The Crying Boy


It’s now summer.

We went and put up the tent at the campsite, and I got violently heat-sick yesterday. I ended up calling off of work and moping around, spinning and making at quarter-assed (yes. I was so drained that it wasn’t even half-assed) effort at cleaning.

After multiple short naps and several quart jars of water, I finally felt halfway human again. Hopefully this is my ‘kicking off summer’ attack and I’ll be okay from here on out.

In an odd series of coincedences, a certain painting is found in the wreckage of burned homes throughout England. Always of a young boy shown on the verge of tears, the painting is found so frequently that eventually firefighters refuse to allow the painting to be in their homes.

What is so odd about this particular painting is not the frequency to which it is found- it’s the fact the painting is never so much as singed, regardless of how burned the rest of the structure may be.

The crying boy referenced in the legend is actually a painting by Bruno Amadio. The frequency to which the painting was found in British homes is testament to the popularity of the ‘children crying’ genre of paintings during the 1950s. Due to the popularity of this particular theme, the painting is not always of the same child but frequently is of the same young subject.

Beginning in 1985 the story began to circulate that the painting was found in burned out houses, always face down on the floor and otherwise unharmed. Tabloids picked up the story until it started being claimed that no firefighter would allow it in their home- as if the painting itself was to blame for the fires.

Interestingly, there may be some validity to the story. An investigation into the legend in 2010 by a radio comic found tha the pictures were most likely treated with a varnish that protected them from heat damage. The string on the back would not have been treated, which would have then burned and landed face down. Being on the floor like that would have prevented it from further damage.

(See wiki for more detailed information)


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