The Sinister Side

Explore the Sinister Side of Art.

Why do bad things such as death, disease, and the Devil so often come from the left-hand side of paintings? Why is Christ often depicted raising his right hand in blessing, or leaning to the left in paintings of the Crucifixion?

Left-right symbolism has played a vital and varied role in Western culture and features in works by LeonardoMichelangeloTitianVelázquez, and Rembrandt. In almost every culture and religion, the left side has been regarded as inferior – evil, weak, worldly, feminine – while the right side has been seen as good, strong, spiritual, and male. During the Renaissance however, there was a ‘left turn’ revolution when the left side or ‘heart side’ came to be associated with beauty and fine feeling.

This discussion tour explores the largely forgotten and misunderstood meanings of left-right symbolism in a range of paintings from the collection.

For more informaiton and to book tickets please visit

Duration 27 November 2015 - 27 November 2015
Times Friday 27 November, 6.30–8pm
Cost £26/£24 concessions/£22 Members
Venue National Gallery
Address Trafalgar Square London WC2N5DN, ,
Contact 02077472885 / /

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