Rediscovering our iconology and visual tradition, starting with a Ship of Fools, Death and the Maiden, Truth coming out of her well, and the wings on angels.
After 1600, series of four paintings fell from favour, and artists, particularly the Brueghel family, combined all into single images.
In the century from 1560, many artists painted allegories of the four elements of the classical world: earth, air, water and fire. Here are some fine examples.
During this period spent mainly in Florence, he learned from the innovations of Leonardo da Vinci, who was there at the same time. Raphael’s own style emerges.
Some of his earliest independent paintings, including two wonderful pairs based on legend and contemporary literature.
How can visual artists express non-visual concepts like the senses, virtues, the struggle between good and evil? Examples from Botticelli, Tintoretto, Rubens, and others.
Starting with one of the great problem paintings of the 19th century, he went on to paint hunting scenes, a pair of prostitutes, and a reckless gambler.
Tracing the origin of a vivid allegory in late 19th century painting, normally attributed to the Dreyfus affair. When did the naked Truth first climb out of a well, and why?
Not as easy as it may seem, there are several outstanding paintings about the sense of sight – and an ancient game which is played on every continent.
Trying to elicit a specific taste seem over-ambitious, but why can’t great paintings at least make us feel peckish?