Welcome to our textGALLERY. Explore the images below through text and learn how image description can immerse the viewer in the subject and help make images accessible to all. 





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The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck.


An oil painting depicts two finely dressed figures, a man and a woman, standing a few feet apart in a room. On the left of the painting the male figure wears a heavy dark grey tabard trimmed with brown fur and a wide brimmed black hat. His face is solemn, and his eyes are downturned and directed towards the lower right-hand corner of the painting. His right hand is raised in a waving gesture and he holds the woman’s upturned right palm loosely in his outstretched left hand. She stands beside him, her face neutral and her gaze directed towards the windows that line the left side of the painting. She wears an elaborate green floor-length dress trimmed in white fur over a blue sleeved underdress. Her hair is ornately styled beneath a white headdress and she wears a delicate gold necklace. Two gold rings grace the fingers of her left hand. Before them stands a small brown lapdog. It appears to stare directly out of the painting at the viewer.

The room is richly decorated. Behind the woman, on the right-hand side of the painting, stands a four-poster bed with deep red linen. A wooden chair sits in the background between the two figures, again dressed in red and with a carved animal design. Behind the man are three oranges sitting on a sideboard. Another orange is visible on the window ledge. A cherry tree is glimpsed through the open window shutters and the top of the window is adorned with stained-glass of circular design. On the floor is a rug with an intricate pattern of red and blue flowers and golden motifs, and two pairs of sandals, one red pair and one wooden pair.


The upper region of the painting is dominated by a large golden chandelier with one candle burning. At the centre of the painting, visible between the two figures, is a round mirror affixed to the back wall. The frame of the mirror contains ten small round carvings of scenes from the Passion. The mirror is convex and the backs of the two figures are clearly visible in the reflection. Two further figures, one dressed in blue and the other wearing red, can be seen standing in the doorway looking into the room at the scene before them.


On the wall above the mirror the artist has written “Johannes van Eyck was here, 1434” in decorative black lettering.




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Alice meets the Cheshire Cat.

Alice looks up at the grinning Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of a tree. He is a very large cat, with thick dark fur and black stripes across his back. His tail curls down towards Alice. His big round eyes watch Alice avidly and his wide grin reveals a phalanx of very sharp teeth. Alice stands very politely before him. Her hands are clenched behind her and her feet are pressed closely together. She appears to be slightly nervous, but she is still curious to meet this smiling creature.





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The Milbanke and Melbourne Families by George Stubbs.


The Milbanke and Melbourne Families by George Stubbs, 1769. An oil on canvas painting with dimensions of 97.2 times 147.3 centimetres.


The painting is a group portrait of members of the two families, portrayed in a style known at the time as a “Conversation Piece.” Four finely dressed figures, three horses and a dog, create the scene on a countryside pathway.


On the right of the painting, Peniston Lamb, the 1st Lord Melbourne sits upon his sleek chestnut brown horse. Both horse and rider are captured in profile, facing to the left, a scattering of simple white flowers in the background. Lamb is dressed in a blue long coat adorned with golden buttons. His cream waistcoat and black tricorn hat are both trimmed in gold. A brown and white dog lies on the ground before Lamb, staring intently at him.


Lamb’s own gaze is fixed upon Elizabeth Milbanke, his new wife, as she sits in an open carriage on the far left of the painting. She is the daughter of Sir Ralph Milbanke, 5th Baronet of Halnaby, who stands beside her. Elizabeth is clothed in a rose-pink silk dress, white silk jacket and elegant hood. She holds the reins in grey gloved hands and a single white horse stands before her carriage. She does not return her husband’s gaze and looks directly at the artist and audience.

Her father stands beside her, his gloved hands resting on the edge of the carriage. He wears a black tricorn hat, and a beige long-coat over a blue and yellow waistcoat. His stern gaze appears to be locked on the centrally positioned figure of the image, John Milbanke, Elizabeth's elder brother.


John stares directly out from the image, wearing a black tricorn hat, a pale blue long-coat and matching yellow waistcoat and breeches. His gloved right-hand rests on the crest of his grey horse’s neck as it grazes quietly. He is shod in black riding boots and his legs are casually crossed at the ankle, his left hand is positioned confidently at his hip, holding a riding crop.


