Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gustave Doré (French, 1832–1883)


"Doré, best known for illustrations of the Bible and Dante's 'Divine Comedy', painted many landscapes of Switzerland, Scotland, and France, but this work is unique. A slice of nature from a bug's-eye view, it seems to be an allegory of rejuvenation and the transience of life. Hollyhocks, morning-glories, dandelions, daisies, thistles, and other weeds battle for survival, and butterflies and dragonflies feed on them. The scythe, a traditional symbol of death, lies rusting in the foreground, and in contrast to the luxuriance of nature, a ruined building is moldering in the background."

Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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