Much art has aimed to encourage virtue and warn against vice. But anger, hate and its relations – revenge, violence and war – are powerful features of ancient myths, religious stories, literature and indeed everyday life.
In Titian’s famous The Death of Actaeon, the goddess Diana turns Actaeon into a stag in revenge and has him devoured by his own hounds. In the Bible, Cain was angered at God’s favouritism for his brother Abel and killed him; few violent subjects are depicted more explicitly in art than Judith’s slaying of Holofernes. Some rulers have exploited the power of art to promote these human failings, and artists like Goya and Daumier have explored the psychology behind them.