Saturday, December 12, 2015

27 Paintings, Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion, with footnotes 1

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905)
Byblis, c. 1884
Salar Jung Museum, India

In Greek mythology, Byblis or Bublis was a daughter of Miletus. Her mother was either Tragasia, Cyanee, daughter of the river-god Meander, or Eidothea, daughter of King Eurytus of Caria. She fell in love with Caunus, her twin brother.

Byblis acknowledged her love for Caunus, and despite her initial efforts to convince herself that her feelings were natural, she realized the inappropriateness of them. Unable to keep her love for Caunus a secret from him any longer, she sent him a long love letter through a servant giving examples of other incestuous relationships between the gods. Disgusted, he ran away. Believing that she could yet make him love her, she was determined to try to woo him once more. When she found out that he had fled, she tore her clothes in sorrow and was driven into madness. She followed him through much of Greece and Asia Minor until she finally died, worn out by her grief and the long journey. As she had been constantly crying, she was changed into a spring. More

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (November 30, 1825 – August 19, 1905) was a French academic painter and traditionalist. In his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body. During his life he enjoyed significant popularity in France and the United States, was given numerous official honors, and received top prices for his work. As the quintessential salon painter of his generation, he was reviled by the Impressionist avant-garde. By the early twentieth century, Bouguereau and his art fell out of favor with the public, due in part to changing tastes. In the 1980s, a revival of interest in figure painting led to a rediscovery of Bouguereau and his work. Throughout the course of his life, Bouguereau executed 822 known finished paintings, although the whereabouts of many are still unknown. More

File:Jean-Jacques Henner - Byblis turning into a spring.jpg
Jean-Jacques Henner (1829–1905)
Byblis Turning into a Spring
Oil on canvas
88 × 138 cm (34.6 × 54.3 in)

Jean-Jacques Henner (1829–1905)
Byblis Turning into a Spring

Jean-Jacques Henner (15 March 1829 – 23 July 1905) was a French painter, noted for his use of sfumato and chiaroscuro in painting nudes, religious subjects, and portraits. More

Jean-Jacques Henner (1829–1905)
Andromède (1880)

Jean Jacques Henner, 1829 - 1905
Andromeda, c. 1880
Oil on wood (lid of a cigar box)
H. 26,1 cm x W. 11,9 cm

Henner depicts Andromeda, the heroine of Ovid, naked and chained to a rock, waiting for Perseus, her liberator.

This work, done on the lid of a cigar box whose blue label can be seen through the paint, was most likely one of numerous preparatory sketches for another Andromeda painted in the same year.  It could however be a later variation on the same subject, as Henner was in the habit of reworking his compositions and producing small replicas for art lovers. More

Jean-Jacques Henner (1829–1905)
Les Naïades (1877)

Bartolomeo Manfredi, Italian, 1582-1622
Cupid Chastised, c. 1613
Oil on canvas
69 x 51 3/8 in. (175.3 x 130.6 cm)
Art Institute of Chicago

This disturbing and complex painting depicts the eternal human struggle over sexuality. Cupid, who lights fires of love in people's hearts, is the son of Venus, the goddess of love. Here, Venus tries in vain to stop Mars, the god of war, from beating Cupid's naked and blindfolded body with such rage that even the doves flee.
Open to many interpretations, the most obvious is the repression of sexual love by the forces of power, war, and might. This scene connects deeply with the ambivalence and uncertainty that accompany matters of sexuality in modern society.

Bartolomeo Manfredi chose not to interpret the stories of the Bible and classical mythology as idealized subjects enacted by heroic protagonists but rather as events that happened, or could have happened, to ordinary people. In Cupid Chastised,Mars, the god of war, beats Cupid for having caused his affair with Venus, which exposed him to the derision of the other gods. Using dramatic light effects and depicting the action as close to the viewer as possible, Manfredi conveyed with great immediacy and power this tale of domestic discord, which also symbolizes the eternal conflict between love and war. More

Bartolomeo Manfredi (baptised 25 August 1582 – 12 December 1622) was an Italian painter, a leading member of the Caravaggisti (followers of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio) of the early 17th century. Manfredi was born in Ostiano, near Cremona. He may have been a pupil of Caravaggio in Rome: at his famous libel trial in 1603 Caravaggio mentioned that a certain Bartolomeo, accused of distributing scurrilous poems attacking Caravaggio's detested rival Baglione, had been a servant of his. Certainly the Bartolomeo Manfredi known to art history was a close follower of Caravaggio's innovatory style, with its enhanced chiaroscuro and insistence on naturalism, with a gift for story-telling through expression and body-language.

