Renaissance painters and printmakers used ancient myths as a vehicle for depicting the nude form in a tasteful and acceptable manner. Similarly, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when landscape was only just emerging as a distinct genre, artists used stories from the Classical world as a model in which to create vast landscapes, with only the smallest of figures. Continuing into modern times, mythological tales have been used by artists as a form of satire or as a reflection on contemporary society.
From Heroes to Immortals: Classical Mythological Prints features works on paper from the sixteenth through the twentieth century. Some recount famous myths, others more obscure stories. In some the mythological tale takes a backseat, with the focus primarily on the human form or the landscape setting. All of the works, however, reinforce the enduring power of Classical mythology.