It seems that I cannot edit my previous post, so I create new posts for my updates and additional findings:
I played around a bit and found out that the issue seems to be related to large pictures, maybe in the area of 3000x2500 px, with some being around 2500x3500 px.
On the other hand, resized to 200px height, these pictures did not crash the current version's Kodi, even when using progressive. Baseline did not crash Kodi, either.
As now, I would recommend to resize pictures to a max of 4 megapixels.
This reminds me of back in the day, using XBMC on the original XBox, which also had issues with pictures > 6 megapixels. But it did not crash and instead simply not render the pictures at all.