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
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.”
The readers of this blog might remember French pastel artist Marie-France OOsterhof as a winner of the several Get Dusty challenges. In this unique style cookbook Marie-France reveals little secrets for lovely dinners with family and friends. There are 20 simple recipes illustrated with her own original pastel artworks. Marie-France was the top 100 in the most famous amateur cooking contest in France. Written in both French and English, this is a small, exclusive print edition, signed by the author.
For more details and to order the book, contact artist through her website.