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.
Read more here: http://www.clarkart.edu/Collection/9814
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?
Two Horses Fighting in a Stormy Landscape
Ferdinand-Victor-Eugene Delacroix, French, 1798-1863
Oil on Canvas
With its freely applied brushstrokes and stormy sky, this image of fighting horses has an ominous, dreamlike character. Delacroix, who is among the most significant artists associated with the Romantic movement in early nineteenth-century European art, sometimes used animals in his paintings to evoke elemental aspects of human nature. Here, the halo effect of the pale horse’s mane and the violence of the dark horse’s lunge evoke a conflict between the forces of good and evil.
Read more here: http://www.clarkart.edu/Collection/8577
What techniques is Delacroix using to create tension in this painting?
How does color play a role distinguishing good and evil? What is the danger of this?
Is aggression an instinct innate in both humans and animals?
The Abduction of Polyxena
Pio Fedi, Italian, 1816-1892
During the Trojan War, Polyxena lured the Greek hero Achilles to his death. In revenge, Achilles’s son Pyrrhus killed Polyxena’s brother and carried her off as a sacrifice, despite the protests of her mother Hecuba, the Trojan Queen.
This bronze is a version of a large marble sculpture commissioned for the Loggia de Lanzi in the center of Florence. Several ancient writers describe how Polyxena preferred death to slavery, and her story may have resonated with nineteenth-century Florentines as a symbol of resistance against the Austrian invasion of Italy.
Read more here: http://www.clarkart.edu/Collection/1369
Who is the victim in this sculpture? Is there more than one?
Is revenge a justified form of aggression or violence?
At what point does a grudge become irrelevant?
Jean-Honore Fragonard, French, 1834-1917
Oil on Canvas
The Warrior is one of a number of “fantasy” portraits painted by Fragonard around 1770. This figure may be an arrogant warrior from some bygone age or he may be one of the artist’s contemporaries in disguise. The features of his face are individualized, but his costume is invented, described in the artist’s time as “Spanish in manner.” Fragonard seems to have been more interested in demonstrating his brilliant brushwork than in portraying a recognizable individual.
Read more here: http://www.clarkart.edu/Collection/10590
What characteristics make this man seem un-approachable?
Is aggression something that can be recognized based upon initial looks?
Do warriors or soldiers require a degree of aggression to be successful?