Saturday, December 10, 2016

19 Paintings, scenes from the Bible, by The Old Masters, with footnotes # 32

Sir Anthony van Dyck, (1599 – 1641) 
Ecce Homo, 1625-6
Oil on canvas
143.6 x 107.6cm (56 9/16 x 42 3/8in)
Private collection

Previously and mistakenly thought to be a later derivative copy, this important painting by Van Dyck was unknown until it appeared at auction at Christie's in 1990, catalogued as 'follower of Van Dyck'. More

Christ, crowned with thorns, is clothed in a robe of imperial purple in mockery of his description as the King of the Jews.

Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) 
Man of Sorrows (or Ecce Homo)
An unfinished study, c. 1622-1625
Oil on canvas
113 x 81 cm
The Weiss Gallery

Van Dyck shows Christ as the Man of Sorrows with a single tear running down his face – an image of profound sadness and humility.  The format, with Christ’s body shown close up, confronts us with his human suffering.  More

Ecce homo are the Latin words used by Pontius Pilate in the Vulgate translation of John 19:5, when he presents a scourged Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd shortly before his Crucifixion. The Douay-Rheims Bible translates the phrase into English as "Behold the man!" [John 19:5] The scene has been widely depicted in Christian art. More

Sir Anthony van Dyck, ( 22 March 1599 – 9 December 1641) was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England, after enjoying great success in Italy and Flanders. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next 150 years. He also painted biblical and mythological subjects, displayed outstanding facility as a draughtsman, and was an important innovator in watercolour and etching. The Van Dyke beard is named after him. More

Johann Friedrich Overbeck
The Banishment of Hagar, c. 1941
oil on panel
39 x 44 ¾ in. (99.1 x 113.6 cm.)
Private collection

Hagar is a biblical person in the Book of Genesis Chapter 16. She was an Egyptian handmaid of Sarah, who gave her to Abraham "to wife" to bear a child. The product of the union was Abraham's firstborn, Ishmael, the progenitor of the Ishmaelites.
After Sarah gave birth to Isaac, and the tension between the women returned. At a celebration after Isaac was weaned, Sarah found the teenage Ishmael mocking her son, and demanded that Abraham send Hagar and her son away. She declared that Ishmael would not share in Isaac's inheritance. Abraham was greatly distressed but God told Abraham to do as his wife commanded because God's promise would be carried out through both Isaac and Ishmael.
The name Hagar originates from the Book of Genesis, and is only alluded to in the Qur'an. She is considered Abraham's second wife in the Islamic faith and acknowledged in all Abrahamic faiths. In mainstream Christianity, she is considered a concubine to Abraham. More

Johann Friedrich Overbeck, (born July 3, 1789, Imperial Free City of Lübeck—died Nov. 12, 1869, Rome) Romantic painter of Christian religious subjects, who was leader of a group of German artists known as the Nazarenes, or Lucas Brotherhood (Lukasbund).

In 1806 Overbeck entered the Academy of Vienna, where, disappointed in the academic approach to teaching, he and Franz Pforr in 1809 founded the Lucas Brotherhood. They sought to revive the medieval artists’ guilds and to renew the arts through Christian faith). For artistic inspiration they turned to Albrecht Dürer and to Italian Renaissance art, particularly the works of Perugino and early Raphael.

In 1810 the Lucas Brotherhood went to Rome. Their style was characterized by precise outlines; clear, bright colours; and an emphasis on Christian symbolism. 

As he advanced in years, Overbeck’s painting became pallid and stereotyped. Yet these late works greatly influenced Christian devotional art of the 19th century and the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His more vital early pictures and drawings, however, were rediscovered and appreciated early in the 20th century. More

Antwerp School, 16th Century
Judah and Tamar 
oil on panel
92.8 x 77.5cm (36 9/16 x 30 1/2in).
Private collection


In the Book of Genesis, Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah, as well as the mother of two of his children: the twins Perez and Zerah. Tamar is first described as marrying Judah's eldest son, Er. Because of his wickedness, Er was killed by God. By way of a Levirate union, Judah asked his second son, Onan, to provide offspring for Tamar so that the family line might continue. 

Onan's actions were deemed wicked by God and so, like his older brother, he died prematurely. At this point, Judah is portrayed as viewing Tamar to be cursed and therefore as being reluctant to give her his remaining and youngest son Shelah. Rather, he tells Tamar to wait for Shelah. However, even after Shelah has grown up, Judah still does not give Tamar to him in marriage.

Judah became a widower. After Judah mourned the death of his wife, he planned on going to Timnah to shear his sheep. Upon hearing this news, Tamar disguised herself as a prostitute and immediately went to Enaim which was en route to Judah's destination. Upon arriving at Enaim, Judah saw the woman but did not recognize her as Tamar because of the veil she wore over her face. Thinking she was a prostitute, he requested her services. Tamar's plan was to become pregnant by this ruse in order to bear a child in Judah's line, because Judah had not given her to his son Shelah. So she played the part of a prostitute and struck a deal with Judah for a goat with a security deposit of his staff, seal, and cord. When Judah was able to have a goat sent to Enaim, in order to collect his staff and seal, the woman was nowhere to be found and no one knew of any prostitute in Enaim. 

Three months later, Tamar was accused of prostitution on account of her pregnancy. Upon hearing this news, Judah ordered that she be burned to death. Tamar sent the staff, seal, and cord to Judah with a message declaring that the owner of these items was the man who had made her pregnant. Upon recognizing his security deposit, Judah released Tamar from her sentence. Tamar's place in the family and Judah's posterity secured, she gives birth to twins, Perez and Zerah. More

The Antwerp School is a term for the artists active in Antwerp, first during the 16th century when the city was the economic center of the Low Countries, and then during the 17th century when it became the artistic stronghold of the Flemish Baroque under Peter Paul Rubens.

Antwerp took over from Bruges as the main trading and commercial center of the Low Countries around 1500. Painters, artists and craftsmen joined the Guild of Saint Luke, which educated apprentices and guaranteed quality.

The first school of artists that emerged in the city were the Antwerp Mannerists, a group of anonymous late Gothic painters active in the city from about 1500 to 1520. They were followed by Mannerist painters in the Italian tradition that developed at the end of the High Renaissance. Jan Gossaert was a major artist in the city at this time.

The iconoclastic riots of 1566 that preceded the Dutch Revolt resulted in the destruction of many works of religious art, after which time the churches and monasteries had to be refurnished and redecorated. Artists such as Otto van Veen and members of the Francken family, working in a late mannerist style, provided new religious decoration. It also marked a beginning of economic decline in the city, as the Scheldt river was blockaded by the Dutch Republic in 1585 diminishing trade.

