Symbols of the night, and through association with Athena/Minerva, for wisdom and learning. Owls in paintings to William Blake.
One of the famous painted narratives, Oedipus and the Sphinx proves an exception to all rules, but is glossed over in discussion of the literary narrative.
Jason promises to marry King Aeëtes’ daughter, the sorceress Medea, in return for her help accomplishing his three tasks to take possession of the Golden Fleece.
A parrot, coral, snuffed-out candles, human skulls, worn-out boots, a bottle of poison and a syringe: all objects in still life paintings.
The exquisite and lucrative floral still lifes of Fantin-Latour, and those painted by artists on the periphery of Impressionism. Plus a surprise from Monet.
Seashells appear in Turner’s myths, Dyce’s fresco for Queen Victoria, twice in Elihu Vedder’s work, and in Odilon Redon’s. And a story from Rubens about seashells and colour.
One of the foremost portrait and figurative painters in the US at the end of the nineteenth century, his dominant theme is the ideal woman, with or without wings.
Wisdom, crafts including weaving, and warfare, she’s a popular figure in paintings from Mantegna to Klimt, and a contestant in the Judgement of Paris.
In the more southern parts of Europe, the tree most strongly associated with churchyards and graveyards, representing grief.
Daughter of Uranus and Gaia, and mother of the nine Muses, she has seldom been painted on her own, except by Rossetti.