Romantic art: The Raft of the Medusa

One of my favourite idea-generating pastimes is to look at famous paintings and read their histories. Perhaps the earliest ‘great’ painting I had ever heard of – this was before I knew of the existence of the Mona Lisa – is The Raft of the Medusa. 146 men and one woman were piled onto a hastily […]

Rape (and intervention) of the Sabine Women

While on the topic of rape, I did some random reading on the subject and ran into this very interesting tale about the rape of the Sabine women by Romans. More interesting, still, is the above ‘sequel’ to the rape as painted by Jacques-Louis David. Apparently the women flew into the midst of the warring parties […]

Varuna Praying to Rama

Indian mythology is an excellent source of material both in terms of images and literature. I often find it fun to take two paintings by two different artists – often from different times – on the same subject and compare them. Just as an illustration I have attached two paintings here, the first by Ravi […]

The Persistence of Time

You’ve heard of Dali, haven’t you? For most people not closely related to art, his is the name that first crops up when ‘surrealism’ is mentioned. This is one of his earliest (and possibly his most famous) painting, The Persistence of Time. Surrealist art pieces generally make for good writing prompts because you could read […]

The Voyage of Life

I was looking up some Romantic artists today and ran into the name of Thomas Cole, and as you do when you think of Thomas Cole, I looked up his Voyage of Life again. For those of you who do not know, Voyage of Life is a set of four paintings that depict the four stages […]

Teacher’s Birthday

In my post about plot and structure, I replayed to you Ray Bradbury’s message to all writers: read one poem, one essay and one short story a day. To that I added my own appendix and said we should watch one painting a day. In this part of the website I will post material from […]