I once stayed a few nights in a country hotel and on the wall of the dining room was a print in the style of the old Dutch masters. It showed a group of men clustered around an armed Cavalier whose face, at first glance was pitiless, perhaps evil.
I ate breakfast each day looking at that painting and after a couple of days began to see something else. Sure, this was a man I would NOT want to confront, but I began to see that his face had been formed by the kind of hard experiences I'm glad I never had to endure. Then I realised that there was resignation there, a little regret, maybe even a smidgen of pity for those people he would trample over as he went about his daily business.
THAT's the painting I would like to own.