The Story in Paintings: index of well-known narratives 1 text

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669), Belshazzar's Feast (c 1635-1638), oil on canvas, 167.6 x 209.2 cm, The National Gallery, London. Wikimedia Commons.

This is an index of the 143 well-known stories and narratives which are covered in articles about narrative painting on this blog. These are arranged in alphabetical order, and for each gives the type of narrative and its origin, then links to the paintings featured in articles here. There are also illustrated indexes: because these are so large, they are divided into subject areas, e.g. classical mythology, Biblical, etc.

Achilles and Agamemnon (Greek tragedy, Euripides, Iphigenia at Aulis, retold by Racine) David, The Anger of Achilles (1819)

American Werewolf in London, An (comedy horror movie, 1981) Wright, Woman Surprised by a Werewolf (2008)

Androcles and the Lion (Roman tale, Aulus Gellius, widespread in Europe) Gérôme, Androcles (c 1902)

Andromache, after fall of Troy (Greek myth, Homer, Iliad, Euripides plays) Leighton, Captive Andromache (c 1886)

Andromeda and Perseus (Greek myth) Leighton, Perseus and Andromeda (1891), Perseus On Pegasus Hastening To the Rescue of Andromeda (c 1895-6)

Angelica and Medoro (epic poetry, Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, 1516) Delacroix, Angelica and the Wounded Medoro (c 1860)

Angoulême, Duke of: see Trocadero, Battle of

Antiochus and Stratonice (Classical history, Plutarch, Lives) David, Antiochus and Stratonica (1774)

Arachne (classical legend, Ovid, Metamorphoses) Velázquez, The Spinners (Las Hilanderas, The Fable of Arachne) (c 1657)

Aretino, Pietro, death of (Italian history, 1556) Anselm Feuerbach (1829–1880), The Death of Author Pietro Aretino (1854)

Attic War, Amazons v Athenians (Greek myth) Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), The Battle of the Amazons (c 1600); Anselm Feuerbach (1829–1880), The Battle of the Amazons (Second Version) (1873)

Batavians, Conspiracy, under Claudius Civilis (Roman history, 69 CE) Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606–1669), The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis (1661-2) (also painting by Flinck and Ovens)

Bathsheba and King David (Biblical, Old Testament) Rembrandt, Bathsheba with King David’s Letter (1654) Gérôme, Bathsheba (1889/95)

Belle Dame Sans Merci, La (poem, John Keats, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, 1819) Crane, La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1865)

Belshazzar’s Feast (Biblical, Old Testament) Rembrandt, Belshazzar’s Feast (c 1635-1638); Martin, Belshazzar’s Feast (1820); Allston, Belshazzar’s Feast (1817/1843)

Benaiah (Biblical, Old Testament, Samuel II) Etty, Benaiah (small copy) (1829)

Bertha of Swabia, Queen (French history, 907-966) Anker, Queen Bertha and the Spinners (1888)

Bhagavata Purana, Life of Krishna (Maha Puranic text of Hinduism) Krishna Storms the Citadel of Narakasura (S India, Mysore workshop, c 1840)

Bhagavata Purana, Pandavas (Maha Puranic text of Hinduism) The House of the Pandavas is Set on Fire (Pahari, c 1765)

Britomart (epic poem, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene) Etty, Britomart Redeems Faire Amoret (1833) Crane, Britomart (1900)

Brunelleschi, death of (Art history, 1446) Leighton, Death of Brunelleschi (1852)

Brutus, execution of sons (Roman history, c 509 BCE) David, The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons (1789)

Candaules, King of Lydia (shows wife to Gyges) (Classical history, Herodotus) Etty, Candaules, King of Lydia, Shews his Wife by Stealth to Gyges, One of his Ministers, as She Goes to Bed (1830)

Charles (Carlo) Borromeo di Arona, Saint, Oblates of St Ambrose (Saints) Magnasco, Saint Carlo Borromeo Receiving the Oblates

Chaucer, The Prioress’s Tale (poetry, Chaucer, Canterbury Tales) Burne-Jones, The Prioress’s Tale (1869-1898)

Chilperic I, murder (French history, 584) Luminais, The Death of Chilperic I (1885)

Chloris/Flora and Zephyrus (Classical myth, Ovid, Fasti book 5) Botticelli, Primavera (Spring) (c 1482)

Christ and the Samaritan woman (Biblical, New Testament, John 4) Magnasco, Christ and the Samaritan Woman (1705-10)

