The Troubled City
© The Artist

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The Troubled City 1991
  • Scottish Art
This work is one of a trilogy of paintings influenced by contemporary suffering in war-torn cities, particularly in Eastern Europe. In the background, the Brandenburg Gate and the burning Reichstag can be seen, setting the scene in Berlin. The nightmarish scene is populated by emaciated and bandaged skeletal figures and menacing hooded or masked men. Armed with a variety of weapons they are burning books. Currie’s thinly layered application of paint has created a luminous and ghostly tone to the flesh of the crowd members. The fantastic and grotesque elements of the painting were influenced by Breughel and Bosch.

Glossary Open


A decorative element comprising figures, animals, plants, mythological creatures and architectural elements which are often combined in bizarre configuration. Originating in ancient Rome, such details were revived in the Renaissance following the rediscovery of ancient murals.



  • Acc. No. GMA 4732
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 275.00 x 335.50 cm
  • Credit Presented by Stephen Baycroft and Donald Holt 2004