The concept of blood has always had the power to evoke powerful emotion, so here are a few Halloween-inspired images and paintings.

Blood Orange Sorbet RecipeThirst — EarringsUntitled, 2005 by Anish Kapoor

Rubens was one of the only post-Renaissance painters to deal with the gruesome subject of Medusa, and his depiction of the famous myths focuses more on her chilling stare even in the pale state of death. He is able to display his skill as a painter through the detail of the insects which seem to be mingling with the blood, replacing his characteristic soft brushstrokes with a realism that portrays an emotional intensity, appropriately instilling fear in the viewer.

More about his Medusa

Fashion designer Giambattista Valli. Blood red • Head of Medusa by Peter Paul Rubens

Turner was one of the first painters to start using paint itself as a means of expression, and perhaps his Slave Ship is one of the most forceful examples. His brushstrokes have an agitated quality to them, as he depicts slaves being thrown overboard to die in the choppy waters. The blood of the dying blends in with the oranges and reds of the sunset, creating an almost suffocating sense of violence and tragedy. It is his brushstrokes that give us the right to interpret his view and criticism of how slaves were thrown overboard during his time because the owners of the ships could only receive insurance if they had drowned.

Fashion designer Giambattista Valli. Blood red • Phase 1—2 by Jordan Eagles. Blood preserved on white Plexiglas, resin • Slave Ship by J.M.W.Turner

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