He was born as Bruno Amadio in Vence, Italy back in 1911. Later, he became known as Giovanni Bragolin an Italian painter, who created works of art still revered today. He also was known as Franchot Seville, Angelo Bragolin, Giovanni Bragolin and J. Bragolin (if the signatures on his paintings were read incorrectly)
Giovanni Bragolin created an interesting series of paintings now known as “Crying Boys.” These paintings seemed to strike a chord with art lovers everywhere. These paintings feature various children with sad faces, crying as they tearfully and hauntingly stare ahead. Some have referred to these paintings as “Gypsy boys.” (nothing links them to the Romani people however)
Bragolin learned his craft classically, by training as a painter while working in post-war Venice. A lot of his work, was to restore paintings and to paint them from scratch as well. He earned his living, by painting for tourists who frequented the area as well.
There are an estimated 65 different paintings which were released under the name Bragolin. These reproductions eventually were sold around the world. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t receive much if any royalty for these reproductions. He was found later in the 1970’s, still painting within the location of Padua. Later, it was learned he may have fled to Spain after the war. It was there, he enjoyed painting children from a local orphanage he visited often.
Not long after, strange occurrences began to happen. First, the orphanage subsequently burned down that he frequented. His crying paintings became famous over time, as the paintings literally spread like wildfire. Homes began mysteriously catching fire, as many of them burned to the ground.
As his paintings grew in popularity, they were placed in many homes all across the United Kingdom. Shockingly, nearly all of the homes and buildings the paintings were placed in burned down. The Crying Boy paintings were completely unscathed from the fire. Many of these incidents, were regarded as pure coincidence.
However, many feel that something else entirely was going on paranormal related. To date, these paintings haven’t been explained. Why didn’t they burn, but everything else around them did? It is too much of a coincidence. This tale has become an old urban legend over time. However, nobody can explain why the paintings made it through numerous different fires and if they are cursed.
Maybe this artist was seeking more attention and acceptance from others or a vengeful spirit was lashing out at him. It still remains a mystery and a reminder that some things simply can’t be explained with science or logic. Bragolin died on September 22, 1981.