Wednesday, April 11, 2018

03 Paintings, scenes from Olympian Myth, by The Old Masters, with footnotes # 42

Mihail Aleksandrov
Girl with swan
Oil on canvas
22" x 26"
Private collection

Leda, in Greek legend, usually believed to be the daughter of Thestius, king of Aetolia, and wife of Tyndareus, king of Lacedaemon. She was also believed to have been the mother (by Zeus, who had approached and seduced her in the form of a swan) of the other twin, Pollux, and of Helen, both of whom hatched from eggs. Variant legends gave divine parentage to both the twins and possibly also to Clytemnestra, with all three of them having hatched from the eggs of Leda, while yet other legends say that Leda bore the twins to her mortal husband, Tyndareus. Still other variants say that Leda may have hatched out Helen from an egg laid by the goddess Nemesis, who was similarly approached by Zeus in the form of a swan.The divine swan’s encounter with Leda was a subject depicted by both ancient Greek and Italian Renaissance artists; Leonardo da Vinci undertook a painting (now lost) of the theme, and Correggio’s Leda (c. 1530s) is a well-known treatment of the subject. More Leda and The Swan

Mihail Aleksandrov was born in Vilnius, Lithuania in June 1949. He attended the Vilnius Art School classes for five years and then studied at the Vilnius Pedagogical Institute. He received his degree in Russian Language and Literature in 1971.

Following his graduation, Aleksandrov taught Art Technique for five years. While he was continuing to produce artwork during his teaching years, it was not until 1978 that he began selling his paintings through various art dealers networks. In 1979, he emigrated to America and settled in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a year there before moving permanently to New York, NY in 1982.

His works are part of the official collections of the State Russian Museum of Saint Petersburg and the Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art, in Russia. More Mihail Aleksandrov

Attributed to Antonio Balestra Verona, 1666 - 1740 
Vulcan presenting Venus arms of Aeneas 
Oil on canvas
h: 111 w: 116.50 cm
Private collection

In Virgil’s epic Aeneid, Venus seduces Vulcan and persuades him to forge weapons for her son Aeneas. Verona’s painting shows Vulcan offering the goddess armour. To his right is a putti holding a shield. Aeneid laying between them. 

Antonio Balestra (12 August 1666 – 21 April 1740) was an Italian painter of the Rococo period. Born in Verona, he first apprenticed there with Giovanni Zeffio. By 1690 he moved to Venice, where he worked for three years under Antonio Bellucci, then moved to Bologna and then to paint in Carlo Maratta's workshop in Rome. In 1694, he won a prize from the Accademia di San Luca. He later painted both in Verona and Venice; although his influence was stronger in the mainland. More

Paul Elie Ranson, 1861 - 1909
Pastel on canvas
18 1/8 x 21 5/8 in.
Private collection

Paul Elie Ranson (1861-1909) Painter, decorator, tapestry draftsman, engraver, lithographer and illustrator, attended the School of Fine Arts of Limoges, before joining the Académie Julian in Paris. - Close to Maurice Denis, Paul Sérusier or Aristide Maillol, he takes an active role in the creation of the Nabi group. More on Paul Elie Ranson

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida
Bacante (also known as Bacchante), circa 1880
Oil on canvas
70 cm (27.56 in.), Width: 45 cm (17.72 in.)
Private collection

In Greek mythology, maenads were the female followers of Dionysus and the most significant members of the Thiasus, the god's retinue. Their name literally translates as "raving ones." Maenads were known as Bassarids, Bacchae or Bacchantes in Roman mythology after the penchant of the equivalent Roman god, Bacchus, to wear a bassaris or fox-skin. More Bacante

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (27 February 1863 10 August 1923) was a Spanish painter. Sorolla excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes. His most typical works are characterized by a dexterous representation of the people and landscape under the sunlight of his native land. More

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