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Thomas Girtin painted this picturesque view of Kirkstall Abbey and the River Aire in the north of England. Girtin was one of the leading watercolourists of his day, along with J M W Turner, who was born in the same year – 1775. They knew each other well and both artists painted fine views of English landscapes, including romantic ruins like this. Although this view shows wide open fields and farmers in the foreground, Kirkstall Abbey now lies firmly within the city of Leeds! #ThomasGirtin #Girtin #ArtHistory #HistoryOfArt #watercolour #watercolours #watercolourist #painting #art #Abbey #KirkstallAbbey #Leeds #Kirkstall #WestYorkshire #Yorkshire #Turner #JMWTurner
This characterful view of Lindisfarne Priory was painted by watercolourist Thomas Girtin. Lindisfarne is an island off the north-east coast of England with a long history – a priory was established there in the 7th century AD, and it was raided by the Vikings in AD 793. Girtin visited the island in 1796 as part of a tour of the north, and painted numerous views of the ruins. The artist was a key figure in transforming watercolour into a prominent medium. #ThomasGirtin #Girtin #ArtHistory #HistoryOfArt #watercolour #watercolours #watercolourist #painting #art #priory #Lindisfarne #Vikings
This atmospheric watercolour depicts Lanercost Priory in Cumbria, northwest England, and was painted by Thomas Girtin, born #onthisday in 1775. Girtin went on painting tours of the north of the country, recording the landscapes and rural scenes he encountered, including many ruins of priories and abbeys. This picture was made when Girtin was just 18, perhaps copied from an illustration. Lanercost priory was destroyed during King Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1538, along with hundreds of other ecclesiastic buildings in England.
#ThomasGirtin #Girtin #ArtHistory #HistoryOfArt #watercolour #watercolours #watercolourist #painting #art #priory #Lanercost
While we’re still embracing #ValentinesDay, this detail of two lovers kissing is from a woodblock print by Japanese artist Torii Kiyonaga made about 1785.  The print is part of a set perhaps originally intended to be mounted together as a handscroll.  An example of shunga – Japanese erotic art – the set describes the full gamut of sexual intercourse: from the anticipation, to the moments of high passion, right through to the slumber that follows. Discover 14 #ValentinesDay objects on our blog – link in bio! #Valentines #Shunga #Japan #love #kiss #print #JapaneseArt #💋
Ancient Greek and Roman attitudes to sex and sexuality were in many ways very different to the modern era. People were sexually active – and girls married – at an earlier age. Sexual relationships between males were accepted within certain boundaries, but the modern term homosexual had no Greek or Latin equivalent. This scene is from a fresco in an ancient Etruscan tomb known as the Tomb of the Chariots, located in Tarquinia, Italy. The scene was copied in this 19th-century drawing, and was once part of a larger work. The Etruscans were greatly influenced by the contemporary Greeks but they had their own distinctive character, which in turn influenced the neighbouring Italian peoples, including the Romans. Our new #ValentinesDay blog post brings together 14 symbols of love from history – link in bio! #Valentines #AncientGreece #AncientRome #Etruscan #love #kiss #💋 #LGBTHM18
Here’s a kiss for #ValentinesDay! 💋💞
Rodin’s famous sculpture shows lovers Paolo and Francesca from Dante’s poem ‘Divine Comedy’, lost in reckless passion. Although the sculpture is often thought of as romantic, the story has a darker side... Paolo and Francesca had been murdered by Francesca’s husband (Paolo’s brother) after he discovered them together – Dante meets the lovers in his travels around hell. 
Our new blog post brings together a selection of smooches and other symbols of love from across history – link in bio!
#RodinExhibition #Rodin #TheKiss #kiss #Dante #DivineComedy #love #Valentines #💋
Slaying the Nemean Lion was the first of the twelve labours of mythical hero Herakles. The labours were a series of tasks completed by Herakles for King Eurystheus. They were performed by the hero to atone for killing his wife and children after Hera sent a fit of madness upon him. The Nemean Lion’s golden fur was said to be impenetrable to mortal weapons – here Herakles has discarded his usual bow and club to wrestle the lion. After he defeated the lion, Herakles wore its skin as his armour, taking the guise of one of the monsters he had slayed. This ancient Greek amphora was made between 520 and 510 BC. 
#Herakles #Hercules #lion #myth #AncientGreece #AncientHistory #pottery
This 2,500-year-old amphora shows mythical Greek hero Herakles wrestling with the giant Antaios. In the myth Antaios was the son of Gaia, the earth, and was invincible as long as he remained in contact with the ground. Herakles had to use his wits to defeat Antaios. Realising he could not be defeated using conventional wrestling techniques, the hero lifts his adversary from the floor, killing him. Here Herakles is depicted on the left, and is accompanied by Athena (the goddess of wisdom) and Hermes (messenger of the gods). #Herakles #Hercules #myth #mythology #GreekMyths #Athena #Hermes #Antaios
Herakles was a hero in ancient Greek mythology, later Romanised as Hercules. He was son of Zeus (the king of the gods) and Alkmene (a mortal woman). Zeus’s wife Hera was jealous of Alkmene and disliked Herakles as soon as he was born. Hera sent a pair of snakes to attack Herakles and his half-brother Eurytion while they lay in their cradle. Herakles revealed his heroic potential at this young age by strangling one snake in each hand, as shown on this wine bowl made around 400 BC by the Faliscans in the west of Italy.  #Herakles #Hercules #Heracles #AncientGreece #Zeus #Hera #snakes #pottery
The Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism is symbolised in the wheel at the base of this 7th-century sculpture from Bihar in north India. In his First Sermon at the Deer Park in Sarnath, the Buddha (meaning 'enlightened one’) set out the Middle Way – the Eightfold Path – between the extremes of severe self-discipline and indulgence of the senses. The eight elements of the path include correct view, intention and speech.
Learn more about beliefs from across the world in our wide-ranging #LivingWithTheGods exhibition – find out more and book tickets via the link in our bio. #India #Indian #Buddhism #sculpture #statue #exhibition #London
This early-14th-century glass mosque lamp was made for a mausoleum in Syria. It’s sumptuously decorated with gilding and enamel, and the calligraphy relates a verse from the Qur’an that describes God as the Light of the world and a guiding light. 
See amazing objects that reveal more about human belief in our #LivingWithTheGods exhibition – find out more via the link in our bio. 
#gold #enamel #light #Mosque #calligraphy #Islam
This articulated dragon is made from iron and can be moved into different positions! It was made in the 19th century in Japan. Helmet and armour manufacturers used their skills in curving and riveting metal to produce detailed models of all kinds of creatures – stunning examples of the craftsmanship. All the scales are faithfully reproduced in iron plates. Dragons are among the spirits of nature honoured in Japanese Shinto traditions. They control water, fire and earth – their energy rules the sea tides and the fertility of the land, bringing wellbeing and prosperity. Dragons are also believed to have a dangerous side, able to cause earthquakes or tsunami. 
Discover more about the significance of religion and belief around the world and across time in our #LivingWithTheGods exhibition – find out more via the link in our bio. 
#dragon #Japan #Japanese #fire #water #earth #craftsmanship #iron #19thcentury