Trivium Art HistoryThemes in Art


Myths are the stories and legends we create to explain human nature, morality, and what goes bump in the night. The Sumerians told their children of god-kings enforcing justice, and radical minds like William Blake created fearsome personal mythologies of good and evil.

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Temple of Bacchus

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, 1767

Return of Spring

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1886

Temptations of St Jerome

Giorgio Vasari, 1541

Assumption of the Virgin

Titian, 1516-1518

The Mourning of Christ

Giotto di Bondone, 1304-1306

The Garden of Love

Peter Paul Rubens, 1633

The Feast of Venus

Peter Paul Rubens, 1636-1637

Our Lady of Peace

Evelyn De Morgan, 1902

Cupid as Victor

Caravaggio, 1601

Ecstasy of Saint Teresa

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1647-1652

Chloe's Judgement

Marc Chagall, 1961

Apollo of Veii

550 BCE-520 BCE

Head of Brahma

900 CE-925 CE

Head of Shiva

900 CE-925 CE

Head of Vishnu

900 CE-925 CE

Bust of Five-Headed Shiva

950 CE

Ariadne Abandoned by Theseus

Angelica Kauffmann, 1774

Bacchus and Ariadne

Angelica Kauffmann, 1794


Caravaggio, 1596

Diana the Huntress

Giampietrino, 1526


François Auguste René Rodin, 1885-1886

The Meal at Drya's House

Marc Chagall, 1961


Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1882

The divine horses of Achilles, Balios and Xanthos

Giorgio de Chirico, 1963


Gustav Klimt, 1907-1908


William Blake, 1825-1827


Caravaggio, 1594-1596

The Goddess Aurora Triumphing Over Night

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1755-1756

The Goddess Minvera

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1772


Alexandre Cabanel, 1873

Female Allegory

Angelica Kauffmann, 1780

The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons

Jacques-Louis David, 1789

The Intervention of the Sabine Women

Jacques-Louis David, 1795-1799

The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis

Jacques-Louis David, 1818

Saturn Devouring one of his Children

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1823


El Greco, 1604-1614

The Dream of the Architect

Thomas Cole, 1840

Diane Hunting

Marie Laurencin, 1908

Adonis Relinquishing Venus for the Hunt

Titian, 1460

Bacchus and Ariadne

Titian, 1522-1523


Titian, 1548-1549

Mars, Venus and Amor

Titian, 1530

The Fall of Phaeton

Peter Paul Rubens, 1604-1605


Romaine Brooks, 1920

Portia Wounding her Thigh

Elisabetta Sirani, 1664

Diana and her Companions

Johannes Vermeer, 1653-1654


Gustave Moreau, 1878

The Muses Leaving Their Father Apollo

Gustave Moreau, 1868


Odilon Redon, 1895-1900

Les Origines — Plate 3

Odilon Redon, 1883

The Cyclops

Odilon Redon, 1914

Pygmalion and the Image — The Godhead Fires

Edward Burne-Jones, 1878

Pygmalion and the Image — The Heart Desires

Edward Burne-Jones, 1878

Phyllis and Demophoon

Edward Burne-Jones, 1870

Hesiod and the Muses

Gustave Moreau, 1870

Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than man

Antigone, by Sophocles

442 BCE

Chimera of Arezzo

400 BCE

The adventures of Aeneis the Trojan, and what happens when the gods hate you


19 CE

The transformations of man and gods from before formation of the world


1 CE

The Iliad

800 BCE


Carlo Carrà, 1917

Leda and the Swan

Cy Twombly, 1962

The Odyssey of Odysseus

Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl, 1933

Between Scylla and Charybdis

Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl, 1910

Daedalus and Icarus

Anthony van Dyck, 1615-1625


Evelyn De Morgan, 1898

The Death of Hyacinth

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1752-1753

Apollo and Daphne

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1622-1655

The Goat Amalthea with the Infant Jupiter and a Faun

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1615

