Each of the eight rooms contains painting's representing various themes; some of which have not been displayed in decades. I will list all of the paintings here and focus on the main attractions and my favorites! Here's what I mean...
In Room 1: Antiquity revisited: A total of five paintings depicting scenes from Greek and Roman Antiquity with four paintings by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and one by Edwin Long. Specifically, these paintings...
Let's keep the focus on The Roses of Heliogabalus, shall we!
Antigone was the heroine in one of seven surviving tragedies written by the Greek playwright Sophocles. The daughter of Oedipus and the niece of Creon, she disobeyed her uncle (the king of Thebes) and buried the body of her brother Polyneices, who was brutally killed while attacking the city. The punishment implemanted by the king was that the corpse was to remain unburied as an eternal curse to the soul. Antigone's love and loyalty to her brother forced her to disobey this command. Her punishment for this would be execution. Creon was persuaded by the prophet Teiresias to show pity for Antigone and pardon her ill act. Unfortunately, he was too late. She had taken her life while a captive in prison. As s sentence for Creon's denial of humanity's common obligations toward the dead, the Gods of Olympus altered fate causing the suicide of his wife and son.
Elaine, the lily maid of Astolat,
High in her chamber up a tower to the east
Guarded the sacred shield of Lancelot;
Which first she placed where morning's earliest ray
Might strike it, and awake her with the gleam;
Then fearing rust or soilure fashioned for it
A case of silk, and braided thereupon
All the devices blazoned on the shield
In their own tinct, and added, of her wit,
A border fantasy of branch and flower,
And yellow-throated nestling in the nest.
Nor rested thus content, but day by day,
Leaving her household and good father, climbed
That eastern tower, and entering barred her door,
Stript off the case, and read the naked shield,
Now guessed a hidden meaning in his arms,
Now made a pretty history to herself
Of every dint a sword had beaten in it,
And every scratch a lance had made upon it,
Conjecturing when and where: this cut is fresh;
That ten years back; this dealt him at Caerlyle;
That at Caerleon; this at Camelot:
And ah God's mercy, what a stroke was there!
And here a thrust that might have killed, but God
Broke the strong lance, and rolled his enemy down,
And saved him: so she lived in fantasy.
Ideal harmony is depicted through allegoric figures in poetic compositions. Interesting, that Strudwick is the painter chosen to capture harmony. Perhaps, the most notable and recognizable painting is the last one, Golden Days. Although, his other two works tackle such noteworthy subject matters and are masterpieces of supple gorgeousness!