Wednesday, February 8, 2017

11 Paintings, Olympian deities and Mythology, by the Old Masters, with footnotes #9

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1828-1882
PANDORA, c. 1869
Model: Jane Burden Morris
Faringdon Collection Trust, Buxted Park

The Titan Prometheus was once assigned the task of creating the race of man. He afterwards grew displeased with the mean lot imposed on them by the gods and so stole fire from heaven. Zeus was angered and commanded Hephaistos and the other gods create the first woman Pandora, endowing her with beauty and cunning. He then had her delivered to Prometheus' foolish younger brother Epimetheus as a bride. Zeus gave Pandora a storage jar (pithos) as a wedding gift which she opened, releasing the swarm of evil spirits trapped within. These would forever after plague mankind. Only Elpis (Hope) remained behind, a single blessing to ease mankind's suffering. More Pandora

Jane Morris (née Jane Burden; 19 October 1839 – 26 January 1914) was an English artists' model who embodied the Pre-Raphaelite ideal of beauty. She was a model and muse to William Morris (1834 – 1896), the English textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist, whom she later married, and to Dante Gabriel Rossetti. More Jane Morris

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1828-1882
PANDORA, c. 1871
Model: Jane Burden Morris
Watercolour
39 3/4 x 24 1/2 in..
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey

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

Rossetti began studies for the picture in December 1868. It was completed in February 1871. In the fall of 1869. He thought of altering the picture from three-quarter to full-length, but he decided against the change. He made a chalk replica of this work for his regular patron William Graham in 1869 and in 1878 executed yet another version in colored crayons for his friend Watts Dunton.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1828-1882
PANDORA, c. 1871
Model: Jane Burden Morris
Oil on canvas
131 by 79cm., 51 by 31in.
Private Collection

Rossetti's interest in photography can be traced through this painting, where Mrs. Morris assumes a pose that distinctly recalls one of the photographs that Rossetti and John Parsons made of her in 1865

Jane Morris standing, in marquee
Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Parsons
1865 June
Victoria and Albert album

François Boucher, PARIS 1703 - 1770
VENUS AND ADONIS
oil on canvas
28  5/8  by 50  1/4  in.; 72.7 by 130.2 cm.
Private Collection

Venus and Adonis is a narrative poem by William Shakespeare published in 1593, the same year that Christopher Marlowe published Hero and Leander and Thomas Nashe published The Choice of Valentines, all three classic erotic poems. It is probably Shakespeare's first publication.

The poem tells the story of Venus, who is Goddess of Love, and her attempted seduction of Adonis, an extremely handsome young man, who would rather go hunting. The poem is dramatic, pastoral, and at times erotic, comic, tragic, pastoral-comical.. It contains discourses on the nature of love, and many brilliantly described observations of nature. More Venus and Adonis

François Boucher (29 September 1703 – 30 May 1770) was a French painter, draughtsman and etcher, who worked 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. More

Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem and studio
JUPITER DISGUISED AS DIANA SEDUCING THE NYMPH CALLISTO
oil on canvas
99.2 x 147.8 cm.; 39 x 58 1/4  in.
Private Collection

This scene of seduction is inspired by an episode recounted by the poet Ovid in Metamorphoses. It shows the bare-breasted nymph Callisto – Diana's favourite – embraced by the god Jupiter in the guise of the goddess herself. In the background looms Jupiter's tell-tale attribute, the eagle, while the crescent moon crowning 'Diana' identifies the imposter. More

Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem (1 October 1620 – 18 February 1683) was a highly esteemed and prolific Dutch Golden Age painter of pastoral landscapes, populated with mythological or biblical figures, but also of a number of allegories and genre pieces.

He was a member of the second generation of "Dutch Italianate landscape" painters. These were artists who travelled to Italy, or aspired to, in order to soak up the romanticism of the country, bringing home sketchbooks full of drawings of classical ruins and pastoral imagery. His paintings, of which he produced an immense number, were in great demand, as were his 80 etchings and 500 drawings. His landscapes, painted in the Italian style of idealized rural scenes, with hills, mountains, cliffs and trees in a golden dawn are sought after. Berchem also painted inspired and attractive human and animal figures in works of other artists, like Allaert van Everdingen, Jan Hackaert, Gerrit Dou, Meindert Hobbema and Willem Schellinks. More Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem

Jacopo Amigoni, (1682–1752)
Juno Receiving the Head of Argos, c. between 1730 and 1732
Oil on canvas
Height: 108 cm (42.5 in). Width: 72 cm (28.3 in).
Moor Park, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, UK

The painting of Juno and Argus originated from the Roman myth of how the peacock received it’s unique eyed tail feathers. Juno asked the hundred eyed Argus to guard her beloved Io from Jupiter’s lustful pursuit. Jupiter learned of this and sent Mercury kill the Argus while he was sleeping. To honor the decapitated Argus Juno took it’s eyes and placed them on the tail of the peacock thus giving it’s tail the signature eyespots. The peacock is a sacred symbol of Juno that represents royalty and the watchfulness of the goddess. More Juno and Argus

William J. Glackens, (1870-1938: American)
Untitled (from the Nymph series), 1914-1917
Preparatory sketch
Pastel, charcoal, graphite on paper 
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

From 1914-1917, William Glackens completed more than 40 works of nymphs, a concept that derives from Greek mythology and the Greek belief that desirable, free-spirited, and provocative minor nature goddesses inhabited the world’s forests, trees, rivers, and streams. Glackens’ nymph series was as dramatic a departure from his well-known and highly celebrated depictions of modern contemporary life. He was perhaps inspired to address the nymph theme in response to works of similar subjects by other artist contemporaries, such as Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Arthur B. Davies, Henri Matisse, and Édouard Manet.

