Description & Technical information

This monumental oil painting – which depicts two wood nymphs rising to meet the morning sun – is signed by the artist and dated 1828 in which year it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.  

In its review of the highlights of the 1918 Royal Academy Exhibition ‘The Connoisseur’ magazine praised the painting’s “grace and refinement” and in his 2003 book ‘Herbert Draper, a Life Study’, Simon Toll (Senior Director at Sotheby’s in London) further discusses the painting; the artist’s last great full-length painting of neoclassical nudes…

“An enigmatic dryad is seated against the foot of an ancient tree. A naked bacchante sprawls on a leopard skin in a bestial pose consistent with the temperament of Bacchus’ worshippers. The painting depicts the morning after the night before, the post-coital slumber of the orgiastic reveller. Are the women abandoned like Ariadne, or are their latest lovers like those of the kelpie, submerged lifeless somewhere amongst the leave mounds? The bacchante emerges from the dried leaves, from which she has spent the night after the previous day’s drunken orgies.” 

Date:  1918
Period:  Early 20th century
Signature: Signed.
Dimensions:  cm (90 x 51 x 3 inches)
Provenance: Private UK collection.
Literature: 1918; ‘The Connoisseur’ magazine, vol.LI, p.115.

2003; ‘Herbert Draper 1863-1920: A Life Study’ by Simon Toll, pp.48, 163-164, 197, colour plate 52. 

Exhibitions: 1918; exhibited as ‘Reveil’ at the Royal Academy in London (catalogue no.304). Thence in the private UK collection.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints