Political Events


Artworks depicting political events, whether commissioned by governments to celebrate political milestones or independently created by artists to document or critique the political sphere. One of the earliest surviving depictions of political events is the Arch of Titus, built in 82 AD by the Roman Emperor Domitian to honor the military achievements of his deceased brother, Titus. The government was also a patron to the Romantic painter Francisco de Goya, who hauntingly portrayed Napoleonic troops’ mass execution of Spanish civilians in his seminal work, The Third of May. Offering another avenue for representing political events, the birth of photojournalism in the 19th century enabled subsequent artists to document historic events from their own perspectives, as with Garry Winogrand’s photographs of urban protests during the Vietnam War.