Before photography, the only opportunity to see your face, painters took advantage of the Venus Effect to break optical rules and show faces that couldn’t have been seen in the mirror.
Long before they were turned into chocolate, they were coloured, and hunted on Easter Sunday. Paintings by Claude Monet, Diego Velázquez, and others.
In Rome, in search of the temple of Aesculapius, and in the Gardens of the Villa Borghese, with Corot, Velázquez, Valenciennes, and others.
From the tribute to a dead colleague, and a record of an important exhibition, to the downright enigmatic embedded paintings of Velázquez, Courbet and others.
Spinning natural fibres like wool into yarn was “women’s work” and had several connotations, here explored in paintings, and the origin of the word ‘spinster’.
Ignored bodies, a complex chain from the head of John the Baptist, and Velazquez’s royal portrait which omits the King and Queen,
Paintings by Joseph Wright of Derby, William Dyce, Walter Crane, JW Waterhouse, Velázquez and others with allusions to the thread of time.
From Giorgione, Dürer and Altdorfer to Turner, Pissarro, Monet and Renoir: landmarks in the composition of landscape paintings.
Comedy is unusual in paintings, and where it occurs, it’s more usually a visual joke. But there are exceptions in a tale-within-a-tale from Homer.
From the Flemish artist Paul Bril, to Claude Lorrain, and then through the French ports of Claude-Joseph Vernet to the oil sketches of Valenciennes.