The city experienced an artistic renewal in the 17th century. The large workshops of Peter Paul Rubens and Jacob Jordaens, and the influence of Anthony van Dyck, made Antwerp the center of the Flemish Baroque. The city was an internationally significant publishing centre, and had a huge production of old master prints and book illustrations. Many artists joined the Guild of Romanists, a society for which having visited Rome was a condition of membership. But as the economy continued to decline, and the Habsburg Governors and the Church reduced their patronage, many artists trained in Antwerp left for the Netherlands, England, France or elsewhere, and by the end of the 17th century Antwerp was no longer a major centre for art. More

Belgian School, 16th Century
The Conversion of Saint Paul
Oil on canvas
80.2 x 116.2cm (31 9/16 x 45 3/4in)
Private collection

The painting records the moment when Saul of Tarsus, on his way to Damascus to annihilate the Christian community there, is struck blind by a brilliant light and hears the voice of Christ saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?...And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid, but they heard not the voice..." (Acts 22:6-11). Elsewhere Paul claims to have seen Christ during the vision, and it is on this basis that he grounds his claim be recognised as an Apostle: "Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?" More

Pieter van Lint, (1609–1690)
David and Bathsheba
Oil on canvas
81.2 x 182.8cm (31 15/16 x 71 15/16in)
Private collection

David and Bathsheba. The story is told that David, while walking on the roof of his palace, saw Bathsheba, who was then the wife of Uriah, having a bath. He immediately desired her and later made her pregnant. In an effort to conceal his sin, and save Bathsheba from punishment for adultery, David summoned her husband, Uriah, and gave the order that Uriah should be placed in the front lines of the battle, where it was the most dangerous, and left to the hands of the enemy. After Uriah was dead, David made the now widowed Bathsheba his wife.

David's action was displeasing to the Lord, who accordingly sent Nathan the prophet to reprove the king. The king at once confessed his sin and expressed sincere repentance. Bathsheba's child by David was struck with a severe illness and died a few days after birth, which the king accepted as his punishment.

In David's old age, Bathsheba secured the succession to the throne of her son Solomon, according to David's earlier promise, instead of David's eldest surviving son Adonijah. More

Pieter van Lint or Peter van Lint (1609–1690) was a Flemish painter, draughtsman and designer of tapestries. He excelled in history paintings, genre scenes and portraits in the Flemish Baroque style with some Classisizing influence. He worked in Antwerp and Italy.

He was born in Antwerp where he trained under Artus Wolffort. During his training he frequently visited Antwerp’s churches to copy the paintings of his contemporaries such as Peter Paul Rubens as well as those of earlier generations such as Marten de Vos and the Francken brothers.

Van Lint become a master in the Guild of Saint Luke in 1633. In that same year he traveled to Rome where he remained until 1640. In Rome he worked for Cardinal Domenico Ginnasi, Bishop of Ostia, who employed him to decorate the local cathedral. Van Lint also frescoed the Cybo family chapel in the Santa Maria del Popolo with the Legend of the True Cross in 1636-40. He spent time in Paris from 1640 to 1641 where he possibly was in contact with Poussin. More

Pieter Lisaert IV, Flemish, 1595-1629
David and Abigail
Oil on panel
22 1/2 x 33 1/2 inches (57 x 85 cm)
Private collection

Abigail is a lesser-known heroine in the Bible, a humble woman who was married to a wealthy scoundrel. Abigail combined her wisdom with her wealth to appear before an approaching enemy to plead for the safety of Nabal's, her husband's, household. 

David became aware that Nabal, a wealthy and influential man from Maon, who was in Carmel for a sheep-shearing festival. David and his men had helped Nabal's shepherds, and so David sought food for his men in exchange. But Nabal was too prideful to acknowledge David, believing his goods were too valuable to give away. David became angry and summoned his men to prepare for vengeance.

David and 400 of his men were on their way to seek vengeance for Nabal's foolish response. But one of Nabal's servants informed Abigail of David's intentions were upon his arrival. Abigail knew who David was and the One that he served. Without hesitation, and without telling her husband, Abigail gathered together food supplies and loaded them on donkeys. Then she headed out to meet the future king of Israel.

When Abigail saw David, she delivered the most humble, heartfelt plea for David to spare her husband's household. She admitted that her husband was a man of bad character, she reminded David that his enemies would be destroyed because of God's justice, and his own house would endure. She only asked in return that, when God had fulfilled everything He had promised, that David remember her.

David heeded Abigail's words. He respected her for the great respect she showed her husband's household, despite his faulty character. He sent her away with a blessing, promising her safe return home and the preservation of the men of Nabal.

Abigail waited until morning to tell Nabal what she had done. Her report to him caused his heart to fail. Only 10 days later, Nabal died.

When David had learned that Nabal was dead, he remembered Abigail and sent for her to become his wife. More

Pieter Lisaert ( Antwerp , 1574-  C. 1630) was a Flemish painter , specializing in historic religious and allegorical paintings.

Poorly known biography has his birth in Antwerp, where he was baptized on June 24, 1574, and his marriage to Suzanne van Horne in 1595. Member of a family of artists and art dealers, his paintings reveal influences of Frans Francken the Elder.

His painting, "the parable of the foolish virgins and wise virgins" ( Matthew 25 : 1-13 was repeated several time. with a version at the Museo del Prado , another in the National Gallery of Finland, while the Museum of Fine Arts in Strasbourg retains a "Triumph of Time". More

Lambert Suavius, (c. 1510 - 1574/1576)
Christ in the house of Simon the Pharisee and other scenes from the Life of Christ
Oil on canvas
66 x 76.5cm (26 x 30 1/8in)
Private collection

Simon the Pharisee mentioned in the Gospel of Luke as the host of a meal, who invited Jesus to eat in his house but failed to show him the usual marks of hospitality offered to visitors - a greeting kiss, water to wash his feet, or oil for his head..

During the meal, a tearful woman identified as a sinner anointed Jesus' feet. He contrasted her faith and care with Simon's failure to show common decency, and accused him of being forgiven little and loving little. More

Lambert Suavius, (c. 1510 - 1574/1576). South Netherlandish printmaker, architect and poet. He was the son of the episcopal goldsmith Henri Zutman (1460–1512). He became a follower of his brother-in-law, Lambert Lombard, with whose work his own was formerly confused. Suavius became an independent master in 1539, when he married and bought a house in Liège. In the same year he purchased a glazier's stylus with a diamond point, which he used in addition to the standard engraver's burin to obtain a wider range of effects in his prints. He travelled to Italy, probably in the 1550s. His updated series of Views of Various Ruins (Hollstein, nos 90–117), including the Colosseum, evidently done in Rome, is executed entirely in etching, while his extensive series of portraits of the Roman emperors is done in a highly original mixture of engraving, drypoint and etching. 

In later years he designed a portion of the Antwerp Stadhuis (1561) and a portal (unexecuted) for the Rathaus of Cologne (1562). More

Spanish School, 16th Century
The Miraculous Mass of Saint Martin of Tours
oil on gold ground panel
81.6 x 54.2cm (32 1/8 x 21 5/16in)
Private collection

Some legendary anecdotes of the missionary journeys of Saint Martin have become so popular in France that they deserve to be recounted, one was that:

On occasions God showed forth the glory of Saint Martin of Tours in a visible way. One day when he was saying Mass in his Cathedral, some of those present saw his arms gleaming with precious jewels. But, if few were favoured with these mysterious visions, no one who came in contact with him could escape the force of spiritual strength which emanated from him. More

Spanish School, 16th Century. In the sixteenth century when Spain became a world power with vast possessions and sources of wealth in the New World, as well as possessions dotted about Europe, it might have been expected that a vigorous national school of painting would emerge, transforming the somewhat tentative or imitative character that painting in Spain had shown up to then. It turned out otherwise. For most of the 16th century, painting remained spiritless. Both the Emperor Charles V and his son Philip II of Spain were patrons with a feeling for art, but the great Venetians, especially Titian, claimed most of their interest. Philip also highly approved of the fantasies of Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) - although the top Spanish clergy suspected heresy in these strange pictures from the Netherlands. More

John Riley Wilmer, 1883-1941
PICCARDA, c. 1919
Oil on canvas
123 by 192cm., 48½ by 75½in
Private collection

Piccarda is a character from Dante’s Divine Comedy. Sister of Corso Donati and of Dante's friend Forese Donati, she was the first person encountered by Dante in Paradise and the only person he recognised unaided. During her life she lived as a nun in a convent but was forced by her brother into an unhappy marriage with a Florentine man to strengthen her family’s political ambitions. Wilmer depicts her in the convent garden surrounded by monks, nuns and townspeople. More

John Riley Wilmer, (1883 - 1941) was a watercolourist, painter (gouache); of religious subjects, figures, genre scenes.