Christ, baptism (Biblical, New Testament) Magnasco, The Baptism of Christ (c 1740)

Christ, Crucifixion (Biblical, New Testament) Gérôme, Golgotha (Consummatum Est, or Jerusalem) (1867) Vedder, Return from Calvary (c 1867)

Christ, Deposition (Biblical, New Testament) Böcklin, The Deposition (1876)

Christ, Entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) (Biblical, New Testament) Doré, Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem (before 1876)

Christ, Feasts – Marriage Feast at Cana, Feast in the House of Simon the Pharisee, Feast in the House of Levi (Biblical, New Testament) Veronese, The Marriage Feast at Cana (1562-3); The Feast in the House of Simon the Pharisee (1570); The Feast in the House of Levi (1573) (also, originally, The Last Supper)

Christ, raising of Lazarus (Biblical, New Testament, John 11) Magnasco, The Raising of Lazarus (1715-1740)

Christ, Resurrection, Noli Me Tangere, Mary Magdalene (Biblical, New Testament, John 20:11-18) Magnasco, Noli Me Tangere (1705-10)

Christ, Supper at Emmaus (Biblical, New Testament) Veronese, The Supper at Emmaus (c 1559)

Christ, The Last Supper (Biblical, New Testament) Veronese, The Last Supper (c 1585)

Christ, Virgin Mary, Annunciation (Biblical, New Testament) Waterhouse, The Annunciation (1914)

Christ, walking on water, Sea of Galilee (Biblical, New Testament) Magnasco, Christ at the Sea of Galilee (c 1740)

Cinderella (folk tale, Europe) Burne-Jones, Cinderella (1863); Millais, Cinderella (1881)

Cleopatra and Caesar (Roman history, 47 BCE) Gérôme, Cleopatra before Caesar (1866)

Clovis II, sons of (énervés of Jumièges) (French legend, 660) Luminais, The Sons of Clovis II (1880) (Rouen)

Cymon and Iphigenia (fiction, Boccaccio, Decameron, 1348) Leighton, Cymon and Iphigenia (1884)

Dante and Virgil (epic poem, Dante Alighieri, Inferno, 14th century) Degas, Dante and Virgil at the Entrance to Hell (1857-8) Doré, Dante and Virgil in the ninth circle of hell (1861)

Deucalion (Greek myth, Ovid, Metamorphoses) Merwart, The Flood (Deucalion holding aloft his wife) (date unknown)

Diana and Endymion (Classical Greek mythology) Crane, Diana and Endymion (1883)

Dibutades, Maid of Corinth, inventor of painting (Classical legend) Wright of Derby, The Corinthian Maid (c 1782-5)

Diogenes, throwing away his cup (Greek history, c 350 BCE) Poussin, Landscape with Diogenes (1648); Martin, Diogenes Throwing Away His Cup (1833)

Echo and Narcissus (Classical myth, Ovid, Metamorphoses Book 3) Waterhouse, Echo and Narcissus (1903)

Edward V, King of England, and Richard, Duke of York; the Princes in the Tower (English history, 1483) Delaroche, Edward V, Child King of England, and Richard, the Duke of York, his Younger Brother (the Children of Edward) (1830)

Electra, and the death of Agamemnon (Greek myth, Sophocles, Euripides, plays) Leighton, Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnon (1868-9)

Elizabeth I, Queen of England, death of (English history, 1603) Delaroche, The Death of Elizabeth I, Queen of England (1828)

Esther, Feast of, with Ahasuerus and Haman (Biblical, Old Testament, Esther) Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606–1669), Ahasuerus and Haman at the Feast of Esther (1660)

Fates: Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos (classical myth) Il Sodoma (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi); Thijs, Time and the Three Fates (c 1665); Rubens; Thumann; Strudwick; Malczewski; Mowbray Strudwick, A Golden Thread (1885) Vedder, The Fates Gathering in the Stars (1887)

Flood, Noah (Biblical, Old Testament, Genesis 6-9) Martin, The Deluge (1834) Unknown, The Great Flood (c 1450-1499); Michelangelo; Wtewael; Elsheimer; Poussin, Winter (Flood) (c 1660-1664); Martin, The Deluge (1834); Comerre (1911); Hofheinz-Döring; Holzer; Cole; Turner, The Morning after the Deluge (c 1843)

Fortuna (Greek Tyche), Fortune (classical myth) Vedder, Fortuna

Francesca da Rimini: see Paolo and Francesca da Rimini

Friday 13th (horror movie, 1980) Doig, Echo Lake (1988); Canoe-Lake (1997-8)

