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Zeus and Thetis

Painting, 1811, 327×260 cm

Description of the artwork «Zeus and Thetis»

"Zeus and Thetis" Ingres – "thesis" summing up the internship in Rome, where he was sent by the Paris Academy of fine arts. He tried to make the picture as grace and "charity", explaining that "she needs a mile to exude the smell of ambrosia". Ingres sent the final "package" (so called his work, sent from Rome to Paris during the internship) at the Salon. The verdict was merciless: the face of Zeus said that not enough noble, to the figure of Thetis, too, the accusations were enough.

The basis of the picture on the mythological story. The sea nymph Thetis drew and Zeus, and Poseidon. But the prediction was that the son born of it will surpass in the power of his father. The gods decided to refrain from possible FILIAL competition and gave her in marriage to marry the mortal Peleus. From this marriage Achilles was born. The painting depicts her in marriage, came to Zeus and begging to protect her son in the confrontation with Agamemnon in the Trojan war. Thetis bent at the knees of the Supreme God, hugging them with one arm, the other stretched up and touches his beard.

The throne of Zeus hanging in the clouds, the figures of Zeus and Thetis in stark contrast. The figure of Zeus is dark, powerful, as if fused with the throne, with his left hand he leans on Cumulus clouds. Its sight is directed afar, it seems that he can't even hear her in marriage. Her figure consists entirely of smooth lines. Even that set of Ingres reproach – unnaturally outstretched left hand of Thetis, her head thrown back too much and seeming too full for this reason, the neck – a performs its function. Hand, like the embodiment of supplication and secret tenderness, and the whole figure in General, including a weird bend in the neck embodies unbridled aspiration, like this diagonal, in which Thetis located in relation to Zeus, included all her aspirations, all her life.

To the right of Zeus – eagle, one of the attributes of God. On the left we see lying on the cloud and watching the figure of Hera, wife of the Thunderer. As you know, she was a very jealous goddess... But here, her look calm, she knows that Zeus does not hear the pleas of Thetis. But the intimate details, which we see, hidden from Hera. Touching the toes of Zeus and Thetis bring very warm, deeply lyrical and erotic note in the mood of the picture.

Author: Alain Esaulova
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait, Mythological scene

Style of art: Classicism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1811

Size: 327×260 cm

Artwork in selections: 15 selections

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