Manfredi was a successful artist, able to keep his own servant before he was thirty years old. He built his career around easel paintings for private clients, and never pursued the public commissions upon which wider reputations were built, but his works were widely collected in the 17th century and he was considered Caravaggio's equal or even superior. His Mars Chastising Cupid offers a tantalising hint at a lost Caravaggio: the master promised a painting on this theme to Mancini, but another of Caravaggio's patrons, Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte, had taken it, and Mancini therefore commissioned Manfredi to paint another for him, which Mancini considered Manfredi's best work.

Manfredi died in Rome in 1622. Gerard Seghers (or Segers; 1589–1651) was one of his pupils More

Antonio del Pollaiolo, (c. 1431-1498)
Hercules and the Hydra,  circa 1470
17x12 cm.
Florence, Uffizi Gallery

The small panel illustrates one of the labours of Hercules, deriving from the myth. The hero can be recognised by the attributes of the pelt of the Nemean lion (which he had defeated) and the knotty club.

The Hydra of Lerna was a sort of gigantic serpent with many heads, which grew again as soon as they were cut off. Hercules managed to kill the monster by using a stratagem: he asked his nephew Iolaus to burn the wound left by each head lopped by the club so that it could not grow back, after which he buried the last head - which was immortal - under a huge boulder. More

Antonio del Pollaiuolo (January 17, 1429/1433 – February 4, 1498), was an Italian painter, sculptor, engraver and goldsmith during the Italian Renaissance. He was born in Florence. His brother, Piero, was also an artist, and the two frequently worked together. Their work shows both classical influences and an interest in human anatomy; reportedly, the brothers carried out dissections to improve their knowledge of the subject. They took their nickname from the trade of their father, who in fact sold poultry. Antonio's first studies of goldsmithing and metalworking were under either his father or Andrea del Castagno: the latter probably taught him also in painting. During this time, he also took an interest in engraving.

Some of Pollaiuolo's painting exhibits strong brutality, of which the characteristics can be studied in the Saint Sebastian, painted in 1473-1475 for the Pucci Chapel of the SS. Annunziata of Florence. However, in contrast, his female portraits exhibit a calmness and a meticulous attention to detail of fashion, as was the norm in late 15th century portraiture.

In 1484 Antonio took up his residence in Rome, where he executed the tomb of Pope Sixtus IV, now in the Museum of St. Peter's (finished in 1493), a composition in which he again manifested the quality of exaggeration in the anatomical features of the figures. In 1496 he went to Florence in order to put the finishing touches to the work already begun in the sacristy of Santo Spirito. He died in Rome as a rich man, having just finished his mausoleum of Pope Innocent VIII, also in St. Peter's, and was buried in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli, where a monument was raised to him near that of his brother.

His main contribution to Florentine painting lay in his analysis of the human body in movement or under conditions of strain, but he is also important for his pioneering interest in landscape. His students included Sandro Botticelli. More

Hans Rottenhammer
oil on copper
32.1 by 41 cm.; 12 by 16 1/8  in.

THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS: It is recounted that Zeus held a banquet in celebration of the marriage of Peleus and Thetis (parents of Achilles). However, Eris, goddess of discord was not invited, for it was believed she would have made the party unpleasant for everyone. Angered by this snub, Eris arrived at the celebration with a golden apple from the Garden of the Hesperides, which she threw into the proceedings as a prize of beauty. The apple was inscribed, "for the fairest one".

Three goddesses claimed the apple: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite and asked Zeus to judge which of them was fairest.  Zeus, reluctant to favor any claim himself, declared that Paris, a Trojan mortal, would judge their cases.