Four paintings by this artist were exhibited at the 150th Anniversary Exhibition at the RCPS in Falmouth (1983). He is credited with a triptych in the Warrior Chapel of Falmouth Parish church. In September 1900 he exhibited at the RCPS,

John Riley Wilmer studied with Charles Napier Hemy and was in contact with Henry Scott Tuke and Thomas C. Gotch. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1911 to 1926 and apparently lived in Falmouth. More

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S., 1833-1898
The Arming and Departure of the Knights of the Holy Grail, Number 2
 Tapestries Wool and silk on cotton warp
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

"As their meeting began, an elderly knight entered the hall. With him was the young man Lancelot had knighted the evening before. He was Galahad, Lancelot's son by Elaine. He took his rightful place at the Siege Perilous.

Shortly later, an image of the Holy Grail appeared, floating over the table. It was a sign. It was time for Arthur and his knights to seek out the Grail.

In the adventure that followed, Galahad quickly proved himself to be the greatest knight of all time. Whereas his father had been charismatic and charming, Galahad was pure of heart, and refrained from much temptation in order to pursue more heavenly ideals..."

Many of Arthur's knights sought out the Grail, but most returned badly wounded, or worse.   More

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898) was a British artist and designer closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Burne-Jones was closely involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of stained glass art in Britain. His early paintings show the heavy inspiration of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but by the 1860s Burne-Jones was discovering his own artistic "voice". In 1877, he was persuaded to show eight oil paintings at the Grosvenor Gallery (a new rival to the Royal Academy). These included The Beguiling of Merlin. The timing was right, and he was taken up as a herald and star of the new Aesthetic Movement. More

Hans Jordaens III (Antwerp circa 1595-1643)
Saint Martin dividing his cloak 
Oil on copper
48.5 x 60.5cm (19 1/8 x 23 13/16in)
Private collection

St. Martin was born during the reign of the Emperor Constantine the Great, and was the son of a Roman soldier. He himself entered the army at an early age, and was sent into Gaul with a regiment of cavalry. Among his comrades he was loved for his mildness of temper and his generosity.

It happened that he was stationed in the city of Amiens, during a winter of unusual severity. There was great suffering among the poor, and many perished with cold and hunger. St. Martin was riding one day through the city gate, when he passed a naked beggar shivering on the pavement. Immediately he drew rein, and spoke pityingly to the poor creature. The young soldier was wearing over his coat of mail a long mantle. Slipping this garment from his shoulders he divided it with his sword, giving half to the beggar. More

Hans III Jordaens (1590 – 1643), was a Flemish Baroque painter. (his birth year and place is uncertain) He could have been born in Delft as a son of Hans Jordaens, or he may have been born in Antwerp as a relative of Jacob Jordaens. He painted historical allegories, interiors, animals, and art galleries. He also painted staffage for Abraham Govaerts. His works are often confused with works of other painters by the same name.

According to Houbraken, the widow of the lawyer Nicolaas Muys van Holy (1653/54-1717) owned a painting by him of the Pharaoh's army crossing the red sea and drowning with horses and wagons. Houbraken confused him with the painter Hans IV Jordaens of Delft. More

After Federico Barocci, 17th Century
Saint Francis 
Oil on canvas
35 3/8 x 30 7/8 in. (89.9 x 78.4 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This canvas is conceived as a meditation on Saint Francis of Assisi (1181/82–1226), who is shown in a grotto on Mount La Verna, where he received the stigmata (depicted as protruding nails, in conformity with early Franciscan sources). Barocci was close to the Capuchin order, and this deeply felt work must have been intended for a Capuchin friar or for a supporter of the Franciscan order. More

Federico Barocci (c. 1526 in Urbino – 1612 in Urbino) was born in Urbino in central Italy into a family of artists, who provided his early training: Battista Franco and Bartolomeo Genga, his uncle. Apart from two trips to Rome early in his career was based there all his life, painting numerous altarpieces there and in the surrounding towns.

Barocci acted as the linchpin that joined the great masters of the sixteenth century with the new art, from Carracci to Guido Reni, that was to emerge in the next century. Barocci trained in his native Urbino with its incredible artistic legacy. Around 1550 he visited Rome briefly to discover and study the work of Raphael, also a native of Urbino. He seems to have been particularly conscious of Raphael's contribution to his own style.

Barocci was also strongly influenced by the compositions of other painters: Daniele da Volterra, the Venetians, and specifically Italian painter Correggio who by his painterly approach, which de-emphasized the hard outlines of objects. From his earliest work he incorporated Correggio's sunny grace enriched with his personal and warm taste for Venetian colour. He moved beyond the linear style of his teacher Battista Franco around 1563, when he discovered Correggio's sfumato effects, which made the defining lines of forms appear to dissolve into delicately colored, smoky mists. His works consist mainly of religious paintings, which combine the influence of Correggio and Raphael in a highly individual and sensitive manner.

In 1560 he went again to Rome, to work on a ceiling fresco for Pope Pius IV's Casino in the Vatican gardens. Barocci's decorations for the Casino used Correggio's sfumato technique, and he became so celebrated that they established his reputation as an up-and-coming young painter. But in 1563, before he had finished the project, Barocci fell ill; he is said to have abandoned his frescos for fear that rivals were trying to poison him, and returned to Urbino for good, working only two hours a day due to constant pain. More

Netherlandish School, 16th Century
LANDSCAPE WITH CHRIST'S ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM
oil on oak panel
33.7 x 53.5 cm.; 13 1/4  x 21 1/8  in
Private collection

This landscape depicts Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, as recounted in all the Gospels. As well as a vivid testament to the energetic fusion of styles and influences that contributed to the development of World Landscape painting in Antwerp in the first half of the sixteenth century, it also contains an unusually accurate early topographic depiction of the city of Jerusalem. The painting is likely by at least two different artists, the distant landscape closely resembling those of Herri Met de Bles, to whom the panel has long been attributed, and the figure group deriving from an altarpiece by Jan van Scorel. More

Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys, 1832-1904
ST. DOROTHY, c. 1904
Inscribed within the cartouche:
Her face more fair / Than sudden-singing April soft lands: / Eyed like a gracious bird.
coloured chalk on cream paper with watercolour wash
40 by 30.5cm., 15¾ by 12in
Private collection

The model for St Dorothy was the artist's youngest daughter Gertrude, known as 'Girlie' (1886-1920) who was depicted several times by her father, including Iris (sold in these rooms, 14 July 2016, lot 12). The drawing (and two other versions) was inspired by a poem by Sandys' friend Swinburne first published in 1866. It is possible that it was this version of St Dorothy that the artist referred to in a letter to his patron Harold Hartley in April 1904; 'I like it so much myself I should like you to have it. It still has a lot to be done - all over. The dress I shall do from an old one in Kensington Museum. It will occupy me for about a week - especially to finish the roses.' More

Dorothea of Caesarea (died ca. 311) is a 4th-century virgin martyr who was executed at Caesarea Mazaca. Evidence for her actual historical existence or acta is very sparse. She is called a martyr of the Diocletianic Persecution, although her death occurred after the resignation of Diocletian himself. 

