Saturday, April 24, 2010

Marble Body

Death of Cleopatra (1874) by the French Orientalist painter Jean-Andre Rixens.

Like many of his colleagues Rixens shows here the dead Cleopatra bitten by an asp as it was told by Shakespeare and frequently interpreted by painters. Though there is not much new concerning the subject, it is interesting how Rixens painted the dead Queen. The body is so pale and perfect that it resembles much more a statue of marble than something of flesh and blood. Despite the theatrical gestures it’s pure art, already anticipating the upcoming Art Nouveau.