Dark, Enchanting Paintings That Suggest Surreal Stories

Forget a thousand words — each of Delphine Courillot’s pictures suggests an entire short story, if not a novel. The Paris-born, Amsterdam-based artist makes paintings that create entire, surreal worlds of their own, liberating the viewer’s imagination to fill in the plot. What do we make of two nuns, in full garb, running through the snowy woods in the dark of night? Or a woman bundled up in a plaid cape, looking down regretfully as a man in a black hoodie throws open the door to her cabin? Courillot’s narratives range from Twin Peaks-style horror to fairytale transcendence and beyond. Click through to see some of our favorite paintings, which we discovered via Faith is Torment, and visit Courillot’s website to see much more of her work.

Delphine Courtillot, So absurd, so fantastic, 2006, gouache on paper, 140 cm x 100 cm