Are they part of a narrative, or staffage? Do they provide scale, or enhance the effect? Are the figures part of the landscape, or even the landscape itself?
Among his last paintings are six superb landscapes, painted for his pleasure. What a wonderful end to such an illustrious career.
Like Poussin, most of his works are strongly narrative in intent. Did he paint any pure landscapes, or are all his figures actors in his stories?
A lighter and formerly very popular story brings to light some masterly paintings, including a superb work by Jan Brueghel the Elder.
A landscape without human or animal figures often looks eery or unnatural. This new series looks at how figures are used in landscape paintings, with copious examples.
Juno takes a day-trip to Hades in her bid to unleash one of the Furies on this unfortunate couple. A wonderful Brueghel which is as good as Bosch at his best.
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?
Coming in several modalities, touch is taken for granted, and least used in the arts. Paintings of and about touch are spectacular and ingenious, but there is ample scope for more.
Music and musicians have been very popular themes for paintings since before the Renaissance. How successful are they in evoking our auditory imaginations?