'Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.'
~ Falsely attributed to Oscar Wilde
Human desire for power takes many forms: personal, political, sexual, military, and religious. In the nakedly hierarchical pre-modern world, depictions of power were typically commissioned by men to illustrate their triumph. Such depictions also – often unwittingly – reveal the power of humility, resistance, and acceptance. This lecture illustrates depictions of power with treasures from Bronze Age Sumer, to Rubens ceiling of the Banqueting House in the Palace of Whitehall: an ironic testament to the hubris of King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland.