13 Works, Today, May 16th. is John Opie’s day, his story, illustrated with footnotes #134

John Opie (1761–1807)
Damon and Musidora, from Thomson’s Seasons – Summer (1727), between circa 1788 and circa 1802
Oil on canvas
Height: 124.5 cm (49 in); Width: 101.6 cm (40 in)
National Trust

The paintings illustrate a scene from James Thomson’s 1727 poem Summer in which a young man accidentally sees a young woman bathing naked, and is torn between his desire to look and his knowledge that he ought to look away. The scene was popular with English artists as it was one of the few legitimate pretexts to paint nudes at a time when the display and distribution of nude imagery was suppressed. More on this painting

John Opie RA (16 May 1761–9 April 1807) was a Cornish historical and portrait painter. He painted many great men and women of his day, including members of the British Royal Family, and others who were most notable in the artistic and literary professions…

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