Independent and aloof, cats train their humans and think that they’re still large and ferocious. Paintings from Carpaccio to Bonnard.
Mud was a common problem in the streets of cities, and on all the roads, tracks and paths of the country. Why isn’t it seen more in paintings before 1850?
A fantasy self-portrait naked with a skeleton on his lap, and one of the most haunting depictions of rural deprivation. A very unusual artist indeed.
Feet in social history, from Winslow Homer, Jules Bastien-Lepage, Jules Breton, Bonnard, Schiele, Degas, and others.
Millais’ wonderful painting of Ophelia wasn’t the first such work. From West and Delacroix to Rossetti and Bastien-Lepage, here she is.
Fine naturalist paintings from this Spanish master, showing the hard lives of fishermen, a young woman arrested for killing her child, religious ceremony, and prostitution.
A major influence of realism, leading to Naturalism, and on Impressionism, Courbet was one of those who paved the way for modern art.
From being staffage in landscapes, shepherds and their flocks became motifs in their own right, with the social realist of Millet, even Henri Regnault.
Shepherds and shepherdesses painted in stories, from classical myth, through the Bible and Christ’s nativity, to epic poetry, including Milton’s Paradise Lost.
A fellow-student of Emile Claus, he painted scenes from the Vendée uprising, then took to history painting at the end of the 19th century.