In the background of the right-hand side of the painting a rocky outcrop looms in the distance. The upper right-hand corner contains a patch of pale blue sky slowly being encroached upon by darker clouds scudding across from the left. The sun glints off the edges of the white clouds.


The left-hand side of the painting is dominated by a large, imposing tree which is silhouetted against the lighter sky. The branches reach out high above the central figures of the painting.




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Imaginary Landscape, Italian Harbour Scene by Claude-Joseph Vernet.


A painting entitled Imaginary Landscape, Italian Harbour Scene by Claude-Joseph Vernet, 1746. Oil on canvas. The painting captures the sweeping vista of an Italian harbour scene.

The painting is full of detailed elements and the description divides the painting into 4 quadrants as follows:

Quadrant 1. Upper left.

The painting is dominated by a dilapidated temple built atop the ancient ramparts of the harbour wall. The rampart wall is constructed of a series of broad arches and the temple is circular in structure, with a long ornate window frame and a colonnaded façade. The temple overlooks the harbour below and figures can be seen standing on a balcony and looking out to sea. To the left of the temple is a pergola with hanging vines and a bank of tall cypress trees form the background.

Quadrant 2. Upper right.

The upper right quadrant is filled with towering white cumulus clouds against a pale blue sky. Two seabirds can be seen wheeling and turning high in the sky.

Quadrant 3. Lower right.

The harbour consists of a single stone pier. A sloop-style boat is anchored in the harbour, its white sails at half-mast. A man in a rowing boat is calling up to the occupants of the sloop. A small fishing boat is tethered to the end of the pier. Two men stand at the end of the pier hauling up the fishing nets and they are helped by two men within the fishing boat. A trader wearing Middle Eastern style robes talks to another man on the far right of the pier.

In the distance another larger ship is moored in the mouth of the harbour. Her sails are full in the wind and she displays a red flag with a white cross, similar to the national flag of Denmark. A small rowing boat full of occupants sits low in the water on her starboard. Another rowing boat is being pulled up onto the beach by a group of men. An abandoned anchor sits on the beach at the foot of a flight of steps that curl upwards around the cliff face to the temple above.

In the foreground are a group of 6 people, 3 men and 3 women on a large rock formation. The man and woman on the far left are standing and holding fishing rods. She is pointing at the fish being placed on the rock by a young fisherman. He stands on the far right and holds a large fishing net in the crook of his arm. A man and two women sit between the fishers. They are elegantly dressed, and two picnic baskets sit beside them.

Quadrant 4. Lower left.

The lower left quadrant is dominated by the high cliffs that form the left-hand boundary of the painting. The cliffs are slate grey and a waterfall breaks over them into a pool below. In the foreground a young man, stripped to the waist, sits on the edge of the pool with his grey dog. The pool is shrouded in darkness and a man standing in a small rowing boat can be glimpsed in the gloom. On the bank in the background a woman stands with a ceramic pot balanced on her head. A small white dog is shown running towards her, and a woman sits beneath the shade of a large rock. In the far distance, 2 women can be seen beside an ornate fountain built into the rampart walls. The water is flowing out of a hole in the wall and falls into a semi-circular pool below.




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The Attributes of the Arts and the Rewards Which Are Accorded Them, by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin.


The Attributes of the Arts and the Rewards Which Are Accorded Them, by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, 1766. Oil on canvas. The painting depicts a wooden sideboard crowded with objects, each symbolizing an artistic pursuit.

From left to right, the objects are as follows. Two small leather-bound books with red page edges, one with a dark blue bookmark ribbon, are positioned on their fore edges and lean against an artist’s paint box. A small, well-worn notebook sits in front of the books, its edges curled with use. A length of thick black ribbon is draped over the books and holds a medal at one end. The medal is designed with 4 white and pale blue V-shapes positioned to form a cross. The center of the medal is a blue circle with a red center. The medal is mounted on gold fixture.

Beside the books is an artist’s wooden paint box, a key protruding from the lock. A palette is placed on top of the box with a dozen used brushes standing up in the thumb hole. The edge of the palette is smeared with a series of primary colors, yellow, red, and blue, and a splotch of white. At the center of the palette, the colors have been mixed. A palette knife sits on top of the paint box.

To the right of the paint box is a white plaster model of Mercury, the messenger of the gods. He is sitting on a rock and attaching his winged sandals and he wears a winged cap. His body is muscular and twisted as he reaches down to attach his sandals. He stares into the distance and appears to be readying himself for flight.

