Julius Gari Melchers (1860 - 1932): Penelope, 1910, Oil on7/20/2021, 2:43:45 PM
Julius Gari Melchers (1860 - 1932): Penelope, 1910, Oil on canvas, 136.4 x 126.1 cm (53 11/16 × 49 5/8 in.), National Gallery of Art, Washington DC Garibaldi Melchers was one of the leading American proponents of naturalism. Drawing on his association with Belgian art circles and his friendship with the French Symbolist painter Puvis de Chavannes, Melchers began to invest scenes of everyday life with spiritual overtones. Often he took these pictures a step further, endowing wholesome peasant girls with supernatural haloes that transform them into modern metaphors for the spiritual life. At the turn of the century, Melchers entered a phase of greater decorative consciousness in which he emphasized vibrant colour, natural lighting, looser brushwork and decorative pattern. This modified Impressionist style provided a better vehicle for his new interest in the subject of modern women and children portrayed in beautiful interiors and gardens. The model seated in the chair in his 'Penelope' from 1910 is the artists' wife, Corinne.