Julia Morrisroe is a painter and associate professor at University of Florida. Looking at Painting began as a way to share my commitment to look and occasionally write about a wide variety of painting, contemporary and historical. In particular I'm looking at this as public commonplace book, a long term project to explore what I mean when I say 'thats a painting'.
My studio work juliamorrisroe.com
I had a curious conversation in class the other night thanks to Arthur Danto's essay Beauty and Morality. In the midst of discussing whether it was morally right to represent someone else's pain the conversation moved into defining morality. We worked to tease out whether there was a right and wrong or if right and wrong was contextual. I asked if murder was right or wrong and the answer was surprisingly grey. Since I tend to think through paintings I thought I might share some paintings of murder as I continue to think this through.
The Massacre at Chios, Eugene Delacroix, 1824
You could argue that war is murder, that's not what I'm looking at though. Twenty thousand citizens (not combatants) died when the Ottomans took over the Greek Island of Chios during the Greek War of Independence. Soldiers were ordered to murder babies under the age of three plus other horrors. Seventy thousand citizens were sent into slavery.