From Apelles, in around 330 BCE, the personification of Truth has had particular importance to painters, in the faithfulness and accuracy of their work. Here she is.
Huge clam shells were a common feature in paintings of the birth of Venus, and other classical myths. They also feature in many ‘vanitas’ paintings.
A timeline of milestone paintings, first surviving examples of the achievements of the Italian Renaissance, from 1320-1596.
The significance of Alberti’s textbook on painting and simplified perspective, followed by Piero’s account of perspective, and Vasari’s new history of painting.
A selection of meals eaten outdoors, by the gods, in Boccaccio’s Decameron, Manet’s controversial luncheon, and by a boating party.
In Florence, stories told in paintings became increasingly secular, and ingeniously integrated multiple scenes from the single story into one painting.
From mythology, Mercury’s caduceus and the Aesculapian Staff, walking sticks as a device indicating age, and those carried by travellers.
Unlike the face and hands, feet are usually covered in paintings. There are plenty of exceptions, but even the naked Phryné wore a pair of sandals.
From Aphrodite to Vesta, a reference summary of all the major Classical goddesses, with links to individual accounts.
It was the patrons who funded, enabled, and occasionally directed the movement towards realism and secular subjects, and developed the genres.