Proust’s petit pan de mur jaune, at the edge of Vermeer’s View of Delft.
L’Arc de Triomphe, Paris, circa 1852.
What is notable is the absence of buildings at that time; in the pure Roman tradition, the arch was set up to welcome the triumphant army, back from campaigns, before entering Paris. But Paris swallowed the arch.
Johannes Jelgerhuis, De winkel van boekhandelaar Pieter Meijer Warnars op de Vijgendam te Amsterdam, 1820 (The bookshop of Pieter Meijer Warnars in Amsterdam)
On all depictions of ancient libraries and bookshops, I always notice how they were not (yet) optimized for serendipity.
…and there is this fascination with the geometry of the ornaments on the robe of Eleonora di Toledo in Bronzino’s portraits…
If you want to turn someone into a God, make sure his dead body disappears. Could have Christianity flourished if word had not spread, that the body of Jesus had vanished from his tomb? Notice, here, the salient angle of Jesus’ sepulchre stone, pointing towards the observer: is it not, on Caravaggio’s Entombment of Christ, the metaphorical mark that he’s going to escape from it, in that precise direction, to save you?
According to the Christian legend, and to quote Wikipedia, Saint Veronica (or Berenice) was a pious woman of Jerusalem who, moved with pity as Jesus carried his cross to Golgotha, gave him her veil that he might wipe his forehead. Jesus accepted the offering and after using it handed it back to her, the image of his face miraculously impressed upon it. The name of the holy woman is probably an alteration of vera icona, the true image.
As you might imagine that kind of story has left a big impression on painters, and it’s not a surprise if the images of Veronica and her veil are so numerous. How painting could be unchristian if God himself dabbled once in that art? Moreover, it was an occasion to demonstrate virtuosity in executing the painting of a painting.