The sculpture sits on a sheaf of architectural drawings. The papers are strewn with 5 coins and a small open case containing mechanical drawing instruments, including a compass. A golden set-square and a protractor lean against the sculpture. To the right of the sculpture, another red-edged leather-bound book leans on the set-square. A ruler is positioned under the book, on top of the architectural drawings. Two large rolls of paper sit atop the book.

An ornate bronze pitcher sits to the right of the sculpture. The handle of the pitcher depicts a great cat and the mouth of the pitcher is formed from the open mouth of a horned creature. The final objects on the right of the painting are a yellow book, placed on its fore edge, and a red portfolio contains papers and is held closed by two pale ribbons knotted in bows.





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Mary, Queen of Heaven by Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy. 


A panel painting in oils depicts the Immaculate Conception, Assumption and pending Coronation of the Virgin Mary. Mary is the largest figure in the painting and is positioned centrally. In the foreground she is surrounded by 16 angels, 8 on each side of her, which gives the painting a sense of symmetry. In the background of the image are a further 25 figures, either sitting, singing or playing instruments.

Mary is depicted in crimson robes with a dark cloak trimmed in gold leaf. Her gaze is downturned, and she holds her hands together before her in prayer. Her auburn hair, parted in the middle, falls over her shoulders and is crowned with a circlet of jewels. Her feet rest on a golden crescent moon and behind her head is a blazing sun set in gold leaf. The lower reaches of the painting depict a green and peaceful landscape detailed with a sparkling river and a grand residence. Figures can be seen walking and riding in the gardens.

Eight hovering angels support Mary with their hands, four on each side. They are dressed in elaborate silk robes of reds, greens and golds. Their wings are captured in fine detail – some green, some orange, some blue and one, on the left of the painting, with wings edged with peacock feathers.


To the right side of the painting two angels are playing musical instruments: one plays a lute and another a shawm horn. On the left side of the painting another angel can be seen playing a small organ.


Directly behind Mary’s head a quartet of angels sing from hymn sheets. The level of detail in the painting allows the hymn to be identified as “Hail, Queen of the Heavens.” They are accompanied by four angels playing musical instruments – on the right of the painting, two angels play a vielle, an early violin, and a shawm horn respectively. On the left, the two angels are playing a harp and a shawm horn.


In the upper region of the painting, the clouds part to reveal the kingdom of Heaven. A throne is supported by three angels dressed in blue flowing robes. Upon the throne sits God the Father wearing a golden crown, and, to his right, Christ the Son. They hold a golden crown between them and a white dove, symbolising the Holy Spirit, flies above the crown, completing the Trinity. Father and Son are both wearing crimson robes trimmed in gold and sit upon. They are flanked by two groups of angels dressed in a range of colours from pink to yellow to blue. The group to the left sings as a choir whilst the second group plays a variety of musical instruments on the right.






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Napoleon's Invasion of Russia in 1812


An infographic by Charles Joseph Minard charts the invasion of Russia by French forces led by Napoleon in 1812. The graphic follows the eastwards progress of the French army and their subsequent westward retreat from Moscow. The chart provides details of troop numbers, time, temperature and casualties. The troop numbers are visualized using a red invasion pathway and a black retreat pathway. The decline in troop numbers during the campaign is demonstrated by the width of the pathways becoming narrower. One millimeter represents 10,000 soldiers. The temperature is based on the Reaumur scale. The casualty and temperature data points are as follows:

Part 1. The Invasion of Russia. The path of the army is coloured Red.

• Kaunas, 422,000. Crossing the River Neman.

• Vilnius, 400,000. At this point Prince Jerome’s detachment separate from the main army.

• Vitebsk, 175,000.

• Smolensk, 145,000.

• Gagarin, 127,100. Crossing the River Moskva.

• Moscow, 100,000. Temperature, 0.

Part 2. The Retreat from Moscow. The path of the army is coloured Black.

• Maloyaroslavets, 96,000. Temperature, 0.

• Mozhaysk, 87,000. Temperature, minus 5. October 18th.

• Vyazma, 55,000. Temperature, minus 8.

• Smolensk, 37,000. Temperature, minus 15. November 14th.

• Orsha, 24,000. Temperature, minus 19. Crossing the River Dnieper.

