A relatively common motif, it started with the peculiar association of death and the erotic, then changed in the late 19th century.
References to Botticelli’s Primavera and Poussin by Tiepolo, and in the late 19th century: Flora and the Spring.
Into the 20th century, with superb paintings from Hodler and William Merritt Chase, to Marsden Hartley.
Was she abducted, seduced, or seducer? Victim or whore? Ovid’s pair of letters between Helen and Paris raises questions which many artists have tried to tackle.
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.
She saves Theseus’ life by her ingenuity, which wins her marriage to him. But at the first opportunity he abandons her and sails away.
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?
The North Wind carries off his betrothed, in eight superb paintings by Rubens, Boucher, Evelyn De Morgan, and others. A miniature history of painting.
The short conclusion to the house of Cadmus is touching, doubly transformative, and painted by a single artist.
Princess, sorceress, seductress, wife, mother, and vengeful filicide – one of the most complex characters to paint. Known from her letter in Heroides, and a lost work by Ovid.