domingo, 2 de julio de 2017

HESPÉRIDES || Christa Zaat

Christa Zaat

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Dorothy Webster Hawksley (British painter) 1884 - 1970
Artemis, s.d.
watercolour and bodycolour on silk, heightened with gold
7.5 x 6.75 in.
private collection

It is unsafe to particularise from the few known paintings but Dorothy's treatment of the female nude is seemingly innocent of artifice. The figures are always frankly shown, posed naturally and painted as if front-lit and with little modelling. Attention is subtly diverted from breast and pubis to the exquisite silhouette, and there, cleverly, is expressed the sexual charge of the figure.

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Artemis /ˈɑrtɨmɨs/ was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals". The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter.

In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. The deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.

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Dorothy Hawksley was born in London on 19 November 1884, the daughter of a maker of surgical instruments with an interest in the work of John Ruskin. Her maternal grandfather had been a painter of marine pictures and therefore she did not face any parental opposition when she showed signs of wanting to become a painter. Her formative schooling in drawing was at a small art school run by the watercolour painter Edward Clifford and Charles Orchardson (son of William Quiller Orchardson). She saw the Burne-Jones memorial exhibition in 1898 and as Clifford had been a friend of Burne-Jones it is likely that they had discussed his work. Her art certainly shows something of an influence from the pale maidens of Burne-Jones. She later attended Clifford and Orchardson's classes at the St. John's Wood Art School after they moved there, before she progressed to the Royal Academy Schools in 1906. She was awarded a silver medal for a drawing from life and the Landseer Scholarship in 1908. She began to exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1909 and continued to show there almost every year until 1964.

Although Dorothy Hawksley worked in various media, her most successful works were painted in watercolour and tempera with large areas of flat colour and unshaded tone contained within refined outlines. These were influenced by Japanese prints and by the work of her friend Frederic Cayley Robinson.

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