• Bobr, 20,000. Temperature, minus 14.

• Studzionka, 50,000. Temperature, minus 15. Crossing the River Berezina. The remnants of Prince Jerome’s army rejoin the retreating army. November 28th.

• Maladzyechna, 28,000. Temperature, minus 22. December 6th.

• Smarhon, 12,000. Temperature, minus 30.

• Vilnius, 14,000. Temperature, minus 27.

• Vilnius, 8,000. Temperature, minus 26. December 7th.

• Kaunas, 4,000. Crossing the river Neman.

• Kaunas, 10,000. The vanguard of the French army rejoins the retreating forces.






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Components of the Neuron.


An illustration of a neuron. The neuron is depicted with a head formed by branch-like structure containing the nucleus and a long axon tail. An arrow indicates the action potential of an electrical signal travelling down the axon.

The individual components of the neuron are as follows:


  • Cell body: the cell body surrounds the nucleus and is also known as the soma.

  • Dendrites: dendrites are branch-like structures extending away from the cell body. They receive messages from other cells.

  • Axon: the axon is a tube-like structure. The axon passes messages away from the cell body to other neurons, muscles and glands.

  • Myelin Sheath: covers the axon of some neurons and helps speed neural impulses. This layer speeds transmission.

  • Terminal Buttons: the axon terminals are small branch-like structures at the tail of the neuron. The terminal buttons form junctions with other cells. In the diagram another neuron cell is seen close to the first cell. The terminal buttons transmit to the dendrites of the second neuron cell.





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The Major Structures of the Human Brain.


The major regions of the human brain. The brain is shown from the side with its major regions highlighted. The regions are as follows:


  • Frontal lobe.

    • Position: the frontal lobe is found in the front region of the brain. It occupies approximately a third of the brain.


  • Parietal lobe.

    • Position: the parietal lobe is found in the top central region of the brain, behind the frontal lobe. It is shown as about half the size of the frontal lobe.


  • Occipital lobe.

    • Position: the occipital lobe is found at the back of the brain, behind the parietal lobe. The occipital lobe region is slightly smaller than the parietal lobe.


  • Cerebellum.

    • Position: the cerebellum is found at the back of the brain, below the occipital lobe and beside the brainstem. It is slightly smaller than the occipital lobe.


  • Corpus Callosum.

    • Position: the corpus callosum is found beneath the cerebral cortex and frontal lobe. It is situated above the thalamus.


  • Thalamus.

    • The thalamus is positioned in front of the cerebellum and beneath the frontal lobe. It is approximately half the size of the cerebellum.


  • Pituitary Gland.

    • Position: the pituitary gland is a small structure positioned behind the frontal lobe and beneath the thalamus.


  • Pons.

    • Position: the pons is situated at the tip of the brainstem, directly below the thalamus and in front of the cerebellum.


  • Medulla.

    • Position: the medulla is situated below the pons within the brainstem.


  • Spinal Cord.

    • Position: the spinal cord extends from the medulla and is found at the bottom of the brain.





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The Anatomy of the Human Eye.


A diagram illustrates the anatomy of a human eye.


The eye is viewed in cross-section. The eye can be divided into 2 segments: anterior and posterior. The components of the 2 segments are as follows:


  • Anterior Segment (front third of the eye).

    • Cornea. The outer layer of the eye is controlled by muscles.

    • Pupil. The pupil is the aperture or hole in the centre of the iris.

    • Iris. The iris surrounds the pupil.

    • Lens. The lens is an ellipsoid structure that sits behind the pupil and iris and refracts light into the retina. Muscles control the adjustment of the lens.


  • Posterior Segment (rear two thirds of the eye).

    • Cavity. A cavity containing a clear gel.

    • Retina. The retina is the innermost layer of the eye and connects directly to the optic nerve.

    • Fovea. The fovea is a small depression or pit within the retinal surface.

    • Blind spot. The blind spot is an area on the retinal surface that does not contain photo receptors.


The optic nerve runs from the back of the eye to the brain.


The diagram illustrates how the retina interprets an image as upside down and backwards. In the example a leaf is used to illustrate this concept.




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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.


A pyramid diagram visualises Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The diagram takes the form of a pyramid divided into 5 horizontal tiers. The tiers narrow from bottom to top. The 5 tiers, from bottom to top, are as follows:


  • Tier 1: Physiological. Definition: The need to satisfy hunger and thirst.