She was brought before the prefect Sapricius, tried, tortured, and sentenced to death. On her way to the place of execution the pagan lawyer Theophilus said to her in mockery: "Bride of Christ, send me some fruits from your bridegroom's garden." Before she was executed, she sent him, by a six-year-old boy, her headdress which was found to be filled with a heavenly fragrance of roses and fruits. Theophilus at once confessed himself a Christian, was put on the rack, and suffered death. This is the oldest version of the legend, which was later variously enlarged. More

She should not be confused with another 4th-century saint, Dorothea of Alexandria.

Saint Dorothea of Alexandria (died c. 320) is venerated as a virgin martyr. Her legend states that she was courted by the Emperor Maximinus. She rejected his suit in favor of her adherence to Christianity and her commitment to virginity, and he had her beheaded c. 320.

Maximinus conceived an insane passion for a girl of noble birth noted for her wealth, education, and virginity. She fled to Arabia. More

Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys, 1832-1904
Mary Magdalene, circa 1859
Oil on wood panel
13.25 × 11 in (33.7 × 27.9 cm)
Delaware Art Museum

Mary Magdalene is a Pre-Raphaelite painting by Frederick Sandys. Mary Magdalene was the only figure from the Bible that Sandys ever painted. Mary is depicted in front of a patterned forest-green damask. She holds an alabaster ointment cup, a traditional attribute which associates her with the unnamed sinful woman who anointed Jesus' feet in Luke 7:37. Like other Pre-Raphaelite painters, Frederick Sandys gave Magdalene a sensual look.

Dante Rossetti accused Sandys of plagiarism, because of the resemblance to his Mary Magdalene Leaving the House of Feasting, but when Rossetti came to paint Magdalene some twenty years later, it was his painting that resembled Sandys (below).

Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys (born Antonio Frederic Augustus Sands) (Norwich 1 May 1829 – 25 June 1904 London), but usually known as Frederick Sandys, was an English Pre-Raphaelite painter, illustrator and draughtsman, of the Victorian era. He was born in Norwich, and received his earliest lessons in art from his father, Anthony Sands, who was himself a painter. His early studies show that he had a natural gift for careful and beautiful drawing. He was educated at Norwich School and later attended the Norwich School of Design in 1846. In the same and next year his talent was recognized by the Royal Society of Arts. More

He began his career as a portrait painter and antiquarian illustrator, exhibiting at the Norwich Art Union even as a boy. He moved to London in 1851 and worked as a draughtsman for wood engravers. Sandys was one of a group of high-calibre artists, known as the "Illustrators of the 60s". 

His carefree bohemian lifestyle saddled him with endless debt. He abandoned his first wife, had a brief flirtation with a gypsy girl and a long-term relationship with a young actress who bore him nine children. More

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, (1828 – 1882)
Mary Magdalene leaving the house of feasting
Watercolour on paper, dated 1857
35.6 x 20.6
Tate’s collection

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, (1828 – 1882)
Mary Magdalene leaving the house of feasting
Detail

This was made as a companion picture for 'Mary Nazarene', contrasting the penitent Magdalene with the purity of the Virgin (below). The Magdalene holds the jar of ointment that she used to anoint Christ's feet. Her hair is traditionally shown long and loose, both for its erotic associations and because she used it to wipe Christ's feet. Her robe is red, symbolising passion. Christ is shown as a minute figure in the distance.

The simplified geometrical form of the steps, the well and buildings in the background appears to be based on the study of medieval manuscript illumination. Here, though, Rossetti has shown the steps covered in moss. More

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882) was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. Rossetti was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement. His work also influenced the European Symbolists and was a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement.

Rossetti's personal life was closely linked to his work, especially his relationships with his models and muses Elizabeth Siddal, Fanny Cornforth and Jane Morris. More

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, (1828 – 1882)
Mary Nazarene, c. 1857
Watercolour on paper
343 x 197 mm
Tate’s collection



Acknowledgement: Bonhams

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

36 Paintings, Olympian deities, Cupid and Psyche, by the Old Masters, with footnotes #7

Sir Edward John Poynter, Bt., P.R.A., R.W.S., 1836-1919
PSYCHE
Watercolour
75 by 55cm., 29½ by 21½ in.
Private collection

There were once a king and queen, rulers of an unnamed city, who had three daughters of conspicuous beauty. The youngest and most beautiful was Psyche, whose admirers, neglecting the proper worship of the love goddess Venus, instead prayed and made offerings to her. It was rumored that she was the second coming of Venus, or the daughter of Venus from an unseemly union between the goddess and a mortal. Venus is offended, and commissions Cupid to work her revenge.


Luca Giordano (1632–1705)
Psyche Honoured by the People, c. 1692 and 1702
Oil on copper
Height: 57.5 cm (22.6 in). Width: 68.9 cm (27.1 in).
Royal Collection, Windsor Castle

Luca Giordano (18 October 1634 – 12 January 1705) was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching. Fluent and decorative, he worked successfully in Naples and Rome, Florence and Venice, before spending a decade in Spain.

Born in Naples, Giordano was the son of the painter Antonio Giordano. In around 1650 he was apprenticed to Ribera, and his early work was heavily influenced by his teacher. Like Ribera, he painted many half-length figures of philosophers, either imaginary portraits of specific figures, or generic types.

He acquired the nickname Luca fa presto, which translates into "Luca paints quickly." His speed, in design as well as handiwork, and his versatility, which enabled him to imitate other painters deceptively, earned for him two other epithets, "The Thunderbolt" (Fulmine) and "The Proteus" of painting.


