I saw this drawing on a friend's Facebook page, and was immediately arrested by its almost Goya-like power to capture a moment of indelible horror in simple black and white lines on a page.
The executioners and the executed lined up in a row, and so close to each other you almost feel the gun barrels will touch their victims before the bullets do.
What fearful imagination guided this artist's hand to conjure such a timeless vision?
Linked to the drawing was an almost identical image, made by a man we must also consider an artist, using not pen and paper but the documentary tool of a camera to record photographically a real life firing squad in an act of mass execution, perhaps the inspiration for the sketch.
The story behind the photo is quite interesting.
Jahangir Razmi was an Iranian who bore witness to a massacre of Kurdish militants in Iran in 1979. His photo was published locally and then republished around the world, but the identity of the photographer was kept anonymous for fear of reprisal.
The picture went on to win the Pulitzer Prize, the only time the award was ever bestowed on an anonymous source. It was not until 2006 that Razmi felt free to come forward and claim credit for the shot.
Think about today and the thousands of anonymous cell phone photographers whose images documented the recent violence in Iran, and the fear of reprisal that continues to drive witnesses underground.
What's past is prologue, and the Tempest still rages.