The colours you see in paintings today may have faded badly from their originals. Examples of madder lake, smalt and indigo.
Fading and colour change in paints has been well-described since 1400. Shown here in examples using indigo, it wasn’t properly investigated until the late 19th century.
From mythology, Mercury’s caduceus and the Aesculapian Staff, walking sticks as a device indicating age, and those carried by travellers.
Seldom shown in lead roles, superb paintings by masters including Botticelli, Blake, Renoir, and Velázquez, and one strange myth to finish.
When it was first used as a pigment, this vegetable dye proved reliable and lightfast. Later technique, though, resulting in it fading. Why?
How Vertumnus tried to trick Pomona into loving him, then told her a threatening story. Neither worked: it was being himself that won her in the end.
Six of the best stories and the finest paintings from the first half of Metamorphoses, from Daphne’s transformation into the laurel, to Echo and Narcissus.
Niobe had seven sons and seven daughters, which must have made her better than Latona, who only had 2 children. Snag was, there were Apollo and Diana.
A triple bill of myths, ingeniously interwoven into a story with four different metamorphoses – and some superb paintings.