Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cleopatra's Banquet

Cleopatra's Banquet (c.1675) by the Dutch Golden Age painter Gerard de Lairesse (1640-1711). Cleopatra is here dissolving her earring in vinegar and will drink it to prove to the Roman Mark Antony that she can spent ten million sestertia for one supper.

Despite the architecture is pure fantasy it shows that Lairesse already tried to provide his painting with a historical setting.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tragical End of a Hero

Miranda in prison (1896) by the Venezuelan painter Arturo Michelena (1863-1898). Miranda, who was a student of the famous French history painter Jean-Paul Laurens, depicts here one of the founders of Latin American Liberty.

Sebastián Francisco de Miranda was a Venezuelan revolutionary and is considered as a forerunner of Simón Bolívar. After is revolution had failed he died in a Spanish prison.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Victorian Kitsch

A Sick Child Brought into the Temple of Aesculapius (1877) by the British painter John William Waterhouse (1849-1917).

Waterhouse specialized in sugary scenes likes this. Sometimes he choose medieval sceneries, on other occasions classical Greek or Roman ones. But he always provided what the Victorian clients expected.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Heroic Episode

The Combat of the Thirty by the French (1857) painter Octave Penguilly L'Haridon (1811-1870)

Penguilly L'Haridon shows here an episode of the Hundred Years War which happened on 26 March 1351 in Brittany. Thirty English knights (many of them were foreign mercenaries) fought there in a kind of formal joust against 30 knights from the French-Breton side.

It’s a quite well done painting with a lot of good historical details. Like many history paintings in the 19th century it’s glorifying regional history and was therefore achieved by the musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper.