Rich in wordplay, this story is almost unique to Ovid. It was oddly prescient of his own later banishment too.
The final story in Book 5 tells of the spread of grain cultivation through Europe, and attempted murder.
Marie’s plan to bring peace to Europe is implemented in double royal weddings. The paintings say it brought a new age to France, but history says otherwise.
An introduction to some of the history and panegyric behind Rubens’ Marie de’ Medici Cycle, in the Louvre.
The story of how the nymph Arethusa escapes pursuit by a river god, thanks to the divine intervention of Diana.
A shocking story of the abduction of a young girl by the king of the underworld, but told with sensitivity. And accompanied by some outstanding paintings.
After short mentions of Pegasus making a new spring with his hoof-print, and the strange Pyreneus, the Muses tell of their contest with the daughters of Pierus, who were turned into magpies.
Definitely a wedding to remember: how Perseus and Andromeda didn’t have a photographer but a sculptor to preserve their memories.
Hardly painted before 1800, there has since been a succession of brilliant paintings of this story. Its focus has changed, from the tension as Oedipus tries to answer the riddle, to the femme fatale.
One of the finest still-life painters of any age, some of her work celebrated the sensual pleasures of food, others the futility of life.