Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gustave Moreau (April 6, 1826 – April 18, 1898)

Saint George

Moreau was one of the most influential and highly regarded Symbolists during his lifetime. And he's never quite fallen out of the public's appreciation. It's difficult to define his works under the aegis of a couple of characteristics, but I will say that my favorite paintings of his are full of those florid details that often characterize Symbolist works, such as in Galatea, which, by the way, is based off of one of my favorite myths of the love of Polyphemus (the Cyclops from the Odyssey) for the water nymph Galatea; you can read Theocritus' excellent poem on it here (can't vouch for the translation). And I would be remiss if I didn't add that Moreau at one point taught Matisse

Goddess on the Rocks


c. 1896

Thracian Girl Carrying the Head of Orpheus on His Lyre

Evening Voices
c. 1885


  1. Congratulations on 100 posts! Unfortunately I just discovered you today. Otherwise I would have said "Thank you." for your commitment to sharing your knowledge and perspectives earlier. I appreciate how approachable you make each artist's work. From your introductions of just the few I've read so far, I already have a list of artists I want to learn more about. Thank you again.

  2. Knifight, thanks so much for your kind words! I'm a bit embarrassed by such warm praise, yet ultimately if this is a helpful resource or just a fun distraction for people, I'm glad.