Spinning natural fibres like wool into yarn was “women’s work” and had several connotations, here explored in paintings, and the origin of the word ‘spinster’.
How the term spinster came about, the thread of life, the feminisation of Hercules, and Velázquez’ baffling Las Hilanderas.
Working alongside Jules Bastien-Lepage, he was a brilliant painter who in his early career experimented with different styles.
At the heart of Deianira’s letter to Hercules was the strange story of his enslavement to Omphale. Here are the paintings.