Before folk history changed with the concept of human evolution, caves were sacred places inhabited by hermits, or figures from myth.
Paintings from 1750 on didn’t show ‘Christian’ sibyls, but returned to their classical meaning. Then came Turner’s marvellous narrative landscapes.
The crusaders start their march down the Mediterranean coast towards Jerusalem. Gabriel appears to Godfrey, and a young couple are saved from being burned at the stake by a ‘pagan’ woman knight.
Two interlinked stories about the Sibyl, who will live for a thousand years but age until she is just a voice. Painted by Turner (three magnificent works shown), and Claude.