Between 1908 and 1914, Redon was repeatedly drawn to represent the mythic beauties Venus, Andromeda, and Pandora. Here, he depicts Pandora—the exquisite woman fashioned from clay by the god Vulcan and sent to earth by Jupiter. Her innocence still intact, Pandora cradles in her arms the box that, when opened, will unleash all the evils destined to plague mankind, thereby bringing to an end the legendary Golden Age of humanity.
Unlike the oil version of this painting which can be found in The Met (NY), in this pastel version Pandora wears white dress. If you ask me, this pastel version is the best version on his Pandora series. What is your opinion?
Date Created: 1858/1916
Physical Dimensions: w22.1 x h29.1
Credit Line: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Ann Eden Woodward
Medium: Pastel and charcoal on board
Giuseppe Casciaro (1861-1941) was an Italian painter, active mainly in Naples. Orphaned at the age of twelve, he was raised by a paternal uncle, a priest. He attended school in lyceum gymnasium of Maglie, where his uncle hoped he would start studies towards a career in medicine. However, there he was first instructed to art by Paolo Emilio Stasi, who aided him in enrolling in the Neapolitan Academy of Fine Arts under Morelli and Palizzi. His uncle initially thought Giuseppe was in Naples attending the university, and upon learning of his deception, ceased his support of the young man.
At the Academy, he met Francesco Paolo Michetti, from whom he learned to paint landscapes in pastels. He spent most of his life painting landscapes of the shoreline and of his native Ortelle. At the end of the century, he traveled to Paris, where he met Giuseppe De Nittis and his circle. He gained a nomination to be professor at the Institute of Fine Arts of Urbino. He often visited and tutored members of the Royal House of Savoy about pastel painting. His works were exhibited throughout Europe and Argentina.
Click on the following thumbnails to see the gallery of works.
This is the catalog by Stephen Ongpin from the exhibition held in London June-July 2014, with the aim to draw attention to the central importance of the pastel medium in the work of some of the finest artist in Western art from the 18th through to the 20th century.
Willard Leroy Metcalf (1858 –1925) was an American artist born in Lowell, Massachusetts. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and later attended Académie Julian, Paris. After early figure-painting and illustration, he became prominent as a landscape painter. He was one of the Ten American Painters who in 1897 seceded from the Society of American Artists. For some years he was an instructor in the Womans Art School, Cooper Union, New York, and in the Art Students League, New York. In 1893 he became a member of the American Watercolor Society, New York. Generally associated with American Impressionism, he is also remembered for his New England landscapes and involvement with the Old Lyme Art Colony at Old Lyme, Connecticut.
Léon Augustin Lhermitte (1844 – 1925) was a French realist painter and etcher whose primary subject matter was of rural scenes depicting the peasant worker. He was born in Mont-Saint-Père. A student of Lecoq de Boisbaudran, he gained recognition after his show in the Paris Salon in 1864.
Like his contemporary, Jean François Millet, Lhermitte took pastel to a higher degree of completion. While his earliest pastels were studies drawn from nature, his later pastels, including the one in this post, evolved into large-scale, finished compositions in their own right. Lhermitte was certainly one of the most accomplished masters of his generation.
Lhermitte’s innovative use of pastels won him the admiration of his contemporaries. Vincent van Gogh wrote that “If every month Le Monde Illustré published one of his compositions … it would be a great pleasure for me to be able to follow it. It is certain that for years I have not seen anything as beautiful as this scene by Lhermitte … I am too preoccupied by Lhermitte this evening to be able to talk of other things.”