Until about 1800, Western landscape painting sought to reveal rather than to hide. It was JMW Turner and Caspar David Friedrich who popularised the effect of fog.
Was painting ‘invented’ by the maid of Corinth? What is ‘shadow play’, and how have painters extended it to religious works? A short history of shadows in painting.
Invented by the alchemist Paracelsus, these water nymphs became popular in the 19th century with prose poems and a novella. Here they are in paint, by Turner, Waterhouse, Gauguin, Schiele, and others.
One of the great orators of Greece, he fled into exile when found guilty of accepting a bribe, and later took poison before he could be arrested. Includes an unusual painting by Turner.
The life of a virtuous Roman statesman and general, with superb paintings by Poussin, Turner, and others.
Gérôme’s ‘Ave Caesar’ was a visually stunning wide-angle spectacular, with its detailed reconstructions. Examined in the light of Claude, Girtin, Turner, and others.
A mainstay for the Impressionists, their use in domestic products like wallpaper and even clothing killed people in the 19th century. Probably not Napoleon, though.
Another six of the best, from the battle of the Lapiths and Centaurs to the assassination of Julius Caesar, from Rubens to Turner.
From Constable and Turner’s views of London’s parliament ablaze, to Edvard Munch’s painting of a local manor house in flames.
The final article in this series looks at Augustus and Cleopatra, the emperor’s patronage of Virgil, and how Ovid’s own legacy has been transformed in paintings.