Can works of art convey psychological pain? This study deals with the question of whether the paintings of famous artists who have committed suicide are reflective of their inner turmoil. The authors discovered that, in the absence of information about or interpretation by the artists, paintings provided sufficient information to enable non-expert judges to make reliable content-related judgements (e.g. destructiveness and hopelessness) that distinguished between paintings created near the time of artists’ suicides and their paintings created at a time of better mental well-being. It was also found that non-expert judges were able to correctly identify suicide paintings from an array of various other paintings. The authors discuss the relevance of these findings for psychological work both in terms of assessment and treatment of people with suicidal feelings.