Shepherds and shepherdesses painted in stories, from classical myth, through the Bible and Christ’s nativity, to epic poetry, including Milton’s Paradise Lost.
How the term spinster came about, the thread of life, the feminisation of Hercules, and Velázquez’ baffling Las Hilanderas.
A common convention in paintings of classical myth, the river god was a bearded old man with a put pouring forth water, often seen with a Naiad, his daughter.
The first of two looking at the telling of English legends in paintings: Robin Hood and his ‘Merry Men’, popular for the last 500 years.
The general who saved the Greeks from invasion by Xerxes’ Persians, mainly in the major naval battle of Salamis. But he was later banished, accused of treason.
He drew up the tables of law for Athens, met and argued with Croesus, a fabulously rich king of Lydia, and did away with draconian punishments.
Indian Yellow was thought to have been extracted from cow urine, but has been found in few paintings. Chrome Yellow was the mainstay of the Impressionists and the nineteenth century.
Telling stories visually is necessarily explicit. How then do you tell the story of a serial murderer who hangs the bodies of his victims in a cupboard, to young children?
Two delightful and gently humorous stories, with superb paintings by Domenichino, Poussin, de Clerck (a real jewel), and Émile Lévy.
Wood nymphs, Dryads, and Hamadryads, painted by Evelyn De Morgan, Félicien Rops, Walter Crane, JW Waterhouse, and others. And who dresses up as wood nymphs today?