William J. Glackens (1870-1938: American)
Untitled (from the Nymph series), 1914-1917
Preparatory sketch
Watercolor & graphite on paper 
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale
William J. Glackens (1870-1938: American)
Untitled (from the Nymph series), 1914-1917
Preparatory sketch
Pastel & charcoal on paper
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

Four preparatory sketches for these works from the NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale collection, are also included here. In the oil and the watercolor, a mature, nude wood nymph emerges to the left of the composition’s central tree and runs toward a fleeing, clothed child on the right. In the oil painting, the child protectively holds a doll or a small child. Both works imply conquest, danger, exoticism, and a sense of intrigue. More Nymph Series

William J. Glackens (1870-1938: American)
Untitled (from the Nymph series), 1914-1917
Pastel, charcoal, graphite on paper 
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

Here, a voluptuous nude woman, a nymph, emerging from a tree, prods a young girl forward into the forest as a grown man lurks threateningly in the background. In mythology, the nymph is the guardian of wild nature and a symbol of female fertility, who can sing and dance with abandon and enjoys complete sexual freedom. More

William J. Glackens (1870-1938: American)
Untitled (from the Nymph series), 1914-1917
Oil on canvas
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

William James Glackens (born March 13, 1870, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.—died May 22, 1938, Westport, Conn.), American artist whose paintings of street scenes and middle-class urban life rejected the dictates of 19th-century academic art and introduced a matter-of-fact realism into the art of the United States.

Glackens studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at the same time worked as an illustrator for the Philadelphia Record, the Public Ledger, and The Philadelphia Press. In 1895 he spent a year in Paris and then settled in New York City, where he worked as an illustrator for The New York Herald and the New York World. He went to Cuba in 1898 to cover the Spanish-American War for McClure’s Magazine. While establishing his reputation as a graphic artist, Glackens also began to paint in oils and was a regular participant in the Pennsylvania Academy’s annual exhibitions. Hammerstein’s Roof Garden (1901), a cabaret scene, was his first important oil painting and was exhibited at the Allen Gallery in New York.

William J. Glackens (1870-1938: American)
Nymph series, with man, circa 1917
Oil on canvasboard
12 by 16 inches, (30.5 by 40.7 cm)
Private Collection

Glackens joined a group of artists who were also interested in depicting contemporary life. Robert Henri, with whom Glackens had traveled to Paris in 1895, was the leader of this group, which included John Sloan, George Luks, and Everett Shinn, as well as the more romantic painters Ernest Lawson, Maurice Prendergast, and Arthur B. Davies. Known as The Eight, they held one memorable exhibition in 1908, but, because of diversity of viewpoints, they disbanded.

Later, he became interested in Impressionism and was particularly influenced by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. During the last two decades of his life, Glackens became a regular traveler to Europe, spending much of his time in Paris and the south of France. More William J. Glackens

Charles Meynier, PARIS 1768-1832
A SCENE FROM CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY, POSSIBLY CERYX AND ALCYONE
Oil on canvas
58.2 by 74.5 cm.; 22 by 29  3/8  in
Private Collection

The lovely Alcyone was the daughter of Aeolus, the Greek god of the wind. She was the devoted wife of Ceyx, King of Trachis, in central Greece. Ceyx ruled his kingdom with justice and in peace. Alcyone and Ceyx were admired by gods and mortals alike for their great physical beauty, as well as the profound love they had for each other. 

They were so happy in their marriage that they used to often playfully call one another Zeus and Hera. This infuriated the chief of the gods who regarded it an audacity. Zeus waited for the proper time to punish the arrogant couple who dared to make themselves comparable to gods. 

While Ceyx was at sea (going to consult an oracle), the god threw a thunderbolt at his ship. Soon after, Morpheus (god of dreams) disguised as Ceyx appeared to Alcyone as an apparition to tell her of his fate, and she threw herself into the sea in her grief. Out of compassion, the gods changed them both into halcyon birds, named after her. More Alcyone and Ceyx

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

Herbert James Draper (1863–1920)
 Halcyone
Oil on canvas
61 × 85 inches
Private collection. 

Halcyone is seeking her husband Ceyx; kingfishers are painted over her head.

Herbert James Draper (1863 – 1920) was an English Classicist painter whose career began in the Victorian era and extended through the first two decades of the 20th century. Born in London, the son of a jeweller, he was educated at Bruce Castle School in Tottenham and then went on to study art at the Royal Academy. He undertook several educational trips to Rome and Paris between 1888 and 1892, having won the Royal Academy Gold Medal and Travelling Studentship in 1889. In the 1890s, he worked as an illustrator, eventually settling in London. He died of arteriosclerosis at the age of 56, in his home on Abbey Road. More














Acknowledgement: Sotheby's


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