With Hermes as their guide, the three candidates bathed in the spring of Ida, then confronted Paris on Mount Ida. While Paris inspected them, each attempted with her powers to bribe him; Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite, who had the Charites and the Horai to enhance her charms with flowers and song, offered the world's most beautiful woman (Euripides, Andromache, Helena). It was Helen of Sparta, wife of the Greek king Menelaus. Paris accepted Aphrodite's gift and awarded the apple to her, receiving Helen as well as the enmity of the Greeks and especially of Hera. The Greeks' expedition to retrieve Helen from Paris in Troy is the mythological basis of the Trojan War.

The mytheme of the Judgement of Paris naturally offered artists the opportunity to depict a sort of beauty contest between three beautiful female nudes, but the myth, at least since Euripides, rather concerns a choice among the gifts that each goddess embodies. The bribery involved is ironic and a late ingredient. More

Johann Rottenhammer, or Hans Rottenhammer (1564 – 14 August 1625), was a German painter who specialized in highly finished paintings on a small scale. He was born in Munich, where he studied until 1588 under Hans Donauer the Elder. In 1593-4 (and perhaps earlier) he was in Rome, and he then settled in Venice from 1595-6 to 1606, before returning to Germany and settling in Augsburg, working also in Munich. He died in Augsburg, apparently in some poverty, and according to some sources an alcoholic. More

[Italian Mannerist Painter, 1527-1585]
Venus and Adonis1565-69Oil on canvas, 130 x 94 cmThe Hermitage, St. Petersburg
CAMBIASO, Luca, 1527-1585
Venus and Adonis, c. 1565-69
Oil on canvas
130 x 94 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Venus and Adonis is a story in the Metamorphoses.  A narrative poem by the Roman poet Ovid, considered his magnum opus. Comprising fifteen books and over 250 myths, the poem chronicles the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar within a loose mythico-historical framework. As Adonis is preparing to go hunting, Venus "seizeth on his sweating palm" and "Backward she push'd him, as she would be thrust" (for purposes of sexual intercourse). We find next that "Panting he lies, and breatheth in her face", while Venus tells him "Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight." She persuades him to kiss her, although Adonis is not very interested, thinking he is too young, and cares only for hunting. After they part, Adonis is soon killed in a hunting "accident". More

Luca Cambiasi (surname also written Cambiaso or Cangiagio; 18 November 1527 – 6 September 1585) was an Italian painter and draftsman, familiarly known as Lucchetto da Genova. He was precocious, and at the age of fifteen he painted, along with his father, some subjects from Ovid's Metamorphoses on the facade of a house in Genoa. In 1544, at the age of seventeen, he was involved in the decoration of the Palazzo Doria, now the Prefettura, perhaps working with Marcantonio Calvi, a painter of his father's generation. He aided in the vault decoration of the church of San Matteo, in collaboration with Giovanni Battista Castello. His Resurrection and Transfiguration altarpieces for San Bartolomeo degli Armeni date from c. 1560. In 1563, he painted a Resurrection for San Giovanni Battista in Montalto Ligure.

This was followed by frescoes for the Villa Imperiale at Genoa-Turalba (also called the Palazzo Imperiali Terralba) with a Rape of the Sabines (c. 1565) and the Palazzo Meridiana (formerly Grimaldi; also in 1565). In the Capella Lercari of the Duomo di San Lorenzo, Cambiasi frescoed a Presentation and Marriage of the Virgin in 1569, remainder of chapel by Castello.

The 1911 Britannica states that Cambiasi by his thirties began to decline in skill, though not at once in reputation, owing to the vexations brought upon him by a passion which he conceived for his sister-in-law. His wife having died, and the sister-in-law had taken charge of his house and children, he failed to procure a papal dispensation for marrying her.

In 1583 he accepted an invitation from Philip II to complete for the Escorial a series of frescoes begun by Castello; and the 1911 Encyclopædia states the principal reason for traveling to Spain was that he hoped royal influence would gain favor with the Vatican for his marriage plans, but this failed. In the Escorial he executed a Paradise on the vaulting of the church, with a multitude of figures. For this picture he received 2,000 ducats, probably the largest sum that had, up to that time, ever been given for a single work. His paintings in Spain, hew to strict religious thematic. More

Frans Francken II (Antwerp 1581-1642)
The Fall of Phaethon
oil on panel
44.7 x 31.3 cm.

