11 Work, Artists’ Interpretations of Hellenic legends, The Rape of Deianira, with footnotes #188

Coypel, Noël
Hercules, Dejanira and the centaur Nessus, c. around 1688

Oil on canvas
H. 120.2; L. 196 cm. frame: H. 132; W. 207; Thickness 8 cm.
Musée de Versailles, Versailles, France

Hercules pursuing the centaur Nessus, who wants to kidnap his wife Dejanira. However, the scene only gives Veronese the opportunity to describe the involvement of the figures in the mysterious realm of nature — an old theme of Venetian painting. Veronese’s latest style can also be recognized by the clearly darkened, autumnal colors and the open brushstrokes.

Noël Coypel, (born Dec. 25, 1628, Paris, France — died Dec. 24, 1707, Paris), French Baroque historical painter who was the founding member of a dynasty of painters and designers employed by the French court during the late 17th and 18th centuries.

Made an academician in 1663, Coypel served as director of the French Academy in Rome from 1672 to 1676, and in 1695 he was made director of the Royal Academy in Paris. Although Noël Coypel is primarily known as one of the principal producers of decorative paintings for Louis XIV at the palaces of the Tuileries, the Louvre, and Versailles, he is also renowned for such important ecclesiastical commissions as the well-known painting of The Martyrdom of St. James in Notre Dame, Paris. Stylistically his mature works show the influence of Charles Le Brun; but his earlier paintings were in the manner of Poussin, and for this reason he was sometimes called Coypel le Poussin. More on Noël Coypel

Deianira, Deïanira was a Calydonian princess in Greek mythology whose name translated as “man-destroyer” or “destroyer of her husband”. She was the wife of Heracles and, in late Classical accounts, his unwitting murderer, killing him with the poisoned Shirt of Nessus. She is the main character in Sophocles’ play Women of Trachis…

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Author: Zaidan Art Blog

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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