Tuesday, September 6, 2016

08 Paintings, Hellenic Mytheology by Wilhelm Trübner (German, 1851–1917), with footnotes 2

Wilhelm Trübner, 1851 – 1917
The Battle of the Lapiths and Centaurs, 1877
Oil on cardboard
Height: 94 cm (37.01 in.), Width: 79 cm (31.1 in.)

The theme of the painting is taken from Ovid. The Lapiths, a peace-loving people of Thessaly, were celebrating the wedding of their king Pirithous to Hippodamia. The Centaurs were invited but they quickly began to misbehave. One of them, Eurytus, full of liquor, tried to carry off the bride and soon a battle raged in which drinking vessels, table legs, antlers, in fact anything to hand, served as weapons. Blood and brains were scattered everywhere. Finally, thanks chiefly for Theseus, the friend of Pirithous, who was among the guests, the Centaurs were driven off. To the ancients and to the Renaissance the theme symbolized the victory of civilization over barbarism. It was used to decorate Greek temples, notably the metopes of the Parthenon (the 'Elgin marbles'), and was popular with baroque painters. More

The early 1870s were a period of discovery for Trübner. He travelled to Italy, Holland and Belgium, and in Paris encountered the art of Manet, whose influence can be seen in the spontaneous yet restrained style of Trübner's portraits and landscapes. During this period he also made the acquaintance of Carl Schuch, Albert Lang and Hans Thoma, German painters who, like Trübner, greatly admired the unsentimental realism of Wilhelm Leibl. This group of artists came to be known as the "Leibl circle".

Wilhelm Trübner, 1851 – 1917
Battling Giants, 1877
Oil on cardboard
Height: 61 cm (24.02 in.), Width: 49.6 cm (19.53 in.)
Museum der Bildenden Künste - Leipzig  (Germany - Leipzig)

The Giants were a race of great strength and aggression, though not necessarily of great size, known for their battle with the Olympian gods. They were the offspring of Gaia (Earth), born from the blood that fell when Uranus (Sky) was castrated by his Titan son Cronus.

Archaic and Classical representations show Gigantes as heavily-armed ancient Greek foot soldiers; fully human in form. In later traditions, the Giants were often confused with other opponents of the Olympians, particularly the Titans, an earlier generation of large and powerful children of Gaia and Uranus.

The vanquished Giants were said to be buried under volcanos, and to be the cause of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. More

He published writings on art theory in 1892 and 1898, which express above all the idea that "beauty must lie in the painting itself, not in the subject". By urging the viewer to discover beauty in a painting's formal values, its colors, proportions, and surface, Trübner advanced a philosophy of "art for art's sake". In 1901 he joined the recently formed Berlin Secession, at the time Germany's most important forum for the exhibition of avant-garde art. From 1903 until his death in 1917 he was a professor at the Academy of Arts in Karlsruhe, also serving as director from 1904 to 1910. More



Wilhelm Trübner, 1851 – 1917
Pair of Centaurs at a Waterfall, 1880
Oil on canvas
Height: 61.5 cm (24.21 in.), Width: 50 cm (19.69 in.)
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen - Munich  (Germany - Oberschleißheim)


Centaurs are half-human, half-horse creatures in Greek mythology. They have the body of a horse and the torso, head and arms of a man. They were considered to be the children of Ixion, king of the Lapiths, and Nephele, a cloud made in the image of Hera. According to a different myth, however, they were all born from the union of a single Centaurus with the Magnesian mares. More


Wilhelm Trübner, 1851 – 1917
Pair of Centaurs in the Woods, 1878
Oil on cardboard 
Height: 54 cm (21.26 in.), Width: 45 cm (17.72 in.)

TRÜBNER, WILHELM, (Heidelberg 1851 - 1917 Karlsruhe) 
Satyr and centaurs
Oil on panel. 
36.3 x 28.2 cm

A satyr is one of a troop of ithyphallic male companions of Dionysus with goat-like features and often permanent erection. Early artistic representations sometimes include horse-like legs, but in 6th-century BC black-figure pottery human legs are the most common. In Roman Mythology there is a concept similar to satyrs, with goat-like features: the faun, being half-man, half-goat, who roamed the woods and mountains. In myths they are often associated with pipe-playing. Greek-speaking Romans often used the Greek term saturos when referring to the Latin faunus, and eventually syncretized the two. More


Wilhelm Trübner, (German, 1851–1917)
Prometheus complained of the Oceanids I. , 1888
Oil on Canvas
322 x 230 cm. (126.8 x 90.6 in.)
Prometheus was the Titan god of forethought and crafty counsel who was given the task of moulding mankind out of clay. His attempts to better the lives of his creation brought him into conflict with Zeus. Firstly he tricked the gods out of the best portion of the sacrificial feast, acquiring the meat for the feasting of man. Then, when Zeus withheld fire, he stole it from heaven and delivered it to mortal kind hidden inside a fennel-stalk. As punishment for these rebellious acts, Zeus ordered the creation of Pandora(the first woman) as a means to deliver misfortune into the house of man, or as a way to cheat mankind of the company of the good spirits. Prometheus meanwhile, was arrested and bound to a stake on Mount Kaukasos (Caucasus) where an eagle was set to feed upon his ever-regenerating liver (or, some say, heart). Generations later the great hero Herakles (Heracles) came along and released the old Titan from his torture. More

The Oceanids are sea nymphs who were the three thousand daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys.

Wilhelm Trübner (German, 1851–1917)
Prometheus complained of the Oceanids
Oil on canvas. 
133 x 79 cm

Wilhelm Trübner (German, 1851–1917)
Prometheus complained of the Oceanids
Detail

Wilhelm Trübner (German, 1851–1917)
Prometheus complained of the Oceanids
Detail

Trübner painted five versions of the theme of Prometheus. The 1889 version follows the "Prometheus Bound" by Aeschylus, where he appears attached to the rock, punished for having given fire to men. More

Wilhelm Trübner (German, 1851–1917)
Pomona, c. 1898
Oil on cardboard
81 cm (31.89 in.), Width: 42 cm (16.54 in.)
Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe  (Germany - Karlsruhe) 

Pomona was a goddess of fruitful abundance in ancient Roman religion and myth. Her name comes from the Latin word pomum, "fruit," specifically orchard fruit. She was said to be a wood nymph.

Pomona scorned the love of the woodland gods, but married Vertumnus after he tricked her, disguised as an old woman. She and Vertumnus shared a festival held on August 13. The pruning knife was her attribute. There is a grove that is sacred to her called the Pomonal, located not far from Ostia, the ancient port of Rome.

Unlike many other Roman goddesses and gods, she does not have a Greek counterpart. She watches over and protects fruit trees and cares for their cultivation. She was not actually associated with the harvest of fruits itself, but with the flourishing of the fruit trees. In artistic depictions she is generally shown with a platter of fruit or a cornucopia. More

School of Wilhelm Trübner (1851–1917)
Youth in armor
Oil on canvas
106 × 87.5 cm (41.7 × 34.4 in)
Palais Dorotheum


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