Cista Depicting a Dionysian Revel and Perseus with Medusa's Head

400 BCE

Statue of Artemis Ephesus



100 BCE

Apollo Seated With Lyre

200 CE


499 BCE

The Braschi Antinous

138 CE


Sarah Bernhardt, 1875

Aglauros’s Vision of the Bridal Chamber of Herse


The Triumph of Bacchus

Diego Velázquez, 1628-1629


Martin Schongauer, 1491

Young Hercules

69 CE-96 CE

Hercules of the Forum Boarium

1 CE

Hercules of the Theatre of Pompey

2 CE

Greek Drinking Vessel

550 BCE

Bronze Statuette of Jupiter

200 CE

Leda and the Swan

Gustave Moreau, 1882

Lady Lilith

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1866-1873

Mosaic Floor with Head of Medusa

115 CE-150 CE

Theseus and the Minotaur

Edward Burne-Jones, 1861

Kohada Koheiji

Katsushika Hokusai, 1831

Les Origines — Cover

Odilon Redon, 1883

The Chimaeras

Gustave Moreau, 1884

The Earth Spider Creating Monsters

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1843

The Sleep Of Reason Produces Monsters

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1799


Richard Teschner, 1928

Water Sprite, (Wassermann)

Richard Teschner, 1913

Still from Nachtstücke

Richard Teschner, 1913

Master-of-Animals Standard

800 BCE

Mjaðveig Mánadóttir

Ásgrímur Jónsson, 1957-1958

The Passenger

Leonor Fini, 1964

Minotaur or Faun and Nymph

François Auguste René Rodin, 1886

Wedding Feast in the Nymphs Grotto

Marc Chagall, 1961


Alexandre Cabanel, 1874

The Nymph Echo

Max Ernst, 1936


Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, 1866

Perseus Releases Andromeda

Peter Paul Rubens, 1622

Perseus and Andromeda

90 BCE

Psyche Abandoned

Jacques-Louis David, 1795

The Abduction of Psyche

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1895

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss

Antonio Canova, 1787-1793

Cupid and Psyche

Trophime Bigot, 1642

Sappho and Phaon

Jacques-Louis David, 1809

Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene

Simeon Solomon, 1864

Nymph and Satyr

Alexandre Cabanel, 1860

Oedipus and the Sphinx

Gustave Moreau, 1864

Great Sphinx of Giza

2500 BCE

Pyxis and Lid with Sphinx-Shaped Handle

650 BCE

Self-Portrait as a Sphinx

Sarah Bernhardt, 1880

The Sphinx and the Pyramids

A. O. Lamplough, 1919

Sphinx of Agost

550 BCE

The Three Graces

Marie Laurencin, 1921

The Three Graces

Marie Bracquemond, 1880

The Three Graces

200 CE

Psyche Panel 7 — Cupid Carrying Psyche Up to Heaven

Maurice Denis, 1908

Psyche Panel 1 — Eros is Struck by Psyche's Beauty

Maurice Denis, 1908

Psyche Panel 2 — Zephyr Transporting Psyche to the Island of Delight

Maurice Denis, 1908

Psyche Panel 3 — Psyche Discovers that Her Mysterious Lover is Eros

Maurice Denis, 1908

Psyche Panel 6 — Psyche's Kin Bid Her Farewell

Maurice Denis, 1908

The Odyssey

800 BCE

Venus Verticordia

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1863-1868

The Birth of Venus

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1879

The Birth of Venus

Alexandre Cabanel, 1863

Venus, Cupid, and Satyr

Agnolo Bronzino, 1553-1554

An Allegory with Venus and Cupid

Agnolo Bronzino, 1545

The Birth of Venus

Odilon Redon, 1912

Mars Disarmed by Venus and the Three Graces

Jacques-Louis David, 1822-1824

Venus and Cupid

Artemisia Gentileschi, 1625-1630

Psyche Panel 4 — The Vengeance of Venus

Maurice Denis, 1908

Venus Rising from the Sea

Gustave Moreau, 1866

Sacred and Profane Love

Titian, 1514

The Birth of Venus

Sandro Botticelli, 1483-1485

Statue of Aphrodite

100 CE

Venus Italica

Antonio Canova, 1822-1823

Venus of Dolní Věstonice

29000 BCE

The Sleeping Lady

4000 BCE-2000 BCE

Venus of the Hollow Rock

40000 BCE

Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto

Caravaggio, 1597

Psyche Panel 5 — Jupiter Bestows Immortality on Psyche

Maurice Denis, 1908

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