Essay about Jupiter and Semele by Moreau

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Jupiter and Semele by Moreau

19th century French painter Gustave Moreau was an artist highly regarded for his intricate use of images based on myth and legends to create very symbolic and often haunting paintings. Moreau was quoted saying: “I love my art so much that I shall only be happy when I can practice it for myself alone.” In a time when many artists choose to paint classical mythological subjects as if it were a proper education in Greek and Latin, Moreau was developing his own unusual and personal interpretations using a classical subject matter as his tool for artistic expression. This is very much the case in his painting of Jupiter and Semele (1894-5) in which Moreau explores classical myth in a very personal and
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A quote such as this gives us and idea of what the artist was trying to create. His elaborate compositions and glowing colors give the painting a dreamlike quality to them. By combining colossal size with contrasting colors and close attention to detail Moreau is able to create a painting that is a visual journey through Moreau’s vision and interest in the subject matter. Moreau’s often odd visions of antiquity can be very tough to grasp for audiences at times because of there intensity and mystery, when his painting of Orpheus was exhibited at the 1866 Salon Moreau accompanied it with his own explanation to clarify his leap from more traditional methods of depicting the legend. Gustave Moreau is known for taking ancient legends and developing them into more personal and dark versions in a manner much different than typical depictions. In Jupiter and Semele this is achieved by combining intense detail with vivid colors and bizarre shifts in size to create a visual journey for the viewer full of emotion, exploration and creativity.

Gustave Moreau is often regarded as a founder of the Symbolist movement, and as inspiration for a radical group of painters called the Fauves. He is known for including many iconographic images in his paintings derived from various sources including important symbolist
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