Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hard Slave Labour

Israel in Egypt (1867) by the  English painter Edward Poynter (1836-1919). Despite showing the hard slave labour of the people of Israel the artist is much more fascinated by the monumental Egyptian architecture which he evidently knew by the prints of David Roberts.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Christian Past

Håkon the Good (1860) by the Norwegian painter Peter Nicolai Arbo (1831-1892). Arbo depicts here the christian king Håkon the Good attacked by a pagan priest.

Monday, April 15, 2013

People's Army

Tyrolean Militia (1883) by the Austrian artist Franz von Defregger (1835-1921). Defregger did mostly genre and history paintings. Here he combined both showing the departure of the Tyrolean Militia during the uprising against the Napoleonic suppression. It's the people going to war, strong and proud, an appeal to nationalism.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spectacular Death

A Christian Dirce (1897) by the Polish painter Henryk Hector Siemiradzki (1843-1902). Siemiradzki depicted here how a christian martyr is killed in the circus in a kind of re-enactment of the myth of Dirce who was killed by being tied to the horns of a bull. It's a very spectacular scenery from the apex of history painting, a pale beautiful body, a fat decadent Nero, gladiators and exotic Nubian slaves. Much too nice to frighten.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Nothing Changes

Fight between two men in the Neolithic by the French painter Georges-Antoine Rochegrosse (1859-1938). Without any doubt a nice ironic piece of work. Above the two quarreling cavemen sits a nude woman as the prize for the winner. So the painting suggests, nothings has changed, maybe only the methods a little.