Maybe heavy metal started with a paintbrush, not a Marshall amp. For hundreds of years, artists have created bad ass paintings inspired by the imagery on darkness, depravity, Satanism and gore that was later adopted by metal bands in their musical style and lyrics. Long before heavy metal forefathers such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath dabbled in the dark side of life, artists such as Gustave Dore, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, William Blake, Caravaggio, and Hieronymus Bosch explored our darkest tendencies.
In some instances, metal artists have even directly used these works of art for their album covers, such as Celtic Frost adorning their LP To Mega Therion with H.R. Giger's 'Satan I,' and Acid Bath, who used a "self-portrait" painted by serial killer John Wayne Gacy for their album When the Kite String Pops.
Here are 15 of the most metal works of art of all time and the macabre minds behind them.
1. Francisco Goya, 'Saturn Devouring His Son,' 1819-23Photo: via Wikimedia Commons
2. Hieronymus Bosch, 'Christ's Descent Into Hell,' 1490sPhoto: via Wikimedia Commons
3. William Blake, 'The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun,' 1805-1810Photo: via Wikipedia.org
4. H.R. Giger, 'Satan I,' 1977Photo: via youtube.com
5. Gustave Dore, 'The Inferno,' Canto 21, 1866Photo: via wikiart.org
6. Hans Melming, 'Hell,' 1485Photo: via wikiart.org