Before folk history changed with the concept of human evolution, caves were sacred places inhabited by hermits, or figures from myth.
Never shown to the public in traditional paintings, a vital layer which goes between paint and the support. White, colour, chalk or oil.
Live models for figures, landscape oil sketching in front of the motif, the sensuous nude, narratives with multiple readings, incredibly loose brushwork, and so much more than portraits.
Not his last great painting by any means, but his greatest and most thought-provoking. Where are the royal couple, seen only in reflection, and who is everyone looking at?
After painting portraits of the Pope during his second visit to Italy, he returns to paint the king’s niece and new bride, Las Meninas, and his last myth.
Is it just a quirky re-telling of the myth of Arachne and her weaving contest? What do the foreground and background have in common? A superb visual riddle, perhaps.
A sibyl, or an allegory of painting? Maybe the ‘maid of Corinth’ who legends says ‘invented’ painting. And are they spinners, or the story of Arachne?
Examples of the work of Thomas Jones, Constable, Corot, Blechen, Boudin, Jongkind, Pissarro, Cézanne, Sargent, Monet, and more.
Three religious paintings, including two skilfully-told narratives, a history, and the only nude of his to have survived.
From 1450-1650, paintings of ‘Christian sibyls’ who foretold the birth of Christ, became important motifs for painting. Here’s a selection.