Tag Archives: Mythology on Canvas

John Everett Millais

I just found another Pre-Raphaelite painter whose name I didn’t know but who made some works which I recognize. The paintings shown in this post are ones I don’t recall having seen before.  Compared to some of the other Pre-Raphaelites, his work seems centered more on portraits and accounts from the Bible.  His name is John Everett Millais, and he was evidently quite popular during his lifetime.

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The Return of the Dove to the Ark (1851). This is taken from the account of Noah and the Ark from the book of Genesis.

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Victory O Lord! (1871). This is from the account of a battle in which the priests needed to keep the hands of Moses aloft during the Exodus of the Hebrew nation.

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The Tribe of Benjamin Seizing the Daughters of Shiloh (1847).  This event comes at the end of perhaps one of the most disturbing stories in the Bible. It is found in the book of Judges.  The Bible is not a book for the faint of heart. Then again, it is.

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Esther (1865). From the book of Esther, this evidently shows her preparing to go into the king of the Medes and Persians to plead for the lives of the Jews in captivity.

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Christ in the House of His Parents (1850).




Allegorical Art

 Before I start, allow me to thank Art Bacchant for the post  which alerted me to the existence of this artist. The painting below, titled Sense of Sight, by Annie Swynnerton,  is what initially attracted my attention. Its composition and use of color are compelling, as are the eyes and facial expression of the main figure.

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Sense of Sight by Anna Louisa Swynnerton

Anna Louisa Swynnerton (1844 – 1933) was known for her allegorical paintings.

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Study of angels, Anna Louisa Swynnerton

The work of Edward Burne-Jones was one of her major influences.  Here are some photographs of the artist herself:


Cupid and Psyche have been painted by various artists, including Burne-Jones. A version from Swynnerton is shown below. Again, I am impressed by the expressions on the faces. Perhaps more than the other paintings I have included, it reminds me of the work of Edward Burne-Jones, especially the style of his Perseus cycle featured in another post under this category.

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Cupid and Psyche by Anna Louisa Swynnerton

I’ll end with Oceanid, a painting of a lake nymph who was the daughter of Okeanos and Tethys. Notice how the water surrounding her sparkles in its transparency. This painting is a good example of the artist’s use of vibrant color.

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Oceanid by Anna Louisa Swynnerton

I am struck by how all of the above works seem to vibrate with life in one way or another.