Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fallen from Grace

Mariamne Leaving the Judgment Seat of Herod (1887) by the British painter John William Waterhouse (1849-1917).

Mariamne I was the second wife of Herod the Great. She was famous for her beauty, but because of her conflict with Salome the sister of Herod she was finally convicted and executed in 29 BC. It’s said that Herod grieved for her for many months.

Waterhouse depicts here the queen on her way to prison and the grieving king. But more than in this story he seemed to be interested in the historical details, the marble the magnificent architecture. Academic history painting is already on its way to pure decoration.

1 comment:

  1. I like John William Waterhouse and his pretty as a picture women. I like the story behind the painting, thank you for this!
    And have a happy Christmas!