Phaethon was the son of the Oceanid Clymene and the solar deity Apollo. Phaethon, challenged by his playmates, sought assurance from his mother that his father was the sun god. She gave him the requested assurance and told him to turn to his father for confirmation. He asked his father for some proof that would demonstrate his relationship with the sun. When the god promised to grant him whatever he wanted, he insisted on being allowed to drive the sun chariot for a day. Placed in charge of the chariot, he was unable to control the horses. The earth was in danger of being burnt up and, to prevent this disaster, Zeus killed him with a thunderbolt. More

Frans Francken the Younger (Antwerp, 1581 – Antwerp, 6 May 1642) was a Flemish painter and the best-known member of the large Francken family of artists. He played an important role in the development of Flemish art in the first half of the 17th century through his innovations in genre painting and introduction of new subject matter. More

Paul Huet 1803 - 1869 FRENCH MEDEA (AFTER EUGÈNE DELACROIX) oil on board 14 by 9 3/8 in. 35.5 by 23.8 cm:
Paul Huet, 1803 - 1869
oil on board
14 by 9 3/8 in. - 35.5 by 23.8 cm

The present work is related to Eugène Delacroix's painting Medea of 1862 (Musée de Lille) (See below).  When exhibited in Bordeaux, Huet’s composition was dated to 1864 (the year of Delacroix's death).  However, it is possible that the painting may date circa 1862 as it was completed in conjunction with Huet’s documented attempt to persuade Delacroix to make Medea’s expression reflect the impassioned murder of her children (Pierre Miquel and Marion Spencer, Paintings by Paul Huet (1803-1869) and some Contemporary French Sculpture, London, 1969, p. 24). Interestingly, such an emotional force is arguably more immediate in Huet's Medea than Delacroix's finished work.

Paul Huet (3 October 1803 – 8 January 1869) was a French painter and printmaker born in Paris. He studied under Gros and Guerin. He met the English painter Richard Parkes Bonington in the studio of Gros, where he studied irregularly from 1819 to 1822. Bonington's example influenced Huet to reject neoclassicism and instead paint landscapes based on close observation of nature. The British landscape paintings exhibited in the Salon of 1824 were a revelation to Huet, who said of Constable's work: "It was the first time perhaps that one felt the freshness, that one saw a luxuriant, verdant nature, without blackness, crudity or mannerism." Huet's subsequent work combined emulation of the English style with inspiration derived from Dutch and Flemish old masters such as Rubens, Jacob van Ruisdael, and Meindert Hobbema. More

Eugène Delacroix, 1836-1838
Medea, c. 1838
Huile sur toile
Dimensions (H × L), 260 × 165 cm
Musée de Lille

In 1818 Eugene Delacroix began to addresse the theme of Medea in his sketchbooks. His drawings, which extend until 1828, first focus on the overall composition of the table, and on the various body parts of Medea, and finally her face. Delacroix starts the work in 1836 completes it in 1838 for presentation to the Salon where it was a great success. Purchased by the State, it is exposed for a year at the Luxembourg Museum before being sent to the Lille museum. It is then presented to the World Expo 1855. 

More than twenty years later, in 1859, Delacroix made a different version of the same theme for the amateur-Bouruet Aubertot then, in 1862, two more replicas of the original picture were made. More

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school. Delacroix's use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish writer Walter Scott and the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. More

Oil on canvas
Italian, 1st half 18th century
Circle of Francesco Solimena (1657-1747) – Italian painter
Sacrifice of Polyxena
Remains of an old label on the stretcher frame
Dimensions: 92 x 74 cm

