Sunday, January 25, 2015

Decadent Rome

Bacchanal (1890) by the Croation painter Mato Celestin Medović (1857-1893). A well done painting about roman decadence. This subject was very popular in the late 19th century.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Vae Victis

An illustration by the French artist Paul Lehugeur (1854-1932?) for “Histoire de France en cent tableaux”, Paris, 1886. There is the Gaul chieftain Brennus weighing the Roman ransom money in 387 BC. According to Livy, during a dispute over the weights used to measure the gold, Brennus threw his sword onto the scales and uttered the famous words "Vae victis!", which translates to "woe to the conquered!"

Monday, January 12, 2015

Kind of Fairy Tale

Le droit du Seigneur (1874) by the Russian painter Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov (1844-1927). It's highly probale that this medieval right ever existed. Nevertheless the artist made up a real spectacle where an old man brings his young daughters to their feudal lord.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Founding of a Nation

The Discovery of Chile by Diego de Almagro (1913) by the Chilean painter Pedro Subercaseaux Errázuriz (1880-1956). This event is sometimes considered as the foundation of Chile. To celebrate it this mural decorates the walls of the former National Congress of Chile in Santiago.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Wounded Hero

Marshal Jean Lannes wounded at the battle of Essling by the French painter Paul-Emile Boutigny (1853-1929).Lannes was one of Napoleon's most daring and talented generals an a personal friend of the emperor. In the bloody battle of Aspern-Essling he was mortally wounded.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Historical Moment

The capitulation of Granada, Boabdil confronts Ferdinand and Isabella (1882) by the Spanish artist Francisco Pradilla y Ortiz (1848-1921). The painting of this important event decorates know the Palace of the The Senate of Spain in Madrid.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Idyllic Court Scene

Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Leicester (1865) by the British painter William Frederick Yeames (1835-1918). Yeames preferred these idyllic scenes from the good old times.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Harem Guard

The Harem Guard by the Czech painter Rudolf Weisse (1869-1930). Despite it's not a decidedly history painting the whole oriental exotic setting suggests a far away place even in history.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Viking Queen

Queen Astrid by the American illustrator N.C. Wyeth (1882–1945). Wyeth did this Wagnerian illustration for the book The World Of Music - Song Programs for Youth (1938).

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tragic Love

Semiramis dying on Ninu’s grave by the Italian painter Augusto Valli (1867-1945). Valli depicts here the legendary Babylonian queen dying on her dead husbands tomb. But it seems also more an excuse to present a nude female body in an exotic setting.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Famous English Nude

Lady_Godiva by the French painter Jules Joseph Lefebvre (1836–1911). As legend tells Lady Godiva was a 11th century English princess married to Leofric, the Earl of Mercia and lord of Coventry. She begged her husband to relieve the townspeople of the oppressive taxes and tolls. He refused, unless she agree to ride through the town naked on horseback. Out of respect for their lady, it is said, the townspeople stayed indoors during her ride.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ever-Present Peril

The Sword of Damocles (1812) by the neoclassical British painter Richard Westall (1765-1836).