A Satyr in Love
In this elegant 19th-century painting, Greek mythological figures have been skillfully painted in warm, bright colours, in a summery, garden-like setting with a bright blue sky and leaves in varying hues of greens and yellows. On the right of the painting is a satyr, a Greek mythology creature that is part goat, part human, which we see reflected through the combination of the human facial features and the more goat-like features such as the pointed ears and small horn-like tufts of hair subtly appearing at the tip of the eyebrow. These creatures are associated with Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, and are often depicted misbehaving. This painting, therefore, offers a more peaceful and joyful take on satyrs than is typical in European art history. Next to the satyr is a young woman, with beautiful flowers in her hair and in her arms. She looks off into the distance, while her pastel blue cloak billows dramatically around her shoulders. This young woman may be interpreted as a nymph. Nymphs are female nature deities of Greek mythology and are often depicted with satyrs. While many artistic changes were taking place in France during the 19th century, including the development of styles such as Impressionism, mythology remained a theme that was preferred by artistic academies and artistic leaders of the time. This wonderful work, housed in a beautiful burled walnut frame, is sure to bring history and intrigue to any room it is hung in!
At this time in French history, many technological advancements were made throughout the 19th century, such as advancements in railway technology and the invention of photography. It was also a time of many revolutions in France and artistic tensions, with the development of styles such as Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.