Mountainous Landscape, 1720s by Alessandro Magnasco (1667–1749)
The penalty for reckless crime is ruin when men breathe a spirit of pride above just measure, because their mansions teem with more abundance than is good for them. But let there be such wealth as brings no distress, enough to satisfy a sensible man. For riches do not protect the man who in wantonness has kicked the mighty altar of Justice into obscurity.
Perverse Temptation, the overmastering child of designing Destruction, drives men on; and every remedy is futile. His evil is not hidden; it shines forth, a baleful gleam. Like base metal beneath the touchstone’s rub, when tested he shows the blackness of his grain (for he is like a child who chases a winged bird) and upon his people he brings a taint against which there is no defence. No god listens to his prayers. The man associated with such deeds, him they destroy in his unrighteousness.
|—||Elder Zosima, The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky|
Gero Crucifix from the Cologne Cathedral, Germany. c. 970
Sir Joshua Reynolds, Mrs Richard Crofts, 1775.
Utagawa Kuniyoshi . Hatsuhana prays under a waterfall, c. 1842. Colour woodblock, oban, 36.4 x 24.8 cm.
American Friends of the British Museum (The Arthur R. Miller Collection) 15606.
Mario Nuzzi, Flowers in a Blue Vase, c. 1640