According to Greek legend, Achilles fell in love with the Trojan princess Polyxena, the daughter of the king of Troy. He was offered her hand in marriage if he agreed to end the war between the Greeks and the Trojans. At Polyxena's request, Achilles came to make a sacrifice to Apollo, but he was ambushed by Paris, Polyxena's brother, as he knelt at the altar. Paris shot a fatal arrow into Achilles' heel, his one vulnerable spot. Before he died, Achilles vengefully proclaimed that the treacherous Polyxena be sacrificed at his tomb.  More

Francesco Solimena (October 4, 1657 – April 3, 1747) was a prolific Italian painter of the Baroque era, one of an established family of painters and draughtsmen. More

Napoleon Liberator of:
Oil on canvas, margins relined
Italy, 1809
Francesco Alberi, (1765-1836) – Italian painter of the Neoclassicism
Napoleon as Liberatory of Italy (c. 1800).
Signed and inscribed on the lower right ‘F. Alberi dipinse per commissione del Sig. Podestà Gaet. Onesti’
Dated in an inscription on the lower links ‘LIBERATORI / SUO / ITALIA / MDCCCIX’ [Tot he liberator of Italy 1809]
Dimensions: 135 x 176.5 cm

The painting shows an allegoric depiction of Napoleon I. (1769-1821), the French Emperor and since 26 May 1805 also King of Italy. Napoleon is sitting on a throne and is in the company of Athene, the goddess of the cities, wisdom and war, as well as a female figure with a coat in emerald-green, who is handing him the Cesare’s attribute – the laurel wreath as a symbol of the Lombard crown. Behind her follows a legate of Zeus with a cornucopia, which should promise a fertile land. On the right of the throne stands Herakles, which symbolizes Napoleon’s predominance. The putto to the feet of the throne stands for the legislation to be organized in Italy. The original owner of the painting, Gaetano Onesti (1748-1825) was 1809 the mayor of the Italian town Padua, at the time when Alberi studied at the Art academy there.

Francesco Alberi (1765-1836). The painter Francesco Alberi was active in Bologna, Padua, Rimini and Rome. He got his education by Giuseppe Soleri in Rimini, after which he was a student under Domenico Corvi in Rome. Five years later he went back to Rimini, where he painted numerous famous families, such as Battaglini, Garampi, Ganganelli and Spina. In 1799 he became a professor in design on the am Lyceum in Rimini. From 1803 to 1806 he was a professor in the Academy for Fine arts in Bologna and to 1810 in Padua. Alberi painted preferentially classic Greek-Roman and historic themes.

Follower of Heinrich Füger ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE IN THE UNDERWORLD oil on canvas 72 by 97.2 cm.; 28 3/8  by 38 1/4  in.:
Follower of Heinrich Füger
oil on canvas
72 by 97.2 cm.; 28 3/8  by 38 1/4  in.

In Greek mythology, Eurydice was an oak nymph or one of the daughters of Apollo (the god of music, who also drove the sun chariot, 'adopting' the power as god of the Sun from the primordial god Helios). She was the wife of Orpheus, who tried to bring her back from the dead with his enchanting music.

Eurydice was married to Orpheus, who loved her dearly; on their wedding day, he played joyful songs as his bride danced through the meadow. One day, Aristaeus saw and pursued Eurydice, who stepped on a viper, was bitten, and died instantly. Distraught, Orpheus played and sang so mournfully that all the nymphs and deities wept and told him to travel to the Underworld to retrieve her, which he gladly did. After his music softened the hearts of Hades and Persephone, his singing so sweet that even the Erinyes wept, he was allowed to take her back to the world of the living. In another version, Orpheus played his lyre to put Cerberus, the guardian of Hades, to sleep, after which Eurydice was allowed to return with Orpheus to the world of the living. Either way, the condition was attached that he must walk in front of her and not look back until both had reached the upper world. Soon he began to doubt that she was there, and that Hades had deceived him. Just as he reached the portals of Hades and daylight, he turned around to gaze on her face, and because Eurydice had not yet crossed the threshold, she vanished back into the Underworld. When Orpheus later was killed by the Maenads at the orders of Dionysus, his soul ended up in the Underworld where he was reunited with Eurydice. More

