A.M. Roucoule, "Orpheus and Eurydice", Oil on Canvas, 1877 For Sale
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A.M. Roucoule, "Orpheus and Eurydice", Oil on Canvas, 1877


Large oil on canvas in portrait format representing a half nacked men wearing a blue chlamyd and a red taenia in his hair, he is playing lyre. A woman is listening, she wears a transparent exomid and she is sat on a pink imation and an animal skin, her hands are crossed on the musician's knees. She also wears a beige ribbon in her hair and lovely jewels around her neck and her wrist. The couple is painted in a rural landscape, sat in the trees shadow with their feet on the soft grass; they seems peaceful and happy. On the lower left corner, near the painter's signature, two snakes seem to approach of the couple. Oil on canvas signed « A.M. Roucoule .1877 » in red letters. Giltwood frame with carved decoration of canals, frieze of beads, gadroons and twisted ribbons. This couple is Orpheus and Eurydice, a creation of the greek mythology mentionned in the Ovide's Metamorphosis. Orpheus, poeter, son of Oeagre and Calliope, is an admirable musician, charming humans, animals and even vegetals. Nobody, nor even the most fiercest beasts can resist to his musique. He eventually fall in love of Eurydice and they decid to marry soon. The rest ot this sad story is well known : Eurydice is bitten by a snake and died. Sent to Hell; Orpheus decided to go get her back. He suceed to go there by charmng Cerberus and the Eumenidsand and he convinced Hadès to let him bring his wife. Hadès accepted under one condition : Orpheus must not turn towards his wife. Orpheus, concern about his wife silence, turn himself and lost his wife forever. Inconsolable, Orpheus had a tragic end : by rage, the Maenads teared his limbs and threw his head in the Hebre river. The Orpheus continued to sing and called Eurydice and ended on the Lesbos island shores where the Muses collected and burried it. Antoine Marie Roucoule (1848-1918) is a French painter, born in Toulouse and student at the Toulouse School of Beaux-Arts, then at the Paris Beaux-Arts after 1871 where he had the famous painter Cabanel as teacher. He became teacher of the Toulouse Beaux-Arts School after 1875 and in 1890 he edited a method called the "Le Dessin Simplifié" (* The Simplifed Drawing). He is known as a portrait, history and landscapes painter. Orpheus representation is quite common on Arts and inspired a lot a various paintings and drawings. This myth, both unconditional love and music praise, also perfectly illustrates the divine cruelty against simple men, offering indeed a perfect thinking source for a painting. Severals parts of the legend are represented, more or less regarding ages : the musician's myth is représented by François Boucher, Orphée charme les animaux, 1740), the rural seducer by Nicolas Poussin, Paysage avec Orphée et Eurydice, 1659) or the hero braving the Hell (Jan Bruegel de Velours, Orphée aux enfers, 1594). During the 19th century, its particularly the Orpheus' death that inspired painters no matter their personnal styles or influences : Gustave Moreau, Jeune fille thrace portant la tête d'Orphée, 1865 ; John William Waterhouse, Les nymphes découvrant la tête d’Orphée, 1900 or Emile Levy, La mort d’Orphée, 1866. Sources : E.Benezit, Dictionnaire des peintres sculpteurs dessinateurs et graveurs, Tome 12, Grund, Paris, 1999 p. 19.


  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 61.42 in. x W 48.04 in. x D 3.55 in.H 156 cm x W 122 cm x D 9 cm
  • Seller Location
    Saint-Ouen, FR
  • Seller Reference Number
  • Reference Number
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About the Seller

5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2012
Located in Saint-Ouen, FR
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