The Quartering

58”x82” oil on canvas/wood 1992

How is it that young babies who personify innocence and goodness can somehow grow up to perpetrate hideous evil? The persistence of evil is an endless and provocative theme. In this painting, the end panels show Cain and Abel, our first and enduring metaphors for good and evil.

The central panel depicts a death by quartering, a particularly horrific event in which a human is tied to four horses that are forced to ride in different directions resulting in a gruesome and terrible death. We know of its practice in many countries, during the middle ages and even later, often in the service of religious zealotry.

In the lunette, between two dark doors, we see an opening filled with light.

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