Neptune’s trident has three tines, while Pluto’s is a bident with only two. Or it could be a pitchfork. How to read them in paintings.
Before photography, the only opportunity to see your face, painters took advantage of the Venus Effect to break optical rules and show faces that couldn’t have been seen in the mirror.
Explaining shade, attached and cast shadows seen in paintings. While the first two have been generally painted faithfully, cast shadows are more complicated.
Surprise, suspicion, and sheer horror in these wide open eyes painted by Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Rubens, Annie Swynnerton and others.
A collection of paintings with strange incongruities that can make them impossible to read, from Masaccio to Gérôme.
Shipwreck in The Tempest, forgotten Impressionists, a threshing machine, a weekend on the River Seine, a pair of portraits of Thomas and Susan Eakins, a pair of clowns, and more.
Are the two arms fending others off, raised in shock, surrender, or falling to earth? From light comedy to accounts of executions and war crimes.
An unusual pastel, a couple of fine nocturnes, then some reflections of figures from Caravaggio and Bonnard, concluded by coy self-portraits.
Why is the Virgin Mary standing on a snake with a part-eaten apple in its mouth? And which painting of her was banned from display in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome?
Snakes and serpents in myth, legend and religion are thoroughly sinister and bad, with one curious exception. A journey across centuries of images.