How the classical world cast its spell over British art

The guardian | Charlotte Higgins:

Of all the antique sculptures that were rediscovered in the Renaissance, and which infused and possessed the imaginations of later generations of artists, it is hard to think of one more powerful than the statue of the sleeping Ariadne in the Pio Clementino museum in the Vatican. Probably a Roman copy of a Hellenistic original, it was acquired by Pope Julius II in 1512. He displayed it as part of an elaborate fountain installation, with water playing around the sleepily recumbent figure. At the time, that figure was identified not as the mythical heroine Ariadne, but as Cleopatra – partly because of the snaky bracelet that coils round one of her upper arms, thought to depict the queen’s asp… Read more

Image: Dod Procter’s Morning, 1926. Photograph: © Tate