Following a period studying in Rome, Parma and Venice, Giordano developed an elaborate Baroque style fusing Venetian and Roman Influences. His mature work combines the ornamental pomp of Paul Veronese with the lively complex schemes, the "grand manner", of Pietro da Cortona. He is also noted for his lively and showy use of colour. More

Cupid instead scratches himself with his own dart, which makes any living thing fall in love with the first thing it sees. As soon as Cupid scratches himself he falls deeply in love with Psyche and disobeys his mother's order to make Psyche fall in love with something hideous.
Alphonse Legros,  (1837–1911)
Cupid and Psyche, c. before 1867
Oil on canvas
Height: 116.8 cm (46 in). Width: 141.4 cm (55.7 in).
Tate Britain

Alphonse Legros, (b Dijon, 8 May 1837; d Watford, 8 Dec. 1911). French-born painter and printmaker who settled in England in 1863 (encouraged by Whistler) and became a British citizen in 1881, although he never acquired fluency in English. His chief importance was as an influential teacher (particularly of etching) at the Slade School, where he was professor 1876–92 in succession to Poynter. He encouraged a respect for the tradition of the Old Masters. More

William Etty, RA (1787 – 1849)
Cupid and Psyche, c. 1821


William Etty RA (10 March 1787 – 13 November 1849) was an English artist best known for his history paintings containing nude figures. He was the first significant British painter of nudes and still lifes. Born in York, he left school at the age of 12 to become an apprentice printer in Hull. He completed his apprenticeship seven years later and moved to London, where in 1807 he joined the Royal Academy Schools. There he studied under Thomas Lawrence and trained by copying works by other artists. Etty earned respect at the Royal Academy of Arts for his ability to paint realistic flesh tones, but had little commercial or critical success in his early years in London. More

Although her two humanly beautiful sisters have married, the idolized Psyche has yet to find love. Her father suspects that they have incurred the wrath of the gods, and consults the oracle of Apollo. The response is unsettling: the king is to expect no human son-in-law, but rather a dragon-like creature who harasses the world with fire and iron and is feared by even Jupiter and the inhabitants of the underworld.

Luca Giordano, 1692-170
Psyche’s Parents Offering Sacrifice to Apollo

Luca Giordano (18 October 1634 – 12 January 1705) was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching. Fluent and decorative, he worked successfully in Naples and Rome, Florence and Venice, before spending a decade in Spain.

Born in Naples, Giordano was the son of the painter Antonio Giordano. In around 1650 he was apprenticed to Ribera, and his early work was heavily influenced by his teacher. Like Ribera, he painted many half-length figures of philosophers, either imaginary portraits of specific figures, or generic types.

He acquired the nickname Luca fa presto, which translates into "Luca paints quickly." His speed, in design as well as handiwork, and his versatility, which enabled him to imitate other painters deceptively, earned for him two other epithets, "The Thunderbolt" (Fulmine) and "The Proteus" of painting.

Following a period studying in Rome, Parma and Venice, Giordano developed an elaborate Baroque style fusing Venetian and Roman Influences. His mature work combines the ornamental pomp of Paul Veronese with the lively complex schemes, the "grand manner", of Pietro da Cortona. He is also noted for his lively and showy use of colour. More

Psyche is arrayed in funeral attire, conveyed by a procession to the peak of a rocky crag, and exposed. Marriage and death are merged into a single rite of passage, a "transition to the unknown". Zephyr the West Wind bears her up to meet her fated match, and deposits her in a lovely meadow (locus amoenus), where she promptly falls asleep.

John Wood, (1801–1870)
Psyche Conveyed by Zephyrs to the Valley of Pleasure, c. 1826
Oil on panel 
54 x 43.2 cm 
Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, England

John Wood (1801–1870), painter, son of a drawing-master, was born in London on 29 June 1801. He studied in Sass's school and at the Royal Academy, where in 1825 he gained the gold medal for painting. In the two previous years he had exhibited ‘Adam and Eve lamenting over the Body of Abel,’ and ‘Michael contending with Satan,’ and in 1826 he sent ‘Psyche wafted by the Zephyrs.’ These and other works displayed unusual powers of invention and design, and gained for him a great temporary reputation. In 1834 he competed successfully for the commission for the altar-piece of St. James's, Bermondsey, and in 1836 gained a prize at Manchester for his ‘Elizabeth in the Tower.’ During the latter part of his career he painted chiefly scripture subjects and portraits, which he exhibited largely at the Royal Academy and British Institution down to 1862. His portraits of Sir Robert Peel, Earl Grey, John Britton (in the National Portrait Gallery), and others have been engraved, as well as several of his fancy subjects. Wood died on 19 April 1870. More

The transported girl awakes to find herself at the edge of a cultivated grove (lucus). Exploring, she finds a marvelous house with golden columns, a carved ceiling of citrus wood and ivory, silver walls embossed with wild and domesticated animals, and jeweled mosaic floors. A disembodied voice tells her to make herself comfortable, and she is entertained at a feast that serves itself and by singing to an invisible lyre.

Guillaum Seignac, (1870–1924)
The Awakening of Psyche, circa 1904
Oil on panel 
Height: 52.39 cm (20.63 in.), Width: 26.99 cm (10.63 in.)
Private collection

Guillaum Seignac (1870–1924) was a French academic painter. He was born in Rennes in 1870, and died in Paris in 1924. He started training at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he spent 1889 through 1895. He had many teachers there, including Gabriel Ferrier, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, and Tony Robert-Fleury. In addition to his training in the academic style, much of Seignac's work displayed classical themes and style, for example, his use of diaphanous drapery covering a woman's body is reminiscent of classical style, in particular the sculptor Phidias. In 1897, Guillaume Seignac regularly exhibited at the Salon and won several honors, including in 1900 honorable mention and in 1903 a Third Class medal. More

Although fearful and without sexual experience, she allows herself to be guided to a bedroom, where in the darkness a being she cannot see makes her his wife. She gradually learns to look forward to his visits, though he always departs before sunrise and forbids her to look upon him, and soon she becomes pregnant.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, (1732–1806)
Psyche showing her Sisters her Gifts from Cupid, c. 1753
Oil on canvas
168.3 × 192.4 cm (66.3 × 75.7 in)
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Embodying the freedom and curiosity of the French Enlightenment, Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) developed an exuberant and fluid manner as a painter, draftsman, and printmaker. Prolific and inventive, he abandoned early on the conventional career path dictated by the hierarchical structure of the Royal Academy, working largely for private patrons. His work constitutes a further elaboration of the Rococo idiom established by Antoine Watteau and François Boucher, a manner perfectly suited to his subjects, which favored the playful, the erotic, and the joys of domesticity. More

Psyche's family longs for news of her, and after much cajoling, Cupid, still unknown to his bride, permits Zephyr to carry her sisters up for a visit. When they see the splendor in which Psyche lives, they become envious, and undermine her happiness by prodding her to uncover her husband's true identity, since surely as foretold by the oracle she was lying with the vile winged serpent, who would devour her and her child.

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898) 
Psyche's Sisters Visit Her
Oil on canvas 
Height: 119.5 cm (47.05 in.), Width: 266.7 cm (105 in.) 
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery (England)

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898) was a British artist and designer closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Burne-Jones was closely involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of stained glass art in Britain. His early paintings show the heavy inspiration of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but by the 1860s Burne-Jones was discovering his own artistic "voice". In 1877, he was persuaded to show eight oil paintings at the Grosvenor Gallery (a new rival to the Royal Academy). These included The Beguiling of Merlin. The timing was right, and he was taken up as a herald and star of the new Aesthetic Movement. More

Luca Giordano, (1634 – 1705)
Psyche's Sisters Giving Her A Lamp And A Dagger, circa 1697
Oil on copper
58.1 cm (22.87 in.), Width: 68.9 cm (27.13 in.)
Royal Collection Trust (UK) - Buckingham Palace, United Kingdom

Luca Giordano, (1634 – 1705), see below

Sir Peter Paul Rubens, (1577 – 1640) 
Amor and Psyche
Private collection

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.
In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England. More

Willem van Mieris, (1662 – 1747)
Cupid and Psyche 
Oil on copper
Height: 16.6 cm (6.54 in.), Width: 21.8 cm (8.58 in.)
The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia

