Power of the Fixed Image

Edouard Manet, The Battle of the USS Kearsarge and the CSS Alabama, 1864, oil on
Edouard Manet, The Battle of the USS Kearsarge and the CSS Alabama, 1864, oil on canvas, 32 1/8 x 39 3/8 inches, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

An argument for painting's ongoing potential as a medium for social commentary. 

"There is no reason for today’s painting - even in the age of multi-media, performance or interdisciplinary artists - to step down and limit its activity to what is believed to be its unaltered or eternal essence. The fixed image, may it be produced in drawing, painting or in print, can do much more than be 'content with a material-based practice.' All of the [works mentioned in the post] of traditional art share the following: they mastered their medium and they were socially relevant if not transformative. Why should not the same be true for painting and painters today?"