Virtue and Vice

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Artworks that explore issues of morality or include depictions of good and evil, benevolence and sin. Art history is filled with such themes, characteristically informed by religious or cultural beliefs. Some examples include a masterpiece of Japanese Buddhist art, the Hell Scrolls, which dates to the 12th century and depicts sinners subjected to brutal punishments; engravings by William Hogarth that provided social commentary on the virtues and vices of 18th-century British society; and Hieronymus Bosch’s imaginative and fantastical paintings, such as Garden of Earthly Delights (ca. 1505–15), which was inspired by the Christian principles of good and evil.

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