One painting, in particular, garnered a lot of attention. An image of a boy, with very sad eyes that seem to be the very reflection of his soul, evoked strong emotions in the hearts of the viewers. This painting became known as The Crying Boy.
A Blazing Curse
On September 4, 1985, The Sun, a British tabloid came out with a story about a blazing curse surrounding The Crying Boy. It was published with the headline: “Blazing Curse of the Crying Boy.” According to the article, the painting is a very unlucky one that caused fires. This story was supported by the claims of a local fire station officer that the paintings of The Crying Boy were found mysteriously unscathed in homes in the UK that were ravaged by fires. Everything around the painting was charred ruins, while the painting remained intact.
A Mass Bonfire
Shortly after the publication of the article, mass panic ensued, largely brought about by the large reader base of The Sun and the widespread ownership of The Crying Boy painting. Many other readers relayed their personal stories to the tabloid as well as other newspapers across the country. Most of these stories revolved around a similar theme: that after the picture was installed in a home, a fire soon broke out destroying everything except the picture itself. Some of them said that they had tried to burn the picture, but it still failed to burn.
After an Italian restaurant burned to the ground with The Crying Boy painting still intact within it, The Sun encouraged all readers to send them their copy of the paintings. The tabloid received more than 2,000 copies of the painting and organized a mass bonfire for them. Even though the painting took some time to completely burn, they all eventually succumbed to the flames.
Crying Boy Fan Club
The Crying Boy Fan Club is an unofficial fan website, launched and maintained by fans. The club is completely unaffiliated with the artist, Giovanni Bragolin, who made the infamous The Crying Boy painting. The site is not only a platform where all fans of the painting can gather and discuss updates and news about the painting, it also welcomes all contributions from the fans including stories, artwork and illustrations, theories and predictions, and many more.
Many of the club members do not actually believe in the painting’s curse, and espouse logical explanations to the fire accidents where the paintings remained unscathed. Nonetheless, all of us are very much interested in keeping this enduring modern legend alive.