Thursday, May 19, 2011

Another view

The painter I wrote about yesterday, Jean Leon Gerome, and that picture I wrote about, "Pygmalion and Galatea" ...

... here is something interesting I discovered.

He painted the picture from the front too!

This is kind of neat. It is like "The Two Pianos of Leonard Pennario" ... two halves to a whole.

You can see the fish at Galatea's feet from a new perspective.

The grotesque faces are more clearly masks.

I do not think Gerome did this all in his imagination, impressive as that would be. I think he had these props lying around his studio and perhaps he had an, ahem, model standing in for Galatea.

The front view is missing some of the back view's thrilling ominousness. The lighting looks totally different. Somehow the back view also has more energy and passion. The front view looks a little sweet by comparison.

Speaking of these artistic matters, Howard points out, and I agree, that the picture we saw was more thrilling than in the print pictured above. In the framed print on our wall...

... the atmosphere was duskier and the outlines were foggier.

Perhaps the fireplace did not hurt. Perhaps the whiskey did not either.

Whatever, I find myself reluctant to return to my old life.

To leave the world of Jean Leon Gerome.

1 comment:

pythagoras said...

Great story, Mary! Franz von Suppe did a comic operetta on this subject. The Overture is one of his liveliest and lyrically most beautiful. Many recordings are available for you to listen to while you further contemplate this alluring painting.
Hope you are well. -Steven