He became the most influential critic of painting in Britain, providing the Pre-Raphaelites with strong support. But that proved capricious, and eventually destructive to landscape painting.
In 1873, he went to Italy, fell in love with Venice, and returned there to paint every year. His paintings of Venice secured his reputation.
Leading Spanish landscape painter of the late 19th century, he went to France to train in the 1860s, where he painted with Calame and Pissarro.
The best of the 111 paintings shown in this series, to mark the half millennium which has elapsed since his birth.
His 8 Last Suppers from 1547 to around 1593 compared with contemporary versions by Titian, the Bassanos, and Veronese. A true feast.
In his final decade, he designed the vast ‘Paradise’ for the Doge’s Palace, and several great paintings, but probably painted relatively little himself.
Scenes from the early life of Christ, carefully referenced to those of the Passion to come, the Virgin Mary, and two other saintly Marys. His last major series.
A prolific period in which he painted the life of Christ for the Scuola di San Rocco, the Gonzaga Cycle, and a smaller series of Venetian histories.
Danaë, raped by Jupiter in the form of a shower of gold; Lucretia, whose rape resulted in the Republic of Rome; Leda, raped by Jupiter in the form of a swan. And a portrait of a Venetian senator.
Six mythological works, which culminate in what is probably his finest of all: the Origin of the Milky Way, analysed in detail here.