Willem van Mieris (3 June 1662 – 26 January 1747) was an 18th-century painter from the Northern Netherlands. He was born in Leiden as the son of Frans van Mieris sr. and brother of Jan van Mieris. He was a member of the Leiden Guild of St. Luke and a founding member of the Leidse Tekenacademie which opened in 1694. His pupils were Catharina Backer, Abraham Alensoon, and Hieronymous van de Mij. He retired in 1736 because he was partially blind. He died, aged 84, in Leiden.
His works are extremely numerous and show the influence of Francis van Bossuit as well as his father. As an artist, he did not equal his father.
van Mieris has works in the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as Cheltenham and Derby Museum and Art Gallery. More

Charles-Antoine Coypel IV, (French, 1694 - 1752)
Cupid abandoning Psyche (1st version), c. 1736
Oil on canvas
82 cm (32.28 in.), Width: 63 cm (24.8 in.)
Private collection


Charles-Antoine Coypel IV, (French, 1694 - 1752); grandson of Noël Coypel I, nephew of Noël-Nicolas Coypel III, and son of Antoine Coypel II, with whom he trained.

His glorious ascendency helped him to be appointed to the Academy at only 18 (on 31 August 1715), without having competed for the Prix de Rome as was customary at the time; his reception piece was Jason and Medea.

Contrary to other members of his family, whose output was almost exclusively devoted to classical and history painting, Charles-Antoine produced many gallant and humorous subjects. He also had a special interest in pastels after travels with his then-friend Rosalba Carreira in France in 1720 and painted many subsequent portraits in this medium.

Like his father and grandfather before him, he had the best career possible, being promoted adjunct professor on 26 October 1720, professor on 10 January 1730, adjunct rector and rector the same day on 26 March 1746, and finally director of the French Academy from 23 June 1747 until his death on 14 June 1752. He also inherited from his father the positions of Painter of the Duke of Orleans in 1722 and Director of the Drawings and Paintings to the king in 1722. He became Premier Peintre du Roi in 1747.

He had no children, having remained single all his life, and was therefore last in line of the illustrious Coypel family (counting three directors of the Academy). More

One night after Cupid falls asleep, Psyche carries out the plan her sisters devised: she brings out a dagger and a lamp she had hidden in the room, in order to see and kill the monster. But when the light instead reveals the most beautiful creature she has ever seen, she is so startled that she wounds herself on one of the arrows in Cupid's cast-aside quiver. Struck with a feverish passion, she spills hot oil from the lamp and wakes him. He flees, and though she tries to pursue, he flies away and leaves her on the bank of a river.

Edward Calvert, (1799–1883)
Psyche at the Stream

Oil on board
30 x 50.5 cm
The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

Edward Calvert (20 September 1799 – 14 July 1883) was an English printmaker and painter. He was born in Appledore, in Devon, and after a spell in the Navy, studied art at Plymouth and the Royal Academy (1824). His early visionary work was greatly inspired by William Blake, and he became a member of the Blake-influenced group known as The Ancients. Amongst Calvert's finest works are exquisite miniature wood engravings which date from this early period. He also made etchings. In 1844 he visited Greece.  More

here she is discovered by the wilderness god Pan, who recognizes the signs of passion upon her. She acknowledges his divinity (numen), then begins to wander the earth looking for her lost love.

Edward Burne-Jones (1833–1898) 
Pan and Psyche, c. 1872-1874
Oil on canvas
65.1 × 53.3 cm (25.6 × 21 in)
Fogg Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898) was a British artist and designer closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Burne-Jones was closely involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of stained glass art in Britain. His early paintings show the heavy inspiration of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but by the 1860s Burne-Jones was discovering his own artistic "voice". In 1877, he was persuaded to show eight oil paintings at the Grosvenor Gallery (a new rival to the Royal Academy). These included The Beguiling of Merlin. The timing was right, and he was taken up as a herald and star of the new Aesthetic Movement. More

Psyche visits first one sister, then the other; both are seized with renewed envy upon learning the identity of Psyche's secret husband. Each sister attempts to offer herself as a replacement by climbing the rocky crag and casting herself upon Zephyr for conveyance, but instead is allowed to fall to a brutal death.

Guillaum Seignac, (1870–1924)
Psyche at the Shrines of Juno and Ceres, c. 1872-1881
Oil on canvas
Height: 119.5 cm (47.05 in.), Width: 124.5 cm (49.02 in.)
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, England

Guillaum Seignac (1870–1924) was a French academic painter, born in Rennes in 1870, and died in Paris in 1924. He started training at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he spent 1889 through 1895. He had many teachers there, including Gabriel Ferrier, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, and Tony Robert-Fleury.


In addition to his training in the academic style, much of Seignac's work displayed classical themes and style, for example, his use of diaphanous drapery covering a woman's body is reminiscent of classical style. Guillaume Seignac regularly exhibited at the Salon and won several honors, including in 1900 honorable mention and in 1903 a Third Class medal. More

In the course of her wanderings, Psyche comes upon a temple of Ceres, and inside finds a disorder of grain offerings, garlands, and agricultural implements. Recognizing that the proper cultivation of the gods should not be neglected, she puts everything in good order, prompting a theophany of Ceres herself. Although Psyche prays for her aid, and Ceres acknowledges that she deserves it, the goddess is prohibited from helping her against a fellow goddess. A similar incident occurs at a temple of Juno. Psyche realizes that she must serve Venus herself.

Edward Matthew Hale, (1852–1924)
Psyche at the Throne of Venus, c. 1883
oil on canvas
99 x 89 cm
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Luca Giordano, (1634 – 1705)
Venus Punishing Psyche with a Task, circa 1695-1697
Oil on copper
58.1 cm (22.87 in.), Width: 68.9 cm (27.13 in.)
Royal Collection Trust (UK) - Buckingham Palace, United Kingdom

Venus punishing Psyche with a Task (?) was previously interpreted as Psyche visited by her Sisters, but Sir Michael Levey argues that the scene is more accurately identified as Venus setting Psyche a task in the attempt to find Cupid. The task in question may be that of procuring a flask of water from a stream running beneath a high mountain. Venus is the lightly clad figure in the middle pointing towards Psyche, whose own gesture indicates the mountain in the background. As such this scene is the last of those in the present series. More

Luca Giordano (18 October 1634 – 12 January 1705) was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching. Fluent and decorative, he worked successfully in Naples and Rome, Florence and Venice, before spending a decade in Spain.

Born in Naples, Giordano was the son of the painter Antonio Giordano. In around 1650 he was apprenticed to Ribera, and his early work was heavily influenced by his teacher. Like Ribera, he painted many half-length figures of philosophers, either imaginary portraits of specific figures, or generic types.

He acquired the nickname Luca fa presto, which translates into "Luca paints quickly." His speed, in design as well as handiwork, and his versatility, which enabled him to imitate other painters deceptively, earned for him two other epithets, "The Thunderbolt" (Fulmine) and "The Proteus" of painting.


