Take some blue glass, grind it, and turn it into paint: Smalt is one of the strangest of pigments. It extensively used until replaced by Prussian Blue in the early 1700s, and is making a comeback.
The trickery involved in building the first city of Troy results in its destruction. How Achille’s parents marry, and what happens at their wedding.
Ovid, through Achelous the river god, explains how the Horn of Plenty was wrenched from Achelous’ head in a fight with Hercules. With a gem of modern narrative painting too.
Meleager is burned to death by proxy, his sisters transformed to guinea hens. Then Achelous transforms nymphs into islands.
Five of the best stories and finest paintings from the first half of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, from the tragic lovers Pyramus and Thisbe, to the Calydonian boar hunt.
The popular story told concisely by Ovid, and painted brilliantly by van Dyck, Leighton, Rubens, Brueghel, and others.
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.