Judith Leyster, Elisabette Sirani, Maria Sibylla Merian, Rosalba Carriera, Angelica Kauffmann, Mary Moser, Anne Vallayer-Coster and Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – pioneers every one.
Paintings from 1750 on didn’t show ‘Christian’ sibyls, but returned to their classical meaning. Then came Turner’s marvellous narrative landscapes.
The most frequently-painted of Boccaccio’s hundred stories, shown here from Rubens to Frederic, Lord Leighton. But there’s much more to the story than that.
The rescue of Rinaldo gets under way. Meanwhile he is making love with Armida in the perpetual spring of her garden. Superb paintings from Poussin, Tiepolo, Kauffman, Stillman, and others.
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.
She saves Theseus’ life by her ingenuity, which wins her marriage to him. But at the first opportunity he abandons her and sails away.