Following a period studying in Rome, Parma and Venice, Giordano developed an elaborate Baroque style fusing Venetian and Roman Influences. His mature work combines the ornamental pomp of Paul Veronese with the lively complex schemes, the "grand manner", of Pietro da Cortona. He is also noted for his lively and showy use of colour. More

Venus revels in having the girl under her power, and turns Psyche over to her two handmaids, Worry and Sadness, to be whipped and tortured. Venus tears her clothes and bashes her head into the ground, and mocks her for conceiving a child in a sham marriage. 

Michiel Coxie I
The fable of Cupid and Psyche, c. 1520-1535
Paper engraving
Height: 201 millimetres, Width: 230 millimetres
British Museum

Michiel Coxie, Coxie also spelled Coxcie or Coxien, Latinised name Coxius (1499 – 3 March 1592. A Flemish painter, imitator of Raphael, known as the Flemish Raphael. He was a pupil of his father, and afterwards studied under Van Orley, with whom he visited Rome in 1532, where he made the acquaintance of Vasari. Coxcie painted several large works for the Emperor Charles V and for Philip II, King of Spain, to whom he was court painter. He designed thirty-two subjects from the fable of Cupid and Psyche, which were engraved, and, in conjunction with Van Orley, he directed the execution of some tapestry made from the designs of Raphael. He copied part of the great Van Eyck altar-piece for Philip II of Spain, and portions of his copy are in Berlin and Munich and the remainder in Ghent. Several of his paintings are to be seen at Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges, Berlin, Madrid, St, Petersburg, and Vienna. In his paintings he bestowed special care on the figures of women, and they are well modelled and invariably graceful. In male figures he too often exaggerated the anatomy and selected awkward and unreasonable attitudes. His composition is very Italian in character, sometimes too academic in line and grouping, but agreeable in effect. His best works are signed and dated and are remarkable for their splendid colouring and harmonious result. More

Venus Punishing Psyche
Christie and Sollikito were Venus's handmadens who beat Psykhe upon her arrival.

The goddess then throws before her a great mass of mixed wheat, barley, poppyseed, chickpeas, lentils, and beans, demanding that she sort them into separate heaps by dawn. But when Venus withdraws to attend a wedding feast, a kind ant takes pity on Psyche, and assembles a fleet of insects to accomplish the task. 



Venus is furious when she returns drunk from the feast, and only tosses Psyche a crust of bread. At this point in the story, it is revealed that Cupid is also in the house of Venus, languishing from his injury.

At dawn, Venus sets a second task for Psyche. She is to cross a river and fetch golden wool from violent sheep who graze on the other side. These sheep are elsewhere identified as belonging to the Sun. Psyche's only intention is to drown herself on the way, but instead she is saved by instructions from a divinely inspired reed, of the type used to make musical instruments, and gathers the wool caught on briers.

Charles-Joseph Natoire, (French, 1700 - 1777)
Psyche Gathering the Fleece of the Rams of the Sun, c. 1752
Oil on canvas
 Height: 95.3 cm (37.52 in.), Width: 155.6 cm (61.26 in.)
Chrysler Museum of Art - Norfolk (Va), United States


Charles-Joseph Natoire, (French, 1700 - 1777)French Rococo painter. He was born on 3 March 1700. Son of an architect from Nîmes, he trained under Louis Galloche and François Lemoyne. He was one of the youngest recipients of the Prix de Rome, winning the prize in 1721 for his Manoah Making a Sacrifice to God to have a Son.

At his return, he became one of the most prominent painters of the country, challenging his friend Boucher, who had a very similar style. Natoire however specialised in creating decorative ensembles for prestigious patrons, including the famous Story of Psyche for the Hôtel of the Duke of Rohan in Paris.

He was appointed academician on 31 December 1734. Then he had an important career, being promoted Adjunct Professor on 2 July 1735, Professor on 2 July 1737, and finally Director of the French Academy in Rome from 1751 to 1775. He subsequently gave up painting after his final departure to Rome and instead drew many landscapes of the Roman countryside. He died in Rome on 23 August 1777. More

For Psyche's third task, she is given a crystal vessel in which to collect the black water spewed by the source of the rivers Styx and Cocytus. Climbing the cliff from which it issues, she is daunted by the foreboding air of the place and dragons slithering through the rocks, and falls into despair. Jupiter himself takes pity on her, and sends his eagle to battle the dragons and retrieve the water for her.

Paul Ayshford Methuen, (1886–1974)
Psyche Dipping Her Pitcher in the River Styx
Oil on canvas 
38.7 x 52.5 cm
Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, England

Paul Ayshford Methuen, 4th Baron Methuen of Corsham (b. 29 September 1886, d. 7 January 1974) was the son of Field Marshal Paul Sanford Methuen, 3rd Baron Methuen of Corsham and Mary Ethel Ayshford Sanford. He was educated at Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England. He graduated from New College, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, in 1910 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). He was an assistant between 1910 and 1914 at Transvaal Museum, Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa. He fought in the First World War. He gained the rank of Major in the service of the Scots Guards. He graduated from New College, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, in 1914 with a Master of Arts (M.A.). He succeeded to the title of 4th Baron Methuen of Corsham, co. Wilts [U.K., 1838] on 30 October 1932. He was trustee of the National Gallery between 1938 and 1945. He was trustee of the Tate Gallery between 1940 and 1945.2 He fought in the Second World War between 1940 and 1945. He was decorated with the award of the Chevalier, Legion of Honour in 1945. He wrote the book Normandy Diary, published 1952.2 He was invested as a Fellow, Society of Antiquaries (F.S.A.) He was a painter and zoologist. More

The last trial Venus imposes on Psyche is a quest to the underworld itself. She is to take a box (pyxis) and obtain in it a dose of the beauty of Proserpina, queen of the underworld. Venus claims her own beauty has faded through tending her ailing son, and she needs this remedy in order to attend the theatre of the gods (theatrum deorum).

Once again despairing of her task, Psyche climbs a tower, planning to throw herself off. The tower, however, suddenly breaks into speech, and advises her to travel to Lacedaemon, Greece, and to seek out the place called Taenarus, where she will find the entrance to the underworld. The tower offers instructions for navigating the underworld:

The airway of Dis is there, and through the yawning gates the pathless route is revealed. Once you cross the threshold, you are committed to the unswerving course that takes you to the very Regia of Orcus. But you shouldn’t go emptyhanded through the shadows past this point, but rather carry cakes of honeyed barley in both hands, and transport two coins in your mouth.

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898)
Psyche Giving the Coin to Charoncirca 1872-1881
Oil on canvas 
Height: 119.4 cm (47.01 in.), Width: 266.7 cm (105 in.)
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, England

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898), see above

The speaking tower warns her to maintain silence as she passes by several ominous figures: a lame man driving a mule loaded with sticks, a dead man swimming in the river that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead, and old women weaving. These, the tower warns, will seek to divert her by pleading for her help: she must ignore them. The cakes are treats for distracting Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of Orcus, and the two coins for Charon the ferryman, so she can make a return trip.

Eugène-Ernest Hillemacher, (1818–1887)
Psyché aux enfers,  Charon rows Psyche past a dead man in the water and the old weavers on shore, c. 1865

Eugène Ernest Hillemacher (13 October 1818, Paris – 3 March 1887, Paris) was a French history, portrait and genre painter in the Academic style. His mother was the youngest sister of the Belgian painter and etcher, Frédéric Théodore Faber. In 1838, he enrolled at the École des Beaux-arts, where he studied with Léon Cogniet. He had his first exhibition at the Salon in 1840, featuring his depiction of Cornelia Africana, mother of the Gracchi.