Gradlon, King, and Saint Guénolé, and Dahut (Breton legend) Luminais, Flight of King Gradlon (1884) (Quimper)

Grail, Holy, quest for (Arthurian legend, general) Dyce, Piety: The Knights of the Round Table about to Depart in Quest of the Holy Grail (1849)

Grey, Lady Jane, execution (English history, 1554) Delaroche, The Execution of Lady Jane Grey (1833)

Guise, Duke of (Duc de Guise), assassination of (French history, 1588) Delaroche, The Assassination of the Duke of Guise in the Château de Blois in 1588 (1834)

Hamzanama, Amir Hamza (Mughal Indian epic) The Prophet Ilyas Rescues a Prince (Mughal, c 1567-72)

Hercules and the Hydra (Greek myth, the Labours of Hercules) Moreau, Hercules and the Lernean Hydra (1876)

Hero and Leander (Greek myth, Musaeus) Turner, The Parting of Hero and Leander (1837) Etty, The Parting of Hero and Leander (1827); Hero, Having Thrown herself from the Tower at the Sight of Leander Drowned, Dies on his Body (1829)

Horatii and Curiatii (Roman legend/history, Livy, Dionysius) David, The Oath of the Horatii (1784-5)

Ibrahim Adil Shah (Deccan Indian history) Farrukh Beg, Ibrahim Adil Shah Hawking (Deccan, Bijapur, c 1590-95)

Icarus and Daedalus (Greek legend, Ovid, Metamorphoses 8:183-235) Sacchi; van Dyck; Leighton; Landon; Rubens; Gowy; Blondel; de Momper (II); Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (c 1558); Bukovac; Draper hypertext analysis

Jacob, Rachel and Leah (Biblical, Old Testament, Genesis 29) Dyce, The Meeting of Jacob and Rachel (1850)

Jael and Sisera – see Judith and Holofernes

Jason and Medea (Classical story, Jason and the Golden Fleece) Moreau, Jason (1865) Waterhouse, Jason and Medea (1907) Anselm Feuerbach (1829–1880), Medea (1870)

Joan of Arc, Saint, Jeanne d’Arc (French history, 1412-1431) Delaroche, The Sick Joan of Arc is Interrogated in Prison by the Cardinal of Winchester (1824) Bastien-Lepage, Joan of Arc (1879)

John the Baptist and Salome (Biblical, New Testament) Moreau, Salome (1876)

Joseph, interprets Pharoah’s dream (Biblical, Old Testament, Genesis) Magnasco, Joseph Interprets the Dreams of the Pharaoh’s Servants Whilst in Jail (1726-31)

Joshua, commanding the sun at Gibeon (Biblical, Old Testament) Martin, Joshua Commanding the Sun to Stand Still (c 1840)

Judith and Holofernes (Biblical, Old Testament Apocrypha, Judith) Gentileschi, Judith Slaying Holofernes (1611-2, 1620-1); Veronese, Caravaggio, Bigot (also Jael and Sisera) Etty, Study for Judith and Holofernes (c 1827) Doré, Judith and Holofernes (1866) Vernet, Judith and Holofernes (study) (1828/1832)

Julius Caesar, Assassination (Roman history, 44 BCE) Gérôme, The Death of Caesar (1859-67)

Jupiter and Semele (Greek myth, Ovid, Metamorphoses) Moreau, Jupiter and Semele (1895)

Lear, King (Shakespeare, play, King Lear, 1605-6) Dyce, King Lear and the Fool in the Storm (c 1851)

Lucretia (Roman history, c 510-507 BCE) Rembrandt, Lucretia (1664, 1666); Veronese, Gentileschi, Kneller

Macbeth (Shakespeare, play, Macbeth) Martin, Macbeth (1820)

Madeline and Porphyro (The Eve of St Agnes) (Poem, John Keats, The Eve of St Agnes, 1819) Hunt, The flight of Madeline and Porphyro during the drunkenness attending the revelry (The Eve of St. Agnes) (study) (1848)

Mahabharata, Shakuntala (Indian epic) Raja Ravi Varma (1848–1906), Birth of Sakunthala; Shakuntala looking back to glimpse Dushyanta

Malade Imaginaire, Le (The Imaginary Invalid, Argan) (play, Molière, Le Malade Imaginaire, 1673) Daumier, Le Malade Imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid) (c 1860-2)