Heinrich Friedrich Füger (8 December 1751 Heilbronn – 5 November 1818 Vienna) was a German portrait and historical painter. He was a pupil of Nicolas Guibal in Stuttgart and of Adam Friedrich Oeser in Leipzig. Afterward he traveled and spent some time in Rome and Naples, where he painted frescoes in the Palazzo Caserta. On his return to Vienna he was appointed court painter, professor and vice director of the Academy, and in 1806 director of the Belvedere Gallery. More

French school, 18th century MARS AND VENUS signed and dated lower left: HF Fiago 1789 oil on paper, laid on to panel, unframed 45.5 by 32 cm.; 17 7/8  by 12 1/2  in.:
French school, 18th century
signed and dated lower left: HF Fiago 1789
oil on paper, laid on to panel, unframed
45.5 by 32 cm.; 17 7/8  by 12 1/2  in

Venus (Aphrodite or Venus de Milo in Greece) is betrothed to pragmatic and hardnosed Vulcan, Roman God of Fire, but she finds him too prosaic. She has a passionate affair with Mars (Ares in Greece), the product of which is a beautiful daughter, Harmonia. But Vulcan suspects what is going on. Being a blacksmith, he fashions a fine metallic mesh were Venus and Mars gets ensnared on a couch. They are then both humiliated in front of the other gods on mount Olympus (More below). More

Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510)
Venus and Mars, circa 1483
Tempera on panel
69 × 173.5 cm (27.2 × 68.3 in)
National Gallery

Mars and Venus is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli. It shows the Roman gods Venus and Mars in an allegory of beauty and valour. The youthful and voluptuous couple recline in a forest setting, surrounded by playful satyrs. The painting is typically held as an ideal of sensuous love, of pleasure and play.

In the painting Venus watches Mars sleep while two infant satyrs play, carrying his helmet and lance as another rests inside his breastplate under his arm. A fourth blows a small conch shell in his ear in an effort to wake him. More

The couple is framed by two evergreen plants, the laurel and the myrtle.  The former was associated with the family of Lorenzo de’ Medici and the myrtle was associated with Venus.   In the distance, on the other side of the fields we can just make out the city of Florence, behind which rise the mountains which lie to the north of the River Arno.

If you look closely at the top right corner of the painting, just above the head of Mars you will see a swarm of hovering wasps.  So why include them?  One thought is that as the Italian word for wasps is vespe and they form part of the Vespucci’s coat of arms.  The model used for Venus was Simonetta Cattaneo, whose husband Marco was a member of the Vespucci family.  More

Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, known as Sandro Botticelli (1445 – May 17, 1510), was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. He belonged to the Florentine School under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici, a movement that Giorgio Vasari would characterize less than a hundred years later in his Vita of Botticelli as a "golden age". Botticelli's posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century; since then, his work has been seen to represent the linear grace of Early Renaissance painting. More

The Birth and Triumph of Venus - Francois Boucher
Francois Boucher
The Birth and Triumph of Venus, c. 1740
Oil on canvas
130 x 162 cm
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden

Venus, the story goes, was born of the sea. She was the fruit of Uranus' amputated genitals, which fell to earth and, in their union with the sea, generated the Goddess of Love. 

She hovers on a canopy of mother-of-pearl, upholstered with pink and pearl-grey silk and held up by the winds and cupids. She is attended by a court of white naiads and bronzed tritons.

Gods, dolphins, fabrics, water, clouds together make up a swirling movement which Boucher has painted in cold colours: blue and turquoise. Both composition and colours belong to the Rococo. The sea blends with a greyish-blue sky and the horizon is not easily distinguishable. More

François Boucher (29 September 1703 – 30 May 1770) was a French painter in the Rococo style. Boucher is known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes, decorative allegories, and pastoral scenes. He was perhaps the most celebrated painter and decorative artist of the 18th century. He also painted several portraits of his patroness, Madame de Pompadour (See Next). More

Circle of François Boucher
oil on canvas
65.4 by 86.3 cm.; 25 3/4  by 34 in.

Henry Howard LONDON 1769 - 1847 OXFORD HYLAS CARRIED OFF BY NYMPHS oil on canvas, unframed 112.4 by 143.5 cm.; 44 1/4  by 56 1/2  in.:
Henry Howard
LONDON 1769 - 1847 OXFORD
oil on canvas, unframed
112.4 by 143.5 cm.; 44 1/4  by 56 1/2  in.

