Isn’t that a horrific example of racism: a white man standing on the head of a Black man? Not when you read the image carefully.
Telling a more complex story such as the Passion is more demanding. This traces how it broke out of frames, ultimately into Tintoretto’s masterpiece.
Easily told in words, stories are harder to paint. Here are five main methods used, explained and shown in examples from the masters.
Deep underground, Satan and his demons are torturing and tormenting naked people. If you don’t live an exemplary life, that may be what you get in return.
Showing two or more scenes from the same story in a single painting (multiplex narrative) is common, effective, and good art. Examples from Masaccio, Memling, Bosch, and more.
The story of Bathsheba and King David involves adultery and murder, and ultimately the triumph of power not virtue. Early paintings up to Artemisia Gentileschi.
In the hands, and brushes, of great artists, a religious set-piece becomes a succession of marvellous and highly innovative paintings.
A selection of paintings by Memling, Bosch, Blake, Tissot, Corinth, and others to mark Easter.
Salome has become a femme fatale, the author of John the Baptist’s death, and a potent erotic symbol. But that was not the original story.
An unusual depiction of this popular theme pursues a harder line, with many details of terrible torments.