Mother and Child, 1865 by Frederic Leighton


Why is Lord Frederic Leighton’s masterpiece Mother and Child still so popular?

– Symbolism in lilies, shoes, birds, and a grape
– When a mother frames your whole world
– The Baron painter Leighton: rich, famous and still relevant

Unconscious Rivals by Lawrence Alma Tadema

Unconscious Rivals - Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Cupid’s off to the side in Alma Tadema’s painting Unconscious Rivals. That’s because love plays a mere supporting role in this portrait. But pay no attention to the title, it’s not about rivalry either. This painting celebrates friendship.

Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli

Italian Masterpiece Sandro Botticelli Birth of Venus

Birth of Venus serves up instant recognition. We’re all familiar with Sandro Botticelli’s masterpiece. Still, have we really looked at it? It’s a birth. That’s messy, baby-centric, business. But this portrait shows neither mess nor baby – only beauty.

Fur Traders Descending the Missouri by George Bingham

Fur Traders Descending the Missouri by George Bingham

us that romanticism comes in many forms. This painting dwells in one of my lifelong pet peeves. The romanticisation of hard work, especially physical labor bugs me. This irritating practice shows up in all aspects of life – even art.