Pierre-Claude Delorme (1783-1859) ~ Héro et Léandre, 1814 ✿

Pierre-Claude Delorme (1783-1859) ~ Héro et Léandre, 1814
Musée des beaux-arts de Brest, France
This work is inspired by Ovid's Heroids and represents the priestess of Venus, Hero, perfuming her lover, Leandre, who came to swim her. The latter swam across the Dardanelles Strait every night, guided by a lamp that his beloved placed at the top of his tower. One stormy evening, the lamp goes out, the young man gets lost and drowns. Hero will find the body of his stranded loved one in the morning and throw himself from the top of his tower.

Delorme shows the happy and smiling couple, the drawing is precise, the nudes carefully modeled and the contours clear. It is thus in line with the great neoclassical masters such as Antoine-Jean Gros (1771-1835), Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) or Anne-Louis Girodet (1767-1824) who was his master.

Applauded at the Salon of 1814, this painting was a huge success and was engraved many times. The elegance of the movements, the gentle looks, the sensuality of the scene and its idyllic setting charmed the audience.

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