Manfred (poem, Lord Byron, Manfred: A Dramatic Poem, 1816-7) Martin, Manfred and the Alpine Witch (1837)

Marat, assassination (French history, 1793) David, Marat Assassinated (1793)

Marsyas (Greek myth) Vedder, Young Marsyas (Marsyas Enchanting the Hares) (1878)

Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, Execution (French history, 1867) Manet, The Execution of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico (1868)

Mazeppa (poem, Lord Byron, Mazeppa, 1819) Vernet, Mazeppa and the Wolves (1826)

Medusa, The Raft of the (French history, 1816) Géricault, The Raft of the Medusa (1818-9)

Merlin and Nimue (Arthurian legend, various re-tellings) Burne-Jones, The Beguiling of Merlin (1870-4)

Minerva of Peace (Roman myth) Vedder, Minerva of Peace (1897)

Musidora (poem, James Thomson, Summer, 1727) Etty, Musidora: The Bather ‘At the Doubtful Breeze Alarmed’ (replica) (c 1846)

Napoleon Bonaparte, crossing the Alps (French history, 1800) Delaroche, Napoleon Crossing the Alps (1850)

Neptune and Brittania (modified classical myth) Dyce, Neptune Resigning to Britannia the Empire of the Sea (1847)

Nessus and Deianira (Classical myth) Böcklin, Nessus and Deianira (1898)

Ney, Marshall Michel, Death (French history, 1815) Gérôme, The Death of Marshal Ney (1868)

Noah: see Flood.

Norns, Nornir, Norse Fates (Norse myth) Lund, The Norns of Norse Mythology (c 1844); Delug, The Norns (1895)

Odysseus/Ulysses and Calypso (Classical epic poetry, Homer, Odyssey) Böcklin, Odysseus and Calypso (1883)

Odysseus/Ulysses and Circe (Classical epic poetry, Homer, Odyssey) Waterhouse, Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus (1891)

Odysseus/Ulysses and Penelope (wife) (Classical epic poetry, Homer, Odyssey) Wright of Derby, Penelope Unravelling her Web by Lamp-light (1785)

Odysseus/Ulysses and Polyphemus (Classical epic poetry, Homer, Odyssey) Turner, Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus (1829) Böcklin, Odysseus and Polyphemus (1896)

Odysseus/Ulysses and Sirens (Classical epic poetry, Homer, Odyssey) Waterhouse, Ulysses and the Sirens (1891) Böcklin, Sirens (1875)

Oedipus and the Sphinx (Greek legend) Ingres, Oedipus and the Sphinx (1808, 1827); Moreau, Oedipus and the Sphinx (1864)

Ophelia (Shakespeare, play, Hamlet, Act IV scene vii) Millais, Ophelia (1851-2)

Orpheus and Eurydice (Classical myth, Virgil, Georgics, and Ovid, Metamorphoses) Corot, Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld (1861)

Paolo and Francesca da Rimini (epic poem, Dante Alighieri, Inferno, 14th century) Doré, Paolo and Francesca da Rimini (1863) Dyce, Francesca da Rimini (1837)

Papin, Christine and Léa, murders (French crime, 1933; play, Jean Genet, Les Bonnes, 1947) Rego, The Maids (1987)

Paris, Judgement of (Classical myth) Renoir, The Judgement of Paris (c 1908, c 1908-10); Cézanne, The Judgment of Paris (1862-4)

Persephone and Hades (Classical Greek mythology) Crane, The Fate of Persephone (1878)

Phaethon and the chariot of the sun (Greek myth, Ovid, Metamorphoses) Moreau, The Fall of Phaeton (study) (1878)

Phryné and the Areopagus (Greek history, Athenaeus and others, c 350 BCE) Gérôme, Phryné before the Areopagus (1861)

Pilgrim’s Progress (allegorical novel, John Bunyan, 1678) Palmer, Christian Descending into the Valley of Humiliation (1848); The Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress (1851)

Plato’s Symposium (Greek literature, philosophy, 385-370 BCE) Pietro Testa (1611–1650), The Symposium of Plato; Anselm Feuerbach (1829–1880), Plato’s Symposium (1869, 1871-4)

Pleiades (Greek myth) Vedder, The Pleiades (1885)

Princes in the Tower: see Edward V, King of England

Psyche and Cupid (Classical mythology, Apuleius) Luminais, Psyché (1886)

Pygmalion and Galatea (Greek legend, Ovid, Metamorphoses) Gérôme, Pygmalion and Galatea (study) (1890)

