In the latter half of the 19th century, a new narrative form developed, primarily among British painters: the open narrative, or problem picture.
Clown figures including Harlequin, Pulcinella and Pierrot are derived from the commedia dell’arte, a favourite of Watteau and other painters.
A selection of paintings of Yoric (Hamlet), Touchstone, and Shakespeare’s other fools, and a few from others including the great Polish Stańczyk.
An outline of the plot of Shakespeare’s greatest play, together with a selection of paintings, excluding those of the death of Ophelia.
Almost banned in the 19th century, only one scene has been painted extensively, but that could refer instead to either of two of Tennyson’s poems.
Paintings of knights in armour from Raphael in c 1502, through Ingres’ rescue of Angelica, to Arthurian legends and the Pre-Raphaelite movement.
He specialised in ‘light genre’ paintings, not-to-serious domestic scenes, painted in fine detail, and was praised by Ruskin.
Why would an artist compose a painting to hide the face? Examples by Degas, Anders Zorn, John Singer Sargent and others. It’s our faces that make us human.
Paintings by Vermeer, Delaroche, Whistler, Gérôme, Waterhouse and others showing wonderful carpets and floors.
Easily told in words, stories are harder to paint. Here are five main methods used, explained and shown in examples from the masters.