The Prix de Rome changed in the 19th century. Its subjects became more obscure, and its successes few and far between.
Three paintings within 5 years, usually claimed to be responses to the Dreyfus Affair. But one was much more about modern art and photography.
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.
Paintings of women covering their faces in embarrassment by Murillo, Gérôme, Corinth, and others.
Ever noticed how stern everyone looks in paintings? Here are some exceptions from Frans Hals, Murillo, Vermeer and others.
Titian seems to have understood exactly what Vittoria Colonna wanted, and in doing so changed art.
As narrative painting went into decline, Ophelia became even more popular. From Henrietta Rae through sub-aqua views to Waterhouse’s obsession.
Hosting Lord Byron’s Alpine Witch, as the birth canal for Thomas Cole’s ‘Voyage of Life’, and an attempt by Courbet to return to the womb? The versatility of caves.
Originally a portraitist in academic style, he was a Nabi in the early 1890s before developing his own simple but strange figurative paintings.
Although known for his paintings of nudes, many of his subjects were fully-clothed, and most were powerful women who overcame adversity.