Heracles took Hylas with him on the Argo, making him one of the Argonauts. Hylas was kidnapped by nymphs of the spring of Pegae, that fell in love with him in Mysia and vanished without a trace. This upset Heracles greatly, so he along with Polyphemus searched for a great length of time. The ship set sail without them. According to the Latin Argonautica of Valerius Flaccus, he never found Hylas because he had fallen in love with the nymphs and remained "to share their power and their love." More

Henry Howard RA (31 January 1769 – 5 October 1847) was an early 19th-century British portrait and history painter. More

Frans van Mieris the Younger LEIDEN 1689 - 1763 VERTUMNUS AND POMONA oil on panel 53.4 by 41.5 cm.; 21 by 16  3/8  in.:
Frans van Mieris the Younger
LEIDEN 1689 - 1763
oil on panel
53.4 by 41.5 cm.; 21 by 16  3/8  in.

In Roman mythology, Vertumnus is the god of seasons, change and plant growth, as well as gardens and fruit trees. He could change his form at will; using this power, according to Ovid's Metamorphoses (xiv), he tricked Pomona into talking to him by disguising himself as an old woman and gaining entry to her orchard, then using a narrative warning of the dangers of rejecting a suitor (the embedded tale of Iphis and Anaxarete) to seduce her. The tale of Vertumnus and Pomona has been called the only purely Latin tale in Ovid's Metamorphoses. More

Frans van Mieris, the younger (24 November 1689 – 22 October 1763) was a Dutch painter. He was born in Leiden, the son of Willem van Mieris, and also followed the traditions of his grandfather, Frans's studio. Willem bequeathed his painting-room to his son Frans. Neither Willem nor Frans the younger equalled Frans the elder in artistic reputation. Frans died in Leiden. More

Sir James Palmer WINGHAM, KENT 1585 - 1658 DORNEY, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE FOUR NYMPHS IN AN ITALIANATE LANDSCAPE signed lower right: J. Palmer oil on panel, unframed 15.8 by 22.5 cm.; 6 1/4  by 8 7/8  in.:
Sir James Palmer
signed lower right: J. Palmer
oil on panel, unframed
15.8 by 22.5 cm.; 6 1/4  by 8 7/8  in.

Sir James Palmer painted miniature copies after pictures in the Royal Collection, which he helped to form. According to Ellis Waterhouse the present work is a copy after a composition by Cornelis van Poelenburgh. Palmer also painted portrait miniatures of James I and members of the Court in a style derived from Isaac Oliver. A man of many talents, he was elected twice as an MP and became Chancellor of the Order of the Garter under Charles I.

Circle of Monsù Desiderio THE DESTRUCTION OF TROY oil on canvas, unframed 101.5 by 180 cm.; 40 by 70 1/2  in:
Circle of Monsù Desiderio
oil on canvas, unframed
101.5 by 180 cm.; 40 by 70 1/2  in

Monsù Desiderio is the name formerly given to an artist believed to have painted architectural scenes in a distinctive style in Naples in the early seventeenth century.[1] The term Monsù, a corruption of the French monsieur, was often used by Neapolitan historians to denote a painter of foreign origin. More

Yannis Tsarouchis
The offering and two winged men
13.27 X 18.74 in (33.7 X 47.6 cm)
watercolour and body colour on paper
Creation Date:  1965

Alluding to elusive cultural symbols drawn from Greek mythology and the idealized world of a bygone era, this delightful menagerie of forms and figures reflects Tsarouchis's attitude towards painting, both as a long and rich tradition to draw from, as well as an ideal vehicle to probe into the inner world of Greekness. The shallow compositional structure coupled with a stage designer's perception of space, which played a pivotal role throughout the artist's career, build up an edifice of pure forms, an everlasting world liberated from the fleeting moment. Both scenes are animated by the presence of modern-looking male figures with angel or libellule (dragonfly) wings who convey a lyrical tone and a mood of serenity and grace, suggesting a unification of iconographic symbols in an unbroken and living Greek myth.

