Friday 21 November 2014

Venus Disrobing

This morning I chanced upon Lord Frederick Leighton's Venus Disrobing (not to be confused with his Venus Disrobing For The Bath) and noticed this little girl sitting at the feet of Venus, gazing up at her. The girl's dress looks totally out of keeping with Greek mythology. In fact as Venus's handmaiden she should be in the nude. Her dress appears Victorian. So is this an example of Trompe-l'œil (French for "to deceive the eye"? The Victorian viewer would be drawn into the picture by the illusion of a little girl sitting at Venus's feet. Sadly, the painting is in a private collection and I can't even find its date, let alone a commentary. CLICK to see it.


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