Finance by the spoils of the Temple of Jerusalem, a place of suffering and death, and for oppression of Christians. Success out of excess.
Originally a marsh just outside the city’s walls, it came to be the heart of the city, a market, meeting place, and the political hub.
Nine very different nativities, from the apocalyptic warnings of a martyr, through the Emperor Augustus, to Maurice Denis’ nativity in a contemporary French town.
Mark Antony made a bid for power, and revealed his dark side, before defeat by Octavian. In 27 BCE, under the name Augustus, he became the first Emperor of Rome.
Three senators conspired with thirty others to end Caesar’s passion for royal powers. One artist ignored convention and painted two superb accounts.
Caesar and Cleopatra in Egypt, the suicide of Cato the Younger, Caesar’s triumphs, and the development of a conspiracy to assassinate Caesar.
The king of Cyprus whose ivory sculpture turned into his future wife, painted by Regnault and Burne-Jones, and Gérôme’s fascinating paintings of his painted figures. And turning painting into sculpture.
A goddess almost never painted, but her priestesses, the Vestal Virgins, were far more popular. A small selection, ending in one of Gêrome’s grandest arena paintings.
More slumbering people painted by Courbet, Doré, Walter Crane, and major painters of the 19th century.
Paintings of women covering their faces in embarrassment by Murillo, Gérôme, Corinth, and others.