Monday, April 8, 2013

Spectacular Death

A Christian Dirce (1897) by the Polish painter Henryk Hector Siemiradzki (1843-1902). Siemiradzki depicted here how a christian martyr is killed in the circus in a kind of re-enactment of the myth of Dirce who was killed by being tied to the horns of a bull. It's a very spectacular scenery from the apex of history painting, a pale beautiful body, a fat decadent Nero, gladiators and exotic Nubian slaves. Much too nice to frighten.


  1. Henryk Hector Siemiradzki got right into that rich, highly decorated Orientalist scene, didn't he? It is an amazing image, even if he chose a pale, very naked and beautiful young woman to be the Christian martyr.

  2. In these times orientalist and historial subjects were generously mixed. It was mostly about an exotic impact, kindof pre Hollywood.