He was a frequent participant in several regular exhibitions and received numerous commissions. Many of his works were reproduced as rotogravures. He won first-class medals in 1861 and 1863. 

He was named a Knight of the Légion d'Honneur in 1869. His brother Frédéric Désiré was a well-known engraver. His sons Paul and Lucien became composers who often worked together; winning the Prix de Rome for music in 1876 and 1880. More

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898)
Psyche Obtaining the Elixir of Beauty from Proserpinecirca 1735
Oil on canvas 
Height: 258.76 cm (101.88 in.), Width: 167.01 cm (65.75 in.)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, United States

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898), see above


Everything comes to pass according to plan, and Proserpina grants Psyche's humble entreaty. As soon as she reenters the light of day, however, Psyche is overcome by a bold curiosity, and can't resist opening the box in the hope of enhancing her own beauty. She finds nothing inside but an "infernal and Stygian sleep," which sends her into a deep and unmoving torpor.

Charles Meynier, (1763 or 1768 – 1832)
Adolescent Cupid Weeping over the Portrait of Psyche whom he Has Lost (study), circa 1792 
Oil on canvas 
Height: 65.4 cm (25.75 in.), Width: 81 cm (31.89 in.) 
Private collection

Charles Meynier (1763 or 1768, Paris – 1832, Paris) was a French painter of historical subjects in the late 18th and early 19th century. He was a contemporary of Antoine-Jean Gros und Jacques-Louis David. Already at a young age he was trained by Pierre-Philippe Choffard. As a student of François-André Vincent, Meynier won the second prize in the 1789 prix de Rome competition; Girodet won. He became a member of the Académie de France à Rome. In 1793 he went back to Paris.

He made designs for the bas-reliefs and statues on the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and the Paris Bourse. From 1816 onward, he was a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. In 1819 Meynier was appointed teacher at the École des Beaux-Arts. Like his wife he died of cholera. More

Anthony van Dyck, (1599 – 1641)
Cupid and Psyche, c. 1639-1640
Oil on canvas 
Height: 199 cm (78.35 in.), Width: 191 cm (75.2 in.)
Royal Collection Trust - Kensington Palace, United Kingdom

Sir Anthony van Dyck, ( 22 March 1599 – 9 December 1641) was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England, after enjoying great success in Italy and Flanders. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next 150 years. He also painted biblical and mythological subjects, displayed outstanding facility as a draughtsman, and was an important innovator in watercolour and etching. The Van Dyke beard is named after him. More

Samuel George Enderby
Cupid Guarding Psyche, c. 1900
Oil on canvas 
97.5 cm (38.39 in.), Width: 197 cm (77.56 in.
Boston Guildhall, Boston, United Kingdom

Meanwhile, Cupid's wound has healed into a scar, and he escapes his mother's house by flying out a window. When he finds Psyche, he draws the sleep from her face and replaces it in the box, then pricks her with an arrow that does no harm. He lifts her into the air, and takes her to present the box to Venus.

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898) 
Cupid Finding Psyche Asleep By a Fountain, c. 1872-1881
Oil on canvas 
Height: 124.5 cm (49.02 in.), Width: 119.5 cm (47.05 in.)
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, United Kingdom

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898), see above

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898) 
Cupid Delivering Psyche, c. 1870
Oil on canvas 
Height: 99.5 cm (39.17 in.), Width: 115.3 cm (45.39 in.)
Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, United Kingdom

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898), see above


Jean Pierre Saint-Ours, (1752 – 1809) 
The Reunion of Cupid and Psyche, circa 1789-1792
Oil on panel
 Height: 35.24 cm (13.88 in.), Width: 49.53 cm (19.5 in.)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, United States

Jean-Pierre Saint-Ours (4 April 1752 – 6 April 1809) was a Swiss painter  born in Geneva, Switzerland. He began studying with his father Jacques (1708–1773) who was himself a renowned painter. He continued his studies in Paris, in 1769, with Joseph-Marie Vien. In 1780, he obtained the Prix de Rome, but was denied a place at the French Academy in Rome, because of nationality issues and he began the journey at his own expense. In 1792, Saint-Ours was forced to return to his homeland due to the events of Revolution.


On 6 April 1809 he died in Geneva. His works may be seen in several museums, including the Louvre, in Paris, and the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire of Geneva. More


Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898) 
Psyche Entering the Portals of Olympus, c. 1872-1881
Oil on canvas 
 Height: 141 cm (55.51 in.), Width: 264 cm (103.94 in.)
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, England

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898), see anove

He then takes his case to Jupiter, who gives his consent in return for Cupid's future help whenever a choice maiden catches his eye. Jupiter has Mercury convene an assembly of the gods in the theater of heaven, where he makes a public statement of approval, warns Venus to back off, and gives Psyche ambrosia, the drink of immortality, so the couple can be united in marriage as equals. Their union, he says, will redeem Cupid from his history of provoking adultery and sordid liaisons. Jupiter's word is solemnized with a wedding banquet.

Raphael (1483–1520)
Psyche Received on Olympus, c. 1517
Fresco
Villa Farnesina, Rome, Trastevere

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (April 6 or March 28, 1483 – April 6, 1520), known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, and visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.
Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his death at 37, leaving a large body of work. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career. The best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality. He was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking.
After his death, the influence of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th centuries, when Raphael's more serene and harmonious qualities were again regarded as the highest models. His career falls naturally into three phases and three styles, first described by Giorgio Vasari: his early years in Umbria, then a period of about four years (1504–1508) absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates. More

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, (French, 1725 - 1805)
Psyche Crowning Cupid
Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille, France

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, (French, 1725 - 1805). After training in Lyon, Jean-Baptiste Greuze arrived in Paris in 1750, where he sporadically attended the Académie Royale. His 1755 Salon debut was a triumph, but the acclamation turned his head. He antagonized everyone, including fellow artists, which later proved disastrous. 

While retaining the clear, bright colors and lighter attitude of eighteenth-century painting, Greuze introduced a Dutch-influenced realism into French genre painting and portraiture. Through vivid facial expressions and dramatic gestures, Greuze's moralizing paintings exemplified the new idea that painting should relate to life. They captured the details of settings and costumes, "spoke to the heart," educated viewers, and aimed to make them "virtuous." 

In 1769 Académie members refused Greuze membership as a history painter, accepting him only in the lower category of genre, perhaps partly from ill will. Humiliated, he withdrew from public exhibitions completely. During the 1770s Greuze enjoyed a widespread reputation and engravings after his paintings were widely distributed, but his wife embezzled most of the proceeds. By the 1780s, Neoclassicism curtailed his popularity and his quality declined. After enduring poverty and neglect, he died unnoticed, having outlived his time and his reputation. More

Raphael (1483–1520)
Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche, c. 1517
Fresco
Villa Farnesina, Rome, Trastevere


With its happy marriage and resolution of conflicts, the tale ends in the manner of classic comedy or Greek romances such as Daphnis and Chloe. The child born to the couple will be Voluptas, "Pleasure."

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (April 6 or March 28, 1483 – April 6, 1520), see above






Acknowledgement: Sothebys,  Wikipedia

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