In the first few years of his career, he was commissioned to paint a series showing stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. They are simply brilliant.
Another six of the best, from the battle of the Lapiths and Centaurs to the assassination of Julius Caesar, from Rubens to Turner.
Six of the best, from Nessus, Deianira and Hercules to the sacrifice of Iphigeia, painted by Tiepolo, Rubens, and others.
The final article in this series looks at Augustus and Cleopatra, the emperor’s patronage of Virgil, and how Ovid’s own legacy has been transformed in paintings.
The story of the assassination of the dictator, told by William Blake, Gérôme, von Piloty, and others.
After three brief tales of strange happenings in early Rome, Ovid gives an account of the bringing of the god Aesculapius to the city, to end an epidemic.
Paintings by Poussin and Claude give different accounts of the meeting and separation by death of King Numa and the nymph Egeria. Did she dictate to him the laws of Rome?
After a short story of Hercules saving Myscelus, Ovid presents the doctrines of Pythagoras, including advocacy of vegetarianism, and philosophy of change. Raphael and Rubens.
In which Romulus, as the founder of the city of Rome, successfully defends the city against the Sabines, before his apotheosis, and that of his Sabine wife, Hersilia.
Final two stories, of a brother and sister caught in an incestuous relationship, and one of the many widowed Greeks from the Trojan war. Very different paintings hidden away.