Gretchen and Faust become lovers, but her mother dies as a result of Faust’s sleeping potion, and he kills her brother in a sword-fight.
Viewed as classic and fit for narrative painting, Faust is about good and evil, a powerful story which has inspired powerful paintings.
As Europe slid into the Dark Ages, one king emerged to rule much of what is now France, with one religion, a code of law, and its capital in Paris.
The story of a Renaissance city-state on Sardinia, a good mother, and the state funeral of a great Greek general on Sicily – some of the paintings shown.
Roman soldier of great valour, successful commander, but a disaster of a statesman. His story was told by Shakespeare, and in many paintings by Poussin, Kaufmann, and others.
A successful general and much-loved statesman, he was responsible for building the Parthenon and Acropolis. Yet he gave his wife to another man, and lived with a courtesan who ran a brothel.
The depiction of Pandora opening her box and unleashing all its ills on the world remained popular, with paintings by Alma-Tadema, Bouguereau, Waterhouse, Rackham, Redon, and others.
19th century paintings showing homeless families, from Doré, Marianne Stokes, Erik Henningsen, and others.
Ovid’s fictional letter made it clear how the legend of Phaon was absurd. Yet it has been painted repeatedly ever since.
We’re easily convinced of the reality of 2D images – as when early audiences panicked as the Lumières’ train ran at them in a movie. How has our exposure to pictures changed, though?