The Gates of Dawn, 1890 ~ Herbert James Draper
The Greek Goddess of the Dawn, Eos (or Aurora in Roman), is thought to be an exceedingly ancient divinity dating back to the early speakers of the Indo-European language.
Here in this erotically intense painting by the English Victorian artist, Hebert James Draper (1863 - 1920), she is remembered as the saffron-robed Titan who opened the gates of the east prior to riding her chariot through the sky. According to Greek myth, Eos was ever young and beautiful because she was renewed each morning by stealing away young, handsome men for her pleasure.
A painter of historical and imaginative subjects and portraits of his contemporaries, Draper found great favour in his lifetime. Trained in Paris, his style was one of fluent academic craftsmanship, which fell out of fashion in the twentieth century. After nearly a century in obscurity, his work is finally being rediscovered and appreciated once again.
Unfashionable? Just look at the Goddess’ face! She captures our attention even today.
This powerful and sensuous masterpiece is presently on display at the elegant Drawing Room of The Drapers’ Hall in London.