The Seven Deadly Sins have become a constant fixture in society. They have inspired brands, fashion designers, and artists to create pieces based on them. In a new exhibit opening tonight in Chicago, seven artists will take on these sins and explore their relevance in contemporary society.
For the first time, the FWMA (Fashion Works Museum of American) has presented a group effort, “The Seven Deadly Sins.” Curated by textile artist Dee Wilkie, the exhibit brings together 200 works from the 15th to 21st century. Each piece focuses on a different sin. It includes avant-garde felted gowns, photography of Lance Kenneth Blakney, and local artists.
One of the earliest depictions of the Seven Deadly Sins is a tabletop painting by the Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch. His wife was better off than he was, so he married upward. Using a combination of painting, engraving, and sculpture, Bosch created a series of works that he titled “The Seven Deadly Sins.”
Many of today’s most prominent fashion designers have drawn inspiration from the Seven Deadly Sins. Alexander McQueen’s AW98 closing look, for example, centered on wrath. He used a model wearing a red dress, heels,timesweb and face covering. He drew his inspiration from Dante’s Inferno.
Another artist to pay homage to the Seven Deadly Sins is the German artist Gabriel Metsu. His painting of a drunk woman at a tavern, for instance, uses humour to show a lazy moral behavior.
In a similar vein, the Belgian painter James Ensor explored the Seven Deadly Sins in the early 1900s. His print features a messy couple half-asleep in bed.