Seated Bodhisattva, Avalokiteśvara, or Guanyin, China, 11th century.

The compassionate Buddhist deity who walks among us.

A cautionary Classical tale of solipsism and self-obsession.

Radha and Krishna Embrace in a Grove of Flowering Trees.

Man and god seek love and unity in one of the most celebrated Hindu myths.

A master of the early Renaissance depicts the moment that Christians regard as the confirmation of Jesus’ divinity.

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, attributed to Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c.1555

In the first of a series on the myths and fables that inform the world’s civilisations, a tragic tale of hubris.