Fotis Kontoglou
Brigand of Olympus
36.81 X 26.77 in (93.5 X 68 cm)
wax emulsion on canvas

The leading advocate for the revival of the Byzantine pictorial tradition in Greece, Fotis Kontoglou, imaginatively combined religious sentiment and Byzantine iconographical conventions, with subject matter often drawn from modern life experiences. His passionate campaign for a secular adaptation of post-Byzantine Orthodox tradition, combined with his radical view that the frugal expressive means of Byzantine icon painting are kindred in spirit to the abstractive conceptions of modern art, had a decisive influence on Greek artists and especially on the exponents of the legendary 1930s generation.

In the Brigand of Olympus, the frontality of the figure, echoing the Fayum portraits the painter meticulously copied,1 as well as the flat rendering of space, absence of chiaroscuro, inner, otherworldly light, earthy colour and schematisation of form stem directly from the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine pictorial tradition, while the disciplined design and delicate modelling, rendered through fluent brushstrokes, evoke a mood of austerity and contrition, lending the notorious brigand a dignified appearance. 

Euan Uglow 1932–2000
Cephalus and Aurora (after Poussin), c. 1953
10.43 X 12.76 in (26.5 X 32.4 cm)
oil on board

Cephalus was married to Procris, a daughter of Erechtheus, an ancient founding-figure of Athens. The goddess of dawn, Aurora, kidnapped Cephalus when he was hunting. The resistant Cephalus and Eos became lovers, and she bore him a son named Phaethon. However, Cephalus always pined for Procris, causing a disgruntled Aurora to return him to her, making disparaging remarks about his wife's fidelity.

Once reunited with Procris after an interval of eight years, Cephalus tested her by returning from the hunt in disguise, and managing to seduce her. In shame Procris fled to the forest, to hunt with Artemis. In returning and reconciling, Procris brought two magical gifts, an inerrant javelin that never missed its mark, and a hunting hound, Laelaps that always caught its prey.

Procris then conceived doubts about her husband, who left his bride at the bridal chamber and climbed to a mountaintop and sang a hymn invoking Nephele, "cloud". Procris became convinced that he was serenading a lover. She climbed to where he was to spy on him. Cephalus, hearing a stirring in the brush and thinking the noise came from an animal, threw the never-erring javelin in the direction of the sound – and Procris was impaled. As she lay dying in his arms, she told him "On our wedding vows, please never marry Eos". Cephalus was distraught at the death of his beloved Procris, and went into exile.

Later, Cephalus helped Amphitryon of Mycenae in a war against the Taphians and Teleboans. He was awarded with the island of Samos, which thereafter came to be known as Cephallenia. 

Cephalus never forgave himself over the death of Procris, and he committed suicide by leaping from Cape Leucas into the sea. More

Euan Uglow 1932–2000 was an English painter. He trained in London at Camberwell School of Art from 1948 to 1951 and from 1951 to 1954 at the Slade School of Fine Art, where he came under the influence of William Coldstream. His early figurative style adapted a form of planar drawing derived from Alberto Giacometti's work of the 1920s and applied it to a Classical structure, derived from Paul Cézanne, with an intensity of colour unrivalled by his teachers of the Euston Road School. Musicians (1953; London, Tate) reinterpreted the Impressionist theme of figures in a landscape by combining directly observed elements with a deliberately contrived backdrop painted on the studio wall.
Uglow was consistently concerned with formal relationships within a self-sufficient system, whatever the subject. He graduated colour according to a tonal scale and used drawing to define three-dimensional form and tactile surfaces. The proportions of the images and of the canvas itself are often mathematically derived, as in the Nude from Twelve Regular Vertical Positions from the Eye (1967; U. Liverpool). There is a strong conceptual element in Uglow's work, with each picture regarded as a specific project with clearly defined aims. The end product unambiguously reveals the history of its making by a prolonged and entirely conscious process of analysis and synthesis, combining objectivity with a private and often quirky passion. More

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Acknowledgement: Old Master PaintingsBonhams