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Ariadne in Naxos
Ariadne in Naxos

Photo credit: De Morgan Collection

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Notes

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This is one of Evelyn’s earliest paintings, executed shortly after she left the Slade School of Art. It was also the first that she exhibited at the influential Grosvenor Gallery, in London. Like many of Evelyn’s earliest works, it is painted in a neo-classical style and is inspired by Greek mythology.

The painting depicts, Ariadne (the daughter of the King of Minos) who was abandoned by her lover Theseus, whilst she slept on the island of Naxos. Awakening to her fate, Ariadne is normally portrayed in a frenzied rage; in contrast, Evelyn shows her after her rage has subsided, solitary and desolate, her red robe conveying the idea of martyrdom. The many shells on the shoreline symbolise female sexuality, fertility and love.
Title

Ariadne in Naxos

Date

1877

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 59.8 x W 101.2 cm

Accession number

P_EDM_0003

Acquisition method

gift

Work type

Painting

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De Morgan Collection

England

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