Second Scene of Burglars: The Burglars Arrested

Second Scene of Burglars: The Burglars Arrested

Louis Leopold Boilly, French, 1761-1845


Oil on Canvas

The black, white, and gray tones of this painting—composed in a style called grisaille—produce the illusion of an engraving. The work is one of a pair: the first scene depicts the burglary of a bourgeois home in progress, while this painting shows the second scene—the discovery of the crime. The dramatic story, told through the figures’ theatrical gestures and expressions, inspired a play based on the two compositions.

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Who are the aggressors in this artwork?


Are some forms of aggression needed to keep society in place?


Does self-defense justify the use of force, hostility, and violence?

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