A painting divided in half

This painting by Francisco de Goya shows the shooting of May 3rd 1808 in Madrid.

I have just seen it in a book where one half of the painting is printed on one side and the other half on the opposite side.

This dividing line splits the painting at an important point.

It splits …

… the light from the dark side.

… one group from the other.

… characters and faceless people.

… warmness and coldness.

… hope and finality.

… eye contact and blind obedience.

Often there is much more to discover in a painting than we thought at first encounter.