“And when we love our sin then we are damned indeed,” observes the penitent yet conflicted priest in Graham Greene’s 1940 novel, The Power and the Glory. Throughout human history, sin has shown itself to be at least as captivating as its virtuous opposite—the sinner certainly makes for better copy than the do-gooder. As Oscar Wilde famously wrote, “The only difference between saints and sinners is that every saint has a past while every sinner has a future.” This exhibition looks at artistic representations of sin across time—from Bronzino to Warhol—examining how transgressive behaviors function in both religious and secular works, and exploring our bedeviled desire to break the rules in art and in life. —C.J.F.
National Gallery Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5DN, UK Get Directions »