Tag Archives: The Dryad

Mythology on Canvas (Part 17)

After reviewing so many paintings by various Pre-Raphaelite artists, I was struck by some similarities I would like to review through two sets of paintings which I have titled The Power of Three and Out of the Tree.

The Power of Three

The use of three central figures seems to recur quite a bit. I wonder if this number is the highest that can maximize visual impact while avoiding clutter. In this sense, the careful arrangement of three can be elegant.

Clyties of the Mist by Herbert James Draper
Clyties of the Mist by Herbert James Draper
Moonbeams by Evelyn DeMorgan NT; (c) Knightshayes Court; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
Moonbeams by Evelyn DeMorgan NT; (c) Knightshayes Court; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
The Storm Spirits by Evelyn DeMorgan
The Storm Spirits by Evelyn DeMorgan

Out of the Tree

There is something artistically appealing about the lines of a human figure blending with or emerging from the lines of a tree trunk and branches.

The Dryad by Evelyn De Morgan
The Dryad by Evelyn De Morgan
The Tree of Forgiveness by Edward Burne-Jones
The Tree of Forgiveness by Edward Burne-Jones

The only way I can think of to conclude this series and segway into other topics is to quote Monty Python. “And now for something completely different…”

Mythology on Canvas (Part 3)

The Dryad by Evelyn De Morgan
The Dryad by Evelyn De Morgan

This week’s selection is The Dryad by Evelyn De Morgan. I like this painting because it is a depiction of a minor female deity painted by a woman. I have noticed that, in the paintings I have looked at by this artist, she often leaves the clothing of her female subjects in place (though not always). Dryads (tree spirits) were often portrayed as female, sometimes as male. This painting offers an appealing image of beauty and feminine mystique as perhaps only a woman could have done so. The partial uncovering and partial concealment of the Dryad’s form combines with her emergence from the tree to produce an effective image. I find the concept of this depiction of a Dryad as perhaps the most compelling I have seen. What is not shown can be more compelling than what is, and this is also true of how we present ourselves in real life.