Jean-Paul Laurens: The Excommunication of Robert the Pious, 1875.
Every once in a while there’s a craving for some grand historicist rag. Robert had married his second-degree cousin Berthe of Burgundy. The Pope objected on grounds of consanguinity (a pretense for more profound political reasons), first asked Robert nicely to get rid of Berthe and then, not being granted that wish, excommunicated him. While after the official separation the ban was lifted, the couple stayed together in spite of Robert’s next, church-approved marriage a few years later.
The painting, I think, does a great job at picking an uncommon moment for its depiction: The afterwards. the damage done. Symbolism (the extinguished candle etc.) aside, there’s one irrelevant detail I love: The smudges on the wall above the sitting pillows.