Born 200 years ago today, he should have been one of the major artists of the 19th century, but died when he had only just turned 37.
A pupil of JAD Ingres when he was only 11 years old, his first work exhibited at the Salon when he was only 16: a precocious and brilliant narrative artist.
Before folk history changed with the concept of human evolution, caves were sacred places inhabited by hermits, or figures from myth.
The Second Circle of Hell, in which those whose sin was lust are blown by eternal storms. The story of Paolo and Francesca, and many wonderful paintings.
Between 1778 and 1815, many narrative painters painted stories from Ossian, based on myths claimed to have been discovered and collected by a Scottish poet, which could well be a hoax. Does it matter?
In 3 years, he swung from conventional to highly novel narrative, covering themes of assassination, cynicism, prostitution, and looking.
How Romulus carefully planned the abduction of maidens to satisfy Rome’s need for wives, and his subsequent wars. Splendid paintings by Poussin, David, Ingres, Guercino, and Nattier.
How could I follow my 85-part account of Ovid’s Metamorphoses? With the greatest collection of biographies of classical figures, an inspiration to Charlotte Corday herself.
At the start, he was a traditional realist.
Paintings of odalisques, slave markets, and Turkish baths became popular in the nineteenth century. What was the Orientalist fantasy, and why?