Ponedeljak, 21 Juni 2021 10:57

The Apotheosis of Homer by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres is a manifesto of classicism Istaknut

The painting The Apotheosis of Homer was expressly commissioned by Charles X for the ceiling at the Louvre which is now the ancient Egyptian galleries. Upon receiving the commission, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres conceived the idea for his painting quickly and he had required only an hour to establish the broad outlines of his composition in a sketch. He developed his idea in more than 100 drawings and numerous painted sketches for it that survive. His grandest expression of the classical ideal, this nearly seventeen-foot long canvas reworks Raphael's Vatican fresco, The School of Athens from 1509-1511. Apotheosis of Homer was exhibited in 1827 in the annual Salon and is now exhibited at the Louvre.

In the center of the painting, The Apotheosis of Homer is the archaic Greek poet Homer who set on a pedestal and being crowned with a wreath of laurel by a winged figure who symbolizes either Victory or the Universe, while below him sit personifications of his two epic poems, The Odyssey (in green and holding an oar) and The Illiad (in red and seated beside her sword). He is framed by both historical and allegorical figures from all manner of different periods, including poets, philosophers, painters, architects, sculptors, musicians, and national heroes. Around his throne is Ancient Greek lyric poet Pindar with an ivory lyre, Phidias, the greatest of ancient sculptors who standing to the right of Homer in red, holding a mallet with he sculpted the gods about Homer wrote. Alexander the Great with a golden casket in which he keeps Homer's writings. Raphael in Renaissance garb is to be seen top left, being led by Italian Renaissance master Apelles in a blue cloak. Ingres is the young face looking out at us beside Raphael. Architect and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini is over Homer's left shoulder. Michelangelo is the bearded figure at the lower right. The Medieval poet and humanist Dante who wearing a red skull cap and cape stands at the extreme left is being led by Virgil as in the former's Divine Comedy. In the foreground are grouped as semi-figures, modern classics: Tasso, Poussin, Corneille, and on the other side Racine, Molière, Fénelon, and Telemachus and Camoens.

The symmetrical composition of the painting The Apotheosis of Homer is inspired to some extent by the memory of Raphael's The School of Athens. Despite its undeniable beauty in drawing and composition, it satisfies the mind more than the eye. According to Delacroix, the colors, spread like syrup on a well-baked cake, offend with their disharmony. This painting is said to look like a giant cameo. Delacroix assessed with the answer that cameos are not suitable for painting.

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