These are various art pieces mentioned by Marius in various novels
Scenes from the Life of Moses (Temptation of Moses, Bearer of the Written Law)
And what caught my eye immediately among any number of frescoes was an enormous one filled with brilliantly painted figures, all involving, it seemed, the same dignified elder with golden light streaming from his head as he appeared with three different groupings of those who responded to his command. [...] There was great turbulence among these three exquisitely rendered groups of persons as the white-haired figure with the golden light streaming from his head instructed them or upbraided them or corrected them, his own face quite seemingly stern and calm.
- Blood and Gold pg. 216-217
The Temptation of Christ
Once again there was a multitude of persons, all with the same divine faces. Garments were rendered with sculptural depth. And though I recognized the Christ with his winged angels appearing in more than one place in this exquisite fresco, I could not interpret these paintings anymore than I could the first.
- Blood and Gold pg. 217
The Birth of Venus
There loomed before me a great painting of the goddess Venus in all her glorious nudity, feet poised upon a seashell, her golden hair torn by faint breezes, her dreamy gaze steady, her faithful attendants the god Zephyr who blew the breezes which guided her landward, and a nymph as beautiful as the goddess herself who welcomed her to the shore. [...] I looked at the perfect figure of Venus again, covering her most intimate secret with locks of her abundant hair. I looked at the nymph with her outstretched hand and her voluminous garments. I looked on the god Zephyr and the goddess with him, and all of the tiny details of the painting came to reside in my mind.
- Blood and Gold pg. 228
Madonna of the Pomegranate
"Come," he said. "You've paid me well to look at my work. Look at this tondo of the Virgin Mary with Angels. Tell me how you like this."
He brought the lamp to the far wall and held it so that I might see the round painting which hung there.
Once again I was too shocked by the loveliness of it to speak. But it was plainly obvious that the Virgin was as purely beautiful as the goddess Venus, and the Angles were sensual and alluring as only very young boys and girls can be.
"I know," he said to me. "You don't have to tell me. My Venus looks like the Virgin and the Virgin looks like the Venus and so they say of me. But my patrons pay me."
- Blood and Gold pg. 230
The Lamentation Over the Dead Body of Christ
In the Church of San Paolino, I found an altarpiece which was to drive me mad. The subject of the painting was a common one, I had discovered, usually called The Lamentation, being the scene of those weeping over the body of the dead Christ only just taken down from the Cross.
It was a miracle of Botticelli's sensuality, most specifically in the tender representation of Christ himself who had the gorgeous body of a Greek god, and in the utter abandon of the woman who had pressed her face against that of his, for though Christ lay with his head hanging downward, she knelt upright and her eyes were therefore very near to Christ's mouth.
Ah, to see these two faces seamlessly pressed to each other, and to see the delicacy of every face and form surrounding them, it was more than I could endure.
[...] It was far more stiff than his "pagan" paintings. Indeed, he had seldom done something quite this severe. And there was much darkness to the painting, in the deeply colored robes of various figures, and in the shadowy recesses of the open tomb. But even the severity there was tenderness, a loveliness. And the two faces- that of Mary and Christ- which were pressed together-drew me and would not let me look away.
- Blood and Gold pg. 231 & 233-234
La Primavera (The Allegory of the Spring)
Once again, Botticelli had used Roman mythology, or perhaps the Greek mythology that lay behind it to create a garden- yes, of all things, a garden- a garden of eternal springtime in which mythical figures made their sublime progress with harmonious gestures and dreamy expressions, their attitudes gentle in the extreme.
On one side of the verdant garden danced the youthful and inevitably beautiful Three Graces in transparent and billowing garments while on the other side came the goddess Flora, magnificently clothed and strewing flowers from her dress. The goddess Venus once more appeared in the center, dressed as a rich Florentine woman, her hand up in a gesture of welcome, her head tilted slightly to one side.
The figure of Mercury in the far left corner, and several other mythical beings completed the gathering which entranced me so [...].
- Blood and Gold pg. 232
The Holy Trinity
It was a grim and chilling painting of the Trinity, with Christ on his Cross, the full figure of God the Father behind him, and a dove representing the Holy Spirit, just above the head of Christ. On one side stood St. John the Baptist opening the scarlet robe of God the Father, and on the other, the penitent Magdalene, her long hair her only clothing as she stared grieving at the crucified Lord.
- Blood and Gold pg. 236
The Procession of the Magi
There was a chapel in Florence that existed within the Medici palazzo, and on the walls of this chapel was a great painting by a painter named Gozzoli of the Procession of the Magi- the three wise men of scripture- coming to visit the Child Christ with their precious gifts.
Now it was a marvelous painting, full of rampant detail. And it was worldly in the extreme, in that the Magi themselves were clothed as wealthy Florentine citizens and there followed behind them a huge gathering of similarly clothed men and churchmen so that the whole was a tribute to the Christ Child and to the times in which the painting had been done.
- Blood and Gold pg. 250
Meditation on the Passion
An artist by the name of Carpaccio had created a worked called Meditation on the Passion which revealed the body of the dead Christ enthroned against a fantastical landscape, and flanked by two white-haired saints who peered at the viewer as if Christ were not there!
- Blood and Gold pg 253
In the work of a painter named Crivelli, I found a truly grotesque picture of the dead Savior, flanked by two angels who looked like monsters.
- Blood and Gold pg 253