Peter Toohey

Shame in Images

Shame, like jealousy, entails a triangular situation.  There are three individuals or two and a thing.  Jealousy is caused by the loss of a partner or possession to another.  Shame seems to result from the improper "possession" of something (an individual or item) that is normally associated with another.  You can see this in some of the illustrations to follow.

The images to follow are searchable (Command/Control+F). An underscored word or phrase indicates a link to a prose commentary.  The theme was suggested to me by Dr Gail Saltz.

Series of vitraux titled Shame, on the facade of Club K44, located in Athens, Greece, by Spanish street artist Borondo.  Source:

The Black Stool, or Stool of Repentance, by David Allan (1744-96). A young bachelor is accused of fornication. The luckless lass, seen with her angry mother in the lower foreground, bewails her fate, while his parents on the left hang their heads in shame.  Wikimedia Commons.

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The visual material of these few pages applies the "fair use" rationale adopted by  Each art work conforms to the following:

it is a historically significant artwork
the image is only being used for informational and educational purposes
the image is readily available on the internet
the image is a low-resolution copy of the original artwork and is unsuitable for commercial use.

Copyright terms are based on authors' deaths according to U.S. Copyright Law, that is 70 years.

Max Klinger (1857-1920) Shame​, 1880/1903, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  Google Cultural Institute.  Wikimedia Commons.

Parliamentary Recruiting Committee UK, 1915.  Wikimedia Commons

Lucas Cranach the Younger and workshop (1515-1586), Christus und die Ehebrecherin (Jesus Christ and the woman taken in adultery/Christ and the Adulteress), circa 1545–50, Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The inscription on the painting reads: WER VNTER EVCH ON SVNDE IST. DER WERFFE DEN ERSTEN STEIN AVFF SIE. ~IOH~VIII~​ ("Let he who is without sin cast the first stone").  Wikimedia Commons.