The Orpheus Myth through Nineteenth Century Art
Links to Fileshttp://blogs.goucher.edu/verge/10-2/
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Type of Work21 p.
DepartmentArt and Art History
RightsCollection may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. To obtain information or permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Goucher Special Collections & Archives at 410-337-6347 or email email@example.com.
SubjectsResearch -- Periodicals.
Humanities -- Research -- Periodicals.
Social sciences -- Research -- Periodicals.
During a visit to the Walter's Art Gallery for inspiration for my Art 280 term paper, I snapped a photo of a painting by Charles Jalabert depicting a group of beautiful women draped in gauzy fabrics lounging gracefully in a somewhat severe landscape. I was in a hurry and took the photo without much thought. I barely glanced at the label and doubted that the work would develop into my fifteen-page term paper due at the end of the semester. I wanted to focus on Neoclassicism and how nineteenth-century artists used Classical myths as inspiration for their art, and since Jalabert's piece illustrated the Ovidian myth of Orpheus I decided to start my research there. Orpheus's tragic quest for his lost love Eurydice captivated me immediately. As my research continued, I was surprised to notice that the myth was a major inspiration for not only Neoclassical painters, but for artists throughout the 1800s from very different artistic styles. What about this myth attracted so many artists of varying movements and ideologies? This paper explores how the Orpheus myth links five artists (Corot, Crawford, Jalabert, Moreau, and Rodin) from five different artistic movements (Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Impressionism, Naturalism, and Symbolism). By chronicling the Ovidian story with these artists' illustrations of key scenes, I hope to reveal the malleability of the myth and explore how its themes stay relevant and stimulating through seven decades in the rapidly changing art world.