|'The Gates of Dawn' (1900) by Herbert James Draper; The Drapers' Company, London|
Today's painting is a detail of a painting by English Classicist painter Herbert James Draper, born in 1863 and died on 22 September 1920. The painting is called 'The Gates of Dawn', click here for the full painting. It's not that I don't like the painting in full, nor do I have anything against nudity, but I think the face of the woman is beautiful and you just don't see that when the painting is shown in full (because it simply makes the face smaller and you get distracted by decor and breasts). Draper was a painter of historical subjects and mythological themes from ancient Greece. Today's painting is a portrait of Aurora, the Goddess of Dawn in Roman mythology (in Greek mythology she's called Eos). She is alluring, sexual and powerful. The discarded roses on the floor (only to be seen when you click on the full painting) refer to her insatiable passion. The story goes that one of her mortal lovers, Tithonus, was granted immortality by Jupiter but not eternal youth. When Tithonus grew old, Aurora turned him into a grasshopper. I think Draper captured the 'don't mess with me' look very well. What do you think? Draper was a very succesful painter in his days but is now largely forgotten and seldom seen in auction rooms.