Quixote, Don (novel, Miguel Cervantes, 1605, 1615) Daumier, Don Quixote and the Dead Mule (1867)

Ramayana of Valmiki, Hanuman and Trisiras (Mughal Indian epic) Shyam Sundar, Hanuman beheads Trisiras (Mughal, c 1597-1605)

Rimini, Francesca: see Paolo and Francesca da Rimini

Rinaldo and Armida (epic poetry, Torquato Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered, 1581) Poussin, Rinaldo and Armida (c 1630) (also Tancred and Erminia) van Dyck, Vassallo, Lippi, van Mieris, Conca, Tiepolo, Fragonard, Zugno, Cades, Hoet the Elder, Kauffman, de la Fosse, Muller, Stillman Collier, The Garden of Armida (1899)

Roger and Angelica (epic poem, Ariosto, Orlando Furioso) Ingres, Roger (Ruggiero) Rescuing Angelica (1819) Böcklin, Roger freeing Angelica (1873, 1879-80)

Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare, play, Romeo and Juliet, 1597) Wright of Derby, Romeo and Juliet. The Tomb Scene (1790) Leighton, The Feigned Death of Juliet (1856-8)

Romulus, victory over Acron (Roman history, Plutarch) Ingres, Romulus’ Victory over Acron, (1812)

Ruth and Boaz (Biblical, Old Testament) Crane, Ruth and Boaz (1863)

Sabine Women, Intervention (Roman history) David, The Intervention of the Sabine Women (1799)

Sadak (novel, James Ridley, Tales of the Genii, 1764) Martin, Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion (1812)

Saint Anthony, Temptation (Saints, c 200 CE) Cézanne, The Temptation of Saint Anthony (c 1875)

Samson and Delilah (Biblical, Old Testament, Judges) Etty, Delilah before the Blinded Samson (date not known)

Sardanapalus, Death of (Greek history and later play by Byron, 1821) Delacroix, The Death of Sardanapalus (1827)

Second Coming (Biblical, New Testament, Revelation 20:13) Leighton, And the Sea Gave Up the Dead Which Were in It (1892)

Shalott, Lady of (Poem, Arthurian, Tennyson, 1833) Waterhouse, The Lady of Shalott (1888); “I am Half Sick of Shadows” said the Lady of Shalott (1915) Crane, The Lady of Shalott (1862) Hunt & Hughes, The Lady of Shalott (1905)

Sibyl, Cumaean/Cumean (Roman legend) Vedder, The Cumean Sibyl (1876)

Sinbad the Sailor (folk story cycle, Middle Eastern, 1001 Nights) Vedder, The Roc’s Egg (1868)

Sleeping Beauty (folk tale, Europe, Brothers Grimm and others) Collier, The Sleeping Beauty (1921)

Snow White (folk tale, Europe) Rego, Snow White Swallows the Poisoned Apple (1995)

Socrates, death (Greek history, 399 BCE, Plato, Phaedo) David, The Death of Socrates (1787)

Sodom and Gomorrah, destruction (Biblical, Old Testament) Martin, The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah (1852)

Solomon, judgement of (Biblical, Old Testament, 1 Kings 3) Dyce, The Judgement of Solomon (1836)

Sphinx (also see Oedipus and the Sphinx) (classical myth) Vedder, The Sphinx of the Seashore (1879)

Tancred and Erminia – see Rinaldo and Armida

Time, Father, allegories (allegory) Bronzino; Poussin, A Dance to the Music of Time (c 1634-6), Time Defending Truth against the Attacks of Envy and Discord (1641); Mignard; Batoni

Tower, Princes in: see Edward V, King of England

Tristan and Isolde (Arthurian legend, Persian origin) Waterhouse, Tristan and Isolde (1916)

Trocadero, Battle of, Duke of Angoulême (French, Spanish history, 1823) Delaroche, The Duke of Angoulême at the Capture of Trocadero, 31 August 1823 (1828)

Urvashi and Pururavas (Indian legend) Raja Ravi Varma (1848–1906), Urvashi and Pururavas (ഉർവ്വശിയും പുരൂരവസ്സും)

Vale of Tears (Biblical, Old Testament, Psalm 83) Doré, The Vale of Tears (unfinished) (1883)

Venus, triumph (classical myth) Magnasco, The Triumph of Venus (1720-30)

Yellow Rose of Texas (folk song, USA) Wright, The Yellow Rose of Texas (2008)