No announcement yet.

The Evil Eye in the 20th Century

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Evil Eye in the 20th Century

    Belief in the Evil Eye was widespread in the Victorian Era. Precautions were taken to protect children from it. Belief waned in the 20th Century but it still existed at least as a quaint superstition and at least in art. Just look at Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer!

  • #2
    Yes but was that Klimt's intent, San Fran. Or is it just your interpretation?
    Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical" Hear sample song at

    Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
    Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at


    • #3
      An English commentator on the Netflix show said Alene had two miscarriages and the only baby she carried to term die, and it might have been during the making of the painting. The Evil Eye talisman are said to ward off the effects including infertility and pregnancy issues.

      I don’t know much about Klimt and haven’t researched the intended meaning of the iconography. The eye of Horus was another other possibility given. I don’t see the falcon stripe. All seeing eye of God? I don’t think any artist eliminates theories or interpretations if he doesn’t find it offensive.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
        Yes but was that Klimt's intent, San Fran. Or is it just your interpretation?
        Klimt was society painter for the Jewish elite. Jews say morning prayers about the evil eye. Now you can buy hand made Klimt evil eyes. Klimt talks about it too regarding his painting Pallas Athena.

        Yes clearly his intent although he could have more than one. I’m interested in this one.


        • #5
          So frightened was the British court system of the evil eye and its bewitching powers that it required that accused witches being brought into the courtroom had to walk backwards. Countless tales exist that attribute sudden death to the evil eye, and people to this day continue to derive lifelong employment in some parts of the world to removing its effects. Garlic is often said to ward off the eye, and the color blue is believed to counter it as well. But beware of blue-eyed people in Greece, as compliments from them can bring the effects of the eye onto you much more efficiently than brown eyes can.

          King Alfonso XIII of Spain (r.1886-1931) was one of the most prominent figures of the 20th century to have been said to possess the evil eye. Benito Mussolini believed it, and refused to meet with him in person during a state visit. Apparently this was for good reason, since the Italian Navy's demonstration celebrating the Spanish King's visit to Italy in 1923 resulted in two sailors being washed overboard, an explosion on a submarine, an antique cannon fired in his honor blew up and killed its crew, and a navy officer who shook the king's hand collapsed and died. To top it off, a dam broke killing 50 people during the visit.

          I don't attribute the tragic accidents on the Royal visit to have anything to do with the Evil Eye. The Evil Eye is Envy and what does a king have to envy. If anything, it would be the commoners and Il Duce with the envy. Perhaps Alfonso had defenses against it.


          • #6
            Klimt, Pallas Athena, with the Gorgon head of Gorgo, a Gorgon like Medusa.

            Gorgon stories are a mythical, D'Onstonian way of explaining something essentially real that I'd wish I'd know more about. It explains a lot. I have to see what Joseph Campbell had to say.


            • #7
              I took a look into Joseph Campbell's interpretations and what others had to say about them (books like Seeing Jaakob by David L. Tingey.)

              There seems to be some massive confusion about the Evil Eye and what it means. It's being linked to Patriarchy. Some kind of fear anxiety. There's nothing about the Third Eye so I think that's where the confusion is. I'm not about to unravel that.


              • #8
                There is supposed to be a primeval belief about a third eye and it has been suggested that this belief is the foundation for the evil eye beliefs. There may--or may not--be some scientific basis for this belief but I don't remember all the particulars. Seems like there may be something in embryology about a possible third eye or a sensing organ we don't have as developed human beings. It has something to do with the thymus gland I think, our response to light and seasonal changes. Light changes drive many things in life, including breeding cycles in some animals and perhaps even an exalted desire among humans to seek mates at certain times of the year. (Spring fever for example.)

                A crude explanation is an additional eye in the back of the head but that is ridiculous and as far as I know there is no structure or neurological arrangement in the back of the head that could be suggested as such.
                The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript


                • #9
                  Anna, did you ever see the pictures of royals and presidents doing the bull's horns and people saying that means they're Illuminati?

                  The Evil Eye has a clear definition so doesn't need interpreting. Of course, you can interpret myths any way you want and you can see the Evil Eye in it, or the Fear of the Evil Eye. I guess it could still be a metaphor for the Evil Eye so it doesn't have to follow the definition, and I do think it's related to the Third Eye. I just don't think they're the same thing exactly but may work in conjunction.


                  • #10
                    I am always looking for scientific explanations for old folklore and religious beliefs. There is always the idea that the ancients had special knowledge lost to us today and that this ancient knowledge could help us now. My special quest is medical knowledge. I think in reality ancient people just got on as good as they could and were probably underfed, wormy and had short lifespans.

                    I don't follow anything about the Iluminati, etc. I am not sure any of that exists. Perhaps that is a fake thing as was the Priory of Sion.
                    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript


                    • #11
                      Google Images will turn up a lot of politicians using the bull's horns if you Google "illuminati bull's horns". I'm suggesting that maybe they're protecting themselves using the bull's horn to ward off the evil eye of Envy which brings a curse. That might be better than thinking they're part of a secret society or a worldwide conspiracy.

                      I also think there's a natural explanation that can suite people with Envy acting as a "downer" but I don't rule out the supernatural working with the natural. It does work on a different level like a psychic vampirism.
                      Envy today is a mere foible of the n'er-do-well and the petty social climber. But it once ranked high among the Seven Deadly Sins -- right alongside Anger, Lust, Gluttony and the rest. It was envy that provoked Cain against Abel. Francis Bacon, in an age more aware than ours of the destructive nature of envy, called it "the vilest affection and most depraved; for which it is the proper attribute of the Devil."