From the eighteenth century, organised circuses toured cities, and some were established to operate year-round. Here are paintings to make you gasp with wonder.
Two superb series of paintings of scenes from Goethe’s Faust Part One, by Ary Scheffer and James Tissot.
Gretchen and Faust become lovers, but her mother dies as a result of Faust’s sleeping potion, and he kills her brother in a sword-fight.
Faust lusts after the young Gretchen. Mephistopheles sets up a meeting, and the girl is soon in love with Faust, ready to do anything for him. And so she does.
Drinking in one of the oldest bars in Leipzig gets the pair into trouble, so they move on to get a witch to rejuvenate Faust. He then lusts after Gretchen.
Viewed as classic and fit for narrative painting, Faust is about good and evil, a powerful story which has inspired powerful paintings.
Two painters: one married Charles Dickens’ daughter and stopped painting, the other became a prolific illustrator, including books by Dickens’ grand-daughter. The Victorian Web at work.
After the huge death toll of the war, including 2 major painters, a week in Paris in May resulted in a further 7,000 deaths, and the destruction of public buildings. Hardly a painter in France wasn’t affected.
An illustrated timeline and overview of how the human visual environment, and perception of it, has changed from ancient times to virtual reality.
We’re easily convinced of the reality of 2D images – as when early audiences panicked as the Lumières’ train ran at them in a movie. How has our exposure to pictures changed, though?