videos + essays
Peter Paul Rubens, Venus, Mars and Cupid
Was it a diplomatic gift? Is it even a Rubens? Many questions surround this work; technical analysis can help.
Nicolas Poussin, Et in Arcadia Ego
From the setting sun to the ancient tomb, Poussin’s subject is time passing. We sense his longing for a lost past.
Peter Paul Rubens, The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus
The myth is ancient, but these figures couldn’t be closer. Rubens’s virtuoso brushwork and color are on display.
Caravaggio, Narcissus at the Source
Embracing his own reflection, Narcissus falls in love with himself—and into the water. Good thing it’s just paint!
Diego Velázquez, Vulcan’s Forge
Don’t strike the messenger! Interrupted at his forge, a horrified Vulcan looks ready to hammer Apollo.
Diego Velázquez, Los Borrachos (The Drunks), or The Triumph of Bacchus
Velázquez lends immediacy and gritty realism to a mythological subject. We are right there, ready to partake.
Guido Reni, Aurora
Aurora’s chariot brings forth a new day, but Reni’s classicism looks back to the art of ancient Greece and Rome.