One of the most frequently painted of the classical deities, this is out of all proportion to her tiny role in the pantheon. From Ricci to Waterhouse.
Absent from Classical art, she first appears in Apuleius’ ‘The Golden Ass’, which was written in the 2nd century. Wonderful paintings, particularly from women artists, of this novel.
Bad girls whose beautiful voices lured sailors to their deaths, so that the women could eat them. Paintings by Etty, Moreau, Waterhouse, Rae, Nash and others.
Becoming more popular in the late 1880s and early 1890s, ‘problem pictures’ from Marie Spartali Stillman, Henrietta Rae, Millais, and others.
As narrative painting went into decline, Ophelia became even more popular. From Henrietta Rae through sub-aqua views to Waterhouse’s obsession.
References to Botticelli’s Primavera and Poussin by Tiepolo, and in the late 19th century: Flora and the Spring.
Although known for his paintings of nudes, many of his subjects were fully-clothed, and most were powerful women who overcame adversity.
A common convention in paintings of classical myth, the river god was a bearded old man with a put pouring forth water, often seen with a Naiad, his daughter.
A woman artist painting nudes? Better than her husband? Keeping her maiden name too? She changed a lot of attitudes in her career as a painter.