  • Tier 2: Safety. Definitions: The need to feel that the world is organised and predictable. Need to feel safe, secure and stable.


  • Tier 3: Love and Belonging. Definitions: The need to love and to be loved. To belong and be accepted. The need to avoid loneliness and alienation.


  • Tier 4: Esteem. Definitions: The need for self-esteem, achievement, competence and independence. The need for recognition and respect from others.


  • Tier 5: Self-Actualization. Definition: The need to live up to one’s fullest and unique potential.






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Freddie Mercury Wants.

A flowchart illustrates what Freddie Mercury wants through his lyrics. The flowchart has 3 levels and develops from north to south. At the top of the chart is a box labelled Freddie Mercury. The next level contains 3 boxes labelled Wants, Doesn’t Want and Isn’t Sure About. The last level contains 6 options.

The 6 pathways through the flowchart are as follows:

1. Freddie Mercury wants to break free.

2. Freddie Mercury wants to ride his bicycle.

3. Freddie Mercury wants it all, now.

4. Freddie Mercury wants to make a supersonic man out of you.

5. Freddie Mercury doesn’t want you to stop him now.

6. Freddie Mercury isn’t sure about living forever.

An icon of Freddie Mercury is placed in the upper left corner.




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Wish You Were Here.

A flowchart visualises the lyrics of the Pink Floyd song, Wish You Were Here.


A flowchart visualises the lyrics of the Pink Floyd Song, Wish You Were Here. The song is divided into three verses.

The first verse begins “So, so you think you can tell.” A series of choices are then provided in labelled boxes:

  • Heaven or Hell

  • Blue skies or pain

  • Green field or cold steel rail

  • Smile or veil


The second verse begins “Did they get you to trade?” A series of choices are then provided in labelled boxes:

  • Heroes for ghosts

  • Hot ashes for trees

  • Hot air for a cool breeze

  • Cold comfort for change


The second verse concludes with the question: “Did you exchange?” with two choices in labelled boxes:

  • A walk-in part in the war

  • A lead role in a cage


The third verse begins “How I wish” and continues “You were here.” Two boxes labelled “lost soul” point to a third box labelled “swimming.” These connect to a new box entitled “fishbowl.” Two further boxes are interconnected by circular arrows and are labelled “year” and “after year.” The next box is labelled “running over” connecting to another box labelled “the same old ground”.

The closing lines begin with the question, “What have we found?” The answer is, “the same old fears.”

The song ends with the refrain, “Wish you were here”. An “X” accompanies the last line, marking “here”.





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Harold Lloyd.

A black and white film still from the 1923 film Safety Last.

The actor Harold Lloyd, wearing black-rimmed glasses and a dark suit, hangs precariously from the clock hands of a clock suspended high above a city street scene.

Below him on the street, trams, cars and pedestrians are oblivious to the events above. Lloyd, his feet kicking, turns in the direction of the camera as the clock face starts to tilt further.

The image became one of the most iconic of the silent film era.




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The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones perform onstage at the Royal Tennis Hall in Stockholm, Sweden in 1966.

Mick Jagger, wearing sunglasses and a striped blazer, crouches at the center of the stage. 

To the left of Jagger, Brian Jones plays guitar and looks across at his band-mates. Keith Richards, wearing a dark suit with a high collar, concentrates on his own guitar. Bill Wyman, playing his bass guitar in his distinctive style, turns to Charlie Watts on drums (obscured from view).

Behind the band hangs a poster for Bildjournalen, a popular youth magazine in Sweden in the 1960s.




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John + Yoko

John Lennon (left of image) and Yoko Ono (right) sit up in bed during their 1969 honeymoon peace protest in the Presidential Suite of the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel. Both Lennon and Ono are wearing pyjamas. Lennon, his shoulder length hair parted in the centre, wears his trademark wire-rimmed round glasses and Ono wears her long dark hair down. A guitar lays across the couple’s legs and a tape recorder sits at the foot of the bed. A large basket of flowers lays beside Ono on the bed and further bouquets of flowers can be seen surrounding the bed. A black telephone sits on the floor beside the bed. Behind the couple are floor to ceiling windows looking out over Amsterdam and two slogans are taped to the windows. One reads “Hair Peace” and the other “Bed Peace” in capital letters.


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