Tag Archives: tree spirits

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.