Giovanni Bragolin (1911–1981)


Bruno Amadio (1911-1981), popularly known as Giovanni Bragolin, and also known as Franchot Seville, Angelo (Giovanni) Bragolin, and J. Bragolin (if you read the signature on his paintings wrong), was the creator of the group of paintings known as Crying Boys.

He was an academically trained painter, working in post-war Venice as painter and restaurator, producing the Crying Boy pictures for tourists. At least 65 such paintings were made under the name Bragolin, reproductions of which were sold worldwide. In the 1970s he was found to be alive and well-to-do and still painting in Padua.

Claims that he fled to Spain after the war, painting children from a local orphanage which subsequently burned down, appear to be an unconfirmed urban legend.









The Crying Boy

The Crying Boy is a mass-produced print of a painting by Spanish painter Bruno Amadio, also known as Giovanni Bragolin. It was widely distributed from the 1950s onwards. There are numerous alternative versions, all portraits of tearful young boys or girls.

The Legend

It is said that no frustrated by his fame as an artist, Amadio made ​​a pact with the devil so that his paintings were to succeed in society. From then made ​​paintings in which children are crying. One was a portrait of a child living in an orphanage that once the box, caught fire and killed the child. His soul, then, is said to dwell in the box. In Chile, for example, we know the table referred to as the child cries and, if turned 90 degrees to the right, a fish may be eating the child's head. Like other paintings, like the scream of Munch, the painter's works have transcended the mere painting. The great expressiveness and symbolism that reflect sensitivity emanating from the author influenced by current social developments, have led to the creation of the fables that have never been substantiated.



The Curse of the Crying Boy’ appeared out of the blue one morning in 1985. when several mysterires occurred all around England. When the debris was sifted through the only item that remained un-charred was a painting of a little boy with a tear rolling down his cheek in every fire. Could this all be an coincidence?



Whether real or not a Yorkshire fireman was so upset that he talked with the "Sun" newspaper in England. They ran his story about how everything in the home was consumed by fire except for a painting of a crying boy. There were at that time more than one of these paintings around and each seemed to have the same effect. The home and all contents would be totally destroyed but the painting of the little crying boy would not show any sign at all of going through a fire. The newspaper began receiving telephone calls from people all over the area, that had similar stories to tell about the crying boy painting. One person that called the "Sun" was Dora Mann of Mitcham and she has been quoted as saying "Only six months after I had bought the painting, my house was completely gutted by fire. All my paintings were destroyed, except the one of the crying boy." After one month of hearing all the tales, the "Sun" gave their readers the chance to bring their crying boy painting and agreed to have a very large Bon fire to rid everyone of these cursed painting. All paintings that were brought to the newspaper were in fact burned and everyone rejoiced.




However, the story goes on. There have been reports of the crying boy painting being found in charred homes untouched since 1985 and as recent as 1988.



After one month of hearing all the tales, the "Sun" gave their readers the chance to bring their "Crying Boy" paintings and agreed to have a very large bon fire to rid everyone of these cursed paintings. So all the paintings that were brought to the newspaper were in fact burned and everyone rejoiced that night. That the curse was over. But was it really OVER?

Unforthcoming the story does not end there...

There have been reports of the painting being found in charred homes untouched since 1985 and as recent as 1988.



There are additional stories told by a woman named Dora Mann, from Mitcham, Surrey who claimed her house was gutted just six months after she bought a print of the painting of the Crying Boy. She said," All my paintings were destroyed - except the one of the [ CRYING BOY] " . Sandra Kaske, of Kilburn , North Yorkshire, said that she, her sister - in -law and a friend had all suffered disastrous fires since they all acquired copies of the painting. Another family in Nottingham blamed the painting for a blaze which left them homeless. Brian Parks, wife and three children needed treatment for smoke inhalation. Brian said he had destroyed his copy after returning from the hospital to find it hanging - undamaged, of course - on the blackened wall of his living room. Now that really creepy!!!



As the stories accumulated and were filed, new details emerged that encouraged the idea that possession of the painting will put you at risk of dangerous fire or serious injury.

Stories From the People

The story was a guaranteed seller of newspapers, especially as they said that as many as 50000 of these pictures might be hanging in Britain's working class homes. I would not go as far as to say it was bedlam, but lets just say that there a lot of very nervous people who suddenly wanted rid of the things. More and more people were coming forward with their own stories to tell, the newspaper was flooded with calls. It seemed that everyone knew someone affected by the "Curse." One woman fromLondon claimed to have seen the picture swinging from side to side, as if haunted whilst Mrs Rose Farrington of Preston wrote in a letter published by The Sun: "Since I bought it in 1959, my three sons and my husband have all died. I've often wondered if it had a curse."



This all fueled the fire (pardon the pun) and gave the story, to use an English press term, "legs." People began to try to dispose of them themselves by setting them alight, only to find that even when deliberately set on fire, there were unharmed.

Turn 90 º

This picture is "crying child" as you turn 90 degrees to the right you can see a fish eating up the child's head.

This legend will never end, many decades later many people who keep saying that strange things have in their homes because they have these paintings.