What work of art would you be willing to die for?

So, the recent William Fichtner thread got me to rent Equilibrium, a dystopian scifi in which emotion is suppressed as the root of war, and an insurgency is trying to save works of art/music/literature from the ruling party who is systematically destroying anything which promotes feeling. Not a bad movie, if somewhat predictable, but it got me thinking what would I be willing to give my life to protect in such a future.

Van Gogh is my first though, most anything from his later period, but this in particular

List your own, assume it’s the last copy of any music or literary work

You might want to read D.F. Jones’ book The Fall of Colossus. It’s the first sequel to the book the movie Colossus: The Forbin Project was based on, and the computer Colossus essentially asks an art critic is he’d be willing to die for the Mona Lisa, then puts him to the test.

I don’t know if there’s any work of art I’d be willing to die for, to tell the truth, although there are many that I love.

There are a few works of music I might be willing to die for, if I really thought my sacrifice would preserve them. Beethoven’s seventh comes to mind.

Some great works of the ancient world might also be worth it–lose them and we risk losing all contact with the past.

Books, perhaps not for one book (even if its LOTR) but if someone wanted to destroy the modern equivalent of the Library of Alexandria, would have to do it over my dead body.

Also, absurdly, i think i would die to preserve “Geek” culture, Star Wars, Star Trek, D&D. Firefly, again not only one thing, but all of them?, i think i would

I’m positive there are none I’d be willing to die for. As moving, beautiful or important as any great work might be, it still doesn’t rise to the level of worth of a human life…especially mine :slight_smile:

I also believe that as long as humans continue to exist, we will continue to produce great works. So while we might not have the works of the past, our future will fill museums anew.


Can’t think of any particular work of art I’d be willing to die for, unless it belonged to me. In that instance, I’m more likely to kill who/whatever is trying to take my stuff.

Ha! I just posted a thread on this piece before finding this thread.

I would probably be willing to die for Monteverdi’s Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206.

Throw in St. Mark’s to perform it in and, yeah, I’d give it up for those.

Assuming Kimmy & my nieces will not be endangered by my sacrifice?

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte is the first thing that comes to mind.

Not a single, solitary one.

Is that the one with a sentient computer ruling humankind that was a “skynet” result of a Soviet and American missle defense system? If so, I have read it, many years ago, and I believe the filmakers did too, cuz there’s an opening scene in which the Mona Lisa is burned.

Kathy Ireland.

I’ve never “gotten” what’s so marvelous about that painting. I just don’t understand it.

Can you explain what you find in it? I’d really like to broaden my appreciation of art.

If I got posthumous credit for being the one to do the saving, there are many many pieces of music that might qualify for me. Just off the top of my head, Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” and “Premier Arabesque” would be worth it IMO.

Oddly I don’t feel the same about paintings, sculptures, or films. I could probably come up with some novels that would qualify. Seems like someone ought to die for Shakespeare, but I’m not sure it would be me.

The first, unrehearsed answer that popped into my head was Guernica. I don’t even like it, I’m not sure I even get it, but apparently my subconscious would go to the mat for it. I guess it’s an artistic expression of “pay attention and stop doing this shit to each other.” and I’d hate for humanity to lose it. Even though no-one does seem to pay attention.

Nope, not in the least bit. Certain family and friends? In a heartbeat. Some piece of art? There’s a higher chance of me doing the one destroying.

Other than my own works? :wink:

I kid, mostly. I mean, if I had to choose between disavowing everything I’ve written or drawn, then never producing any more works forever, or not dying, I can’t really say how I’d react to that without having that situation presented to me.

I might be convinced to die to save the Bible, but I don’t think I need to sweat that one, since it always seems to survive just fine despite intense persecution.

It’s the first visual art made up of pixels. Zillions of tiny dots of colored paint. Brilliant concept. The screen you stare at several hours a day owes part of its existence to this painting.

Actually, a whole hell of a lot of them. Two off the top of my head (both happen to be churches, but don’t read anything into that):

The Oratory La Santa Cueva in Cadiz.

The altar at Chiesa Santa Cecilia Trastevere in Rome.

Anyone here ever see John Frankenheimer’s 1964 film The Train? Burt Lancaster and Paul Scofield play a French Resistance fighter and a Nazi Colonel (respectively) who carry out a battle of wits over a trainful of 20th century fine art (ironically, all examples of Hitler’s idea of “Degenerate Art”) that the Nazi is attempting to carry into Germany, ostensibly to enrich Berlin’s coffers, but really to keep for his own pleasure. Scofield plays a highly educated man ruthless enough to loot the Jeu de Paume gallery, and passionate enough about beauty to stare down Lancaster’s machine gun at the climax.