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.
Was she abducted, seduced, or seducer? Victim or whore? Ovid’s pair of letters between Helen and Paris raises questions which many artists have tried to tackle.
The story of Ulysses’ encounter with the Cyclops Polyphemus is told by a survivor from the Odyssey. Superb paintings by Turner, Böcklin, Reni, and others.
What to our ancestors would have been blurred and defective images are now accepted as depicting motion. How our perception has changed, thanks to photography.
The man beats the woman quite unfairly, then on the way home they stop off to make love in a temple. Their misbehaviour is punished. More superb narrative paintings.
Ovid, through Achelous the river god, explains how the Horn of Plenty was wrenched from Achelous’ head in a fight with Hercules. With a gem of modern narrative painting too.
Some stories sound plausible, but are problematic when you try to paint or photograph them. Here’s a good example, with attempted solutions by Reni, Rubens, Moreau, and others.
Why did it take over 300 years to solve a compositional problem, and tell such a simple story?
Telling the complex story of how manna saved the Israelites, and starring the master of narrative painting, Poussin.
Her paintings became sought after, and her themes highly innovative. But a stomach ulcer brought her life to a sudden end.