'Third of May' - Goya
Yes, I've posted this before -- an intense and tragic evocation of the State as killer. Artist Michael Newberry describes the powerfully condensed piece, contrasting it with Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People in which the figures are far from the "the playthings of destiny" they are here, instead "they are acting to fulfil their aims." The chief difference between the two hinges on the issue of volition, he says, and the painter's view of it.
On the other side of this volitional issue [to Delacroix's depiction] we have Goya's painting of an execution, in which the these poor men have been lead like sheep to their slaughter. Notice that in the background that the State buildings are above the scene, the implication is that the state dictates to the humans below. There is a line of faceless universal soldiers, heads bowed, carrying out their orders. The main victim thrusts his arms out in the gesture of "why". Notice how the light box is turned towards the victims, they are bathed in its sympathetic glow while the soldiers are in the shadow. Also notice that the color of the light box and the main character is identical gold and white, the implication being that he is the light. Goya paints an empathic portrait of these victims plight but victims they are; hopeless playthings of the mysterious State lurking in the background.