From the tribute to a dead colleague, and a record of an important exhibition, to the downright enigmatic embedded paintings of Velázquez, Courbet and others.
A summary history from 1700 to the 20th century, with examples of major paintings, and links to each of the detailed articles in this series.
Modern interpretations of this highly popular theme in Christian religious painting, from William Blake to Joseph Stella in 1929-33.
Two last Pre-Raphaelite artists, Evelyn De Morgan and Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale, brought narrative painting to a close in the twentieth century.
A glimpse inside Botticelli’s studio, an artist who foresaw his own death, an unusual Birth of Venus, the Ship Fools, and more painted stories from 1922.
Full of memorable lines such as “All the world’s a stage” and songs like “It was a lover and his lass”, a favourite comedy and well painted.
Paintings from Watteauto George Bellows showing this popular fashion accessory, sometimes used for surreptitious communication between lovers.
From a prototype laid out by Duccio in about 1310, through the vision of Saint Bridget, to modernised versions in a French town or English cattle shed.
An early photo by Julia Margaret Cameron, and paintings by Vasnetsov, Rochegrosse, Walter Crane and a whole series by Lovis Corinth.
More landscape views embedded in 19th and 20th century paintings, as a posthumous tribute to a colleague, or a context for a still life, perhaps.