It’s sometimes hard to read a painting without understanding an inscription. Masaccio, Rossetti, Moreau, Corinth and Botticelli gives us some clues.
The Circe of Arthurian legend, for much of the time she battles with King Arthur. But when he is mortally wounded in battle, they are reconciled. Stories in paintings.
How Perseus came to behead Medusa, and how her head restored order to the worst wedding reception ever. In paint, of course.
Paintings from 1750 on didn’t show ‘Christian’ sibyls, but returned to their classical meaning. Then came Turner’s marvellous narrative landscapes.
Even Poussin used this narrative form. Here are other example right up to 1947, including paintings by Corot, Munch, Corinth, and others.
Boy meets girl but has to swim a mile in treacherous waters to keep meeting her. When she tells him how she burns with passion, he pushes his luck in the sea.
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.
An unusual transformation, from statue to person, which has been widely retold. A superb series from Burne-Jones, more from Gérôme, and Regnault – fine paintings.
One king trusts his daughter into the care of his son-in-law, another king. What happens next is horrific, and shown brilliantly by Artemisia Gentileschi and Rubens.
Not just superb paintings, but one of the great visual tropes of Western art, and one of the best wedding speeches ever.