25 August 2009


to one of my followers, Julie Delvaux, whose blog Los Cuadernos de Julia, has been named a Blog of Note.

22 August 2009

A Belated Welcome

to another follower, Gary Corby, author of an eagerly awaited series of detective stories set in Periclean Athens, with Socrates's big brother Nicolaos as the detective. Gary's blog is called A Dead Man Fell From the Sky

21 August 2009

Perseus and Andromeda: The 20th century and After

We conclude our look at interpretations of the story of Perseus and Andromeda with a couple of examples from the 20th century.

Odilon Redon's 1912 picture of Andromeda is now in Little Rock's Arkansas Art Center.

In 1921 Jacques Ibert wrote an opera about Perseus and Andromeda.

The Ray Harryhausen 1981 stop-motion film about Perseus and Andromeda, Clash of the Titans, is being remade, with the new version due out in March 2010. The trailer for the original can be seen below, and of course there are various excerpts on YouTube.

15 August 2009

Perseus and Andromeda: The 19th century

We turn now to the 19th century in our exploration of the story of Perseus and Andromeda.

Ingres's painting shown above was painted around about 1819. It is now in a private collection. (used under creative commons licence, courtesy of www.jeanaugustedominiqueingres.org)

In 1840 Theodore Chasseriau produced the painting above, which is now in Paris's Louvre. (public domain picture from commons.wikimedia.org)

Eugene Delacroix's Andromeda was painted in 1852. It is now in Houston's Museum of Fine Arts but does not appear to be on their website. (used under creative commons licence, courtesy of www.eugenedelacroix.org)

Two artists painted Andromeda in 1869. The upper picture is by Gustave Dore. I haven't been able to find out its present whereabouts, so I assume it's probably in a private collection somewhere. The lower picture is by Edward Poynter and is now in London's Tate Britain. (both pictures are in the public domain and come from commons.wikimedia.org)

Around the same time Gustave Moreau produced the above picture, which is now in the Bristol City Gallery, but not on their website. (public domain picture from www.the-athenaeum.org))

Lord Frederic Leighton's picture dates to 1891 and is now in Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery. (public domain picture from www.museumsyndicate.com)

10 August 2009

Perseus and Andromeda: The 18th century

We continue our exploration of the theme of Perseus and Andromeda, moving into the 18th century with a picture painted in 1723 by Fran├žois Lemoyne and now in London's The Wallace Collection. A few years later in 1727 Charles-Antoine Coypel also painted Perseus Rescuing Andromeda, which is now in Paris's Louvre. It is not on the Louvre's website, but can be seen in the Joconde database of artworks belonging to the French government. (wikicommons starmap by Roberto Mura used under creative commons licence)

In 1726, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni returned to Venice from political exile. In honour of the occasion a serenata called Andromeda Liberata was commissioned and performed only to languish thereafter till it was rediscovered in 2002. It is a matter of some musicological dispute whether the serenata was composed by one musician or several, but it is certain that one of the arias, Sovvente il sole, was written by Antonio Vivaldi. The above YouTube extract has the finale from a 2006 performance in Cremona. The New York Times has a background piece to the manuscript's discovery.

In 1730, Tiepolo painted a picture now in New York's Frick Collection, as a study for a ceiling fresco now lost due to WWII bombing.

Anton Raphael Mengs produced the above picture in 1774-1777. It is now in St. Petersburg's State Hermitage. (public domain picture from wikicommons)

Lastly, in 1787 Michael Haydn (brother of the more famous Joseph) wrote an opera, "Andromeda und Perseus", an aria from which can be heard in the YouTube video embedded above.