Unwittingly, and outside their manifesto, the Pre-Raphaelite Brethren developed a new British narrative painting.
Painting time as a concept is very difficult. Once solution is to show the Fates, as depicted by Rubens, Goya, Burne-Jones, Jacek Malczewski and others.
Epitomising human attitudes to life and death for millennia, they spin the thread of life, measure the length allotted to each person, and cut that length with shears.
Hosting Lord Byron’s Alpine Witch, as the birth canal for Thomas Cole’s ‘Voyage of Life’, and an attempt by Courbet to return to the womb? The versatility of caves.
Three brothers murder their sister’s lover. A grisly story turned into a poem by John Keats, and a formative painting for the Pre-Raphaelites, and others.
Glaucus’ attempt to get Circe to put a spell on Scylla, to make her love him, backfires. Wonderful paintings by Waterhouse, van der Neer, Henry Fuseli, and others.
Two different legends about Sir Lancelot and a woman falling in love with him. Both are told here with a selection of fine paintings.