Lebrun, Charles. Atalanta and Meleager. 1658, oil on canvas. 212.5 x 280.5cm. On Screen: Walker Artwork Gallery
Story of the portray
This portray is based mostly on the Greek myth identified as Atalanta and the Calydonian Boar Hunt. This fantasy is about the hunt of a boar and the story’s heroes. In this tale, there are two key people, Meleager the chief of the hunt and Atalanta, the lady whom the hero falls for her. In some versions of the fantasy Atalanta participates in the hunt.
In just the tale Calydonia, is a city in which the goddess Artemis, sends in a large and wild boar as a punishment to the king, for not fulfilling his prophecies to her. Meleager then sets out to hunt and get rid of the boar, that was creating destruction to the area. Between the hunters have been Meleager’s two uncles, a different was Atalanta, an great hunter, with whom he falls in like with her.
When they ultimately have slayed the Calydonian Boar, and reduce off its head, Meleager wishes to present the head, to present his timeless adore to Atalanta. But his uncles dislike the strategy of women owning trophies. In retaliation, he kills both of his uncles. This painting is entire of iconographical symbolism.
At the pretty leading of the portray, there is a purple flowing fabric that could be a banner, even though it’s tough to say. This portray sets a scene, with interesting lighting, exactly where the painter has the bordering regions, the tonal values of the colors look to be muted, while the principal subjects in the center, (Atalanta in yellow, and Meleager in red cloak) are in much extra saturated colouration. Most of the muted colors are the greenery of the countryside. The symbolism of green as said “both existence and dying in vernal inexperienced of daily life and the furious green of loss of life.” (Cooper, 1978,) This means that the eco-friendly implies or maybe even foreshadowing that there is demise, to assist this Greek myth.
It has a lovely use of composition, with the rule of thirds, exactly where everything is properly balanced. So, the eye follows the painting from the leading to the bottom, like looking at a ebook. This will help to established the scene and explain to a tale and looking aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
We see that there are four people in this in a countryside landscape. Two people today on the still left, with Atalanta remaining confirmed the head of a boar by Meleager, with one more hunter subsequent to him. The boar has an iconographical that means of “The boar’s head symbolises health and preservation from danger” (Cooper, 1978, web site 43). By giving this gift to Atalanta, it’s telling her that with the loss of life of the boar there is no far more danger, pretty much and figuratively. Also displaying his like for her.
The countryside has a charming mountain array in the background with unique tones of blue. With the blue, meanings of rely on, depth, and calmness. It really is something but serene in this portray. This has a use of aerial perspective. When on the lookout closely, future to Meleager’s remaining shoulder, there can be observed a pale useless human body of a person laying on the rolling hill facet. His uncles that Meleager has killed, when they disapproved of him representing the boar’s head to Atalanta. His uncles may have disliked the plan for the reason that “the boar is a masculine principle” (Cooper, 1978, webpage 43), this implies that a trophy of an animal is masculine, and consequently it is un lady-like for Atalanta to have a person. Of course, with this Meleager disagreed by killing his uncles.
On the foreground of each still left and appropriate corner there are two pet dogs on every single side. To support with the tracking of the boar for the duration of this hunt. As the pet dogs are a symbolism of fidelity, indicating loyalty, the painter may well have put them there as a signal of irony. As we get to learn in the fantasy, that Meleager betrays his uncles, the really reverse of fidelity.
There is a pelt of an animal up coming to Atalanta. She is dressed in a beautiful yellow costume. The painter has used some depth within the folds of the costume, which delivers out the texture of the costume. The gown also leaves 1 of her breasts exposed. But she is not sexualised with this, on the lookout sturdy and not helpless. The exposure of a breast has a symbolic this means. “The bared breast is humility” (. Cooper, 1978, page 50) with this, the painter is saying that Atalanta is humble, she does not assume she is better than anyone. It signifies her in a way that she requirements to be rewarded, for Meleager’s enjoy. Also, if she is really comfortable with a bared breast surrounded by gentlemen. It begs the question of if she would have cared to not acquire the boar’s head. And with this, sparing the lives of Meleager’s uncles. On her lap, there is a attractive blue cloth (a cloak?) on her knees, with exquisite embroidery everywhere you go.
Her still left arm resting on best of a wood bow. The is what might be made use of to present who is Atalanta. In Greek mythology, a bow is commonly affiliated with Artemis the goddess of animals and the hunt. Additionally, this could also necessarily mean the victory of the hunt, with the demise of the boar. With Atalanta possessing a bow, it tells us that she a fantastic huntress and lover of animals. This is more supported, with two dogs by her ft, seeking protecting of her, and a pelt of an animal guiding her. “She challenges gender expectations” ( d’Entremont, 2020, webpage 5) It exhibits that she is not a meek young woman, with the expertise of searching. Which would have been subversive, for a female of her time.
Even though Meleager is dressed in a pink cloak and blue tunics. The two of which have golden bejewelled, embroidery along the lining of the garments. The cloak has a substantial symbolism of dignity and posture. Telling us, he is a leader of this hunt and has the dignity and with the purple the bravery to completete his undertaking. Also keeping a sword upright, utilized to eliminate the boar. The sword has the iconographical symbolism of defense and strength, in which Meleager, truly proves of this for the duration of the hunt. What is important about the sword, is that the blade is not silver but black. This may possibly imply that it references to the deaths of his uncles, possibly in mourning for them, as the colour black is typically the representation of demise and mourning. But it could also signify, Meleager’s electrical power and energy.
J.C.Cooper, 1978, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Classic Symbols, Area of Publication, Thames & Hudson. ISBN: 978-D-500-01201-7
See u in record/mythology, 2021, Meleager and Atalanta: The Hunt for Calidon’s Boar, place of publication, You Tube
Michela d’Entremont, 2020, Gender and Excellence in the myth of Atalanta, location of publication, Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia. Read pager 1-5, and internet pages 35.
Algernon Charles Swinburne, 1865, Poems and Ballads [and] Atalanta in Calydon, position of publication, The Bobbs-Merill Organization, Inc.