Item #: SCP-2465
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-2465 is to be stored in a secure containment locker in Site 12. Unless being used for testing, SCP-2465 must be covered at all times by an opaque sheet. Under no circumstances should SCP-2465 be photographed or filmed.
Description: SCP-2465 is a watercolor painting on white canvas, measuring 77cm x 53cm, entitled La Tristezza è Temporanea.1 The subject depicted appears to change depending on the viewer, but approximately 85% of all observers agree that the subject is a Caucasian male, between 30-40 years of age, with red hair and a beard. It is also universally agreed upon by observers (regardless of artistic background) that SCP-2465 is of poor or middling quality at best.
Prolonged uninterrupted visual contact with SCP-2465 will cause its anomalous properties to manifest, resulting in the manifestation of an SCP-2465-1 instance. The time between observation and manifestation ranges from a minimum of 43 seconds and a maximum of 37 minutes. The greater the artistic experience of the observer (defined as their actual skill in art in conjunction with their formal art education), the quicker the anomalous effects will manifest.2
Once such time has elapsed, the observer, now designated as SCP-2465-1, will exhibit an intense emotional reaction to SCP-2465, ranging from frustration to disgust. 85% of all SCP-2465-1 instances then act upon a newfound desire to create something of greater quality than SCP-2465. The medium selected changes depending on SCP-2465-1's area of expertise, but if SCP-2465-1 has no artistic background, it will default to watercolor painting.
While SCP-2465-1's projects may begin entirely unrelated to SCP-2465, the finished product will always result in an attempted replica of SCP-2465, regardless of the medium. Examples of this effect include:
- Painting: Results in attempting a direct replica of SCP-2465.
- Pottery: Results in attempting to sculpt the figure depicted in SCP-2465.
- Film (Live Action): Results in seeking out leading actors who are physically similar in appearance to the figure depicted in SCP-2465. The script will also be altered, regardless of the original intent, to tell the story of an unappreciated artist who meets a tragic end.
- Film (Animation): Results in the lead character taking on the appearance of the figure depicted in SCP-2465. The script will also be altered, regardless of the original intent, to tell the story of an unappreciated artist who meets a tragic end.
- Culinary Art: Results in cakes complete with frosting and decorations to give as close an appearance as possible to SCP-2465.
- Photography: [DATA EXPUNGED]
- 3D Computer Graphics: Results in an attempt to create an unknown figure drawing SCP-2465 in the original retrieval site.
- Literature: See Interview 2465-1
These replicas do not have anomalous effects, but filming or photographing SCP-2465 will result in a duplicate with anomalous effects. SCP-2465-1 very rarely realizes these anomalous effects until the moment of completion, suggesting that SCP-2465 influences the subconscious. Upon completion, SCP-2465-1 will demonstrate dissatisfaction with their work, and will attempt another project with similar results. Continued attempts result in SCP-2465-1 exhibiting distress that eventually manifests as severe depression. Class A amnestics have proven effective in reverting SCP-2465-1 to mental states prior to being exposed to SCP-2465. At the time of this writing, no instance of SCP-2465-1 has successfully reverted to prior mental states without use of amnestics.
SCP-2465 was acquired in 19██ from an abandoned household in Arles, Italy. SCP-2465 first came to the Foundation's attention when six real estate agents entered the premises, thereafter becoming the first recorded instances of SCP-2465-1.
Records show the last owner of the household was one ██████ █████████. █████████ died in 18██ of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Present at the site of retrieval were what appeared to be several drafts of SCP-2465, all destroyed. It is currently hypothesized given the art style and the age of the canvas that SCP-2465 was originally painted in 18██.
Attached to SCP-2465 at the time of retrieval was a letter (translated from Italian below):
My dearest friend ███████,
I have heard that you have not been feeling well these past few weeks. I offer my most sincere sympathies. I can only hope that one day you overcome your demons, and continue your work. In the meantime, though, I offer you this painting as a gift. It's you! I know I'm no artist (unlike you, of course), but I thought maybe it'd be fun to poke fun at. You know, poor old ██████. Can't draw a damn thing with those fat fingers of his! Haha!
I really do worry after you, though. Please, promise me that before you choose to do anything rash, you'll come to me first. I'll make you some tea, we'll sit by the fire, and perhaps afterwards we'll chart the night sky together again. Remember: what you're going through, many have overcome. You will survive this. I promise. Don't listen to the people, how they bray; you're no lunatic, and you don't belong in that asylum. I believe in you, even if you don't believe in yourself right now.