Fine Art · Herbert James Draper · Look Here

Look Here: THE SEA MAIDEN (1894) and four studies by Herbert James Draper

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, here are four studies for The Sea Maiden by British artist Herbert James Draper, along with the dramatic, and oddly erotic, final painting; the eroticism was intentional, of course:

[CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE]


Draper’s inspiration:

CHASTELARD.
Have you read never in French books the song
Called the Duke’s Song, some boy made ages back,
A song of drag-nets hauled across thwart seas
And plucked up with rent sides, and caught therein
A strange-haired woman with sad singing lips,
Cold in the cheek like any stray of sea,
And sweet to touch? so that men seeing her face,
And how she sighed out little Ahs of pain
And soft cries sobbing sideways from her mouth,
Fell in hot love, and having lain with her
Died soon? one time I could have told it through:
Now I have kissed the sea-witch on her eyes
And my lips ache with it; but I shall sleep
Full soon, and a good space of sleep.

— Algernon Charles Swinburne, Chastelard, a tragedy (1866)


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