I love this painting. Draper had some real stunners, but this is at the top of the list. Sometimes everything comes together and you end up with an iconic painting. Something that defines a subject and that museums can build collections around. This painting is that, in my opinion. It’s fantastic in person due to its scale texture and color.
The painting is in the Tate Britain Museum. It hangs in the same room with Sargent, Waterhouse, Millais, and many other masters! It is under glass, which is great for the painting I am sure, but makes it challenging to view from some angles and also to photograph without a polarizer (which I have but it makes it harder to get a proper exposure in typical museum light).
I also happened to see the study for it at the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Liverpool. I thought you might enjoy seeing the study next to the final painting!
Both paintings were challenging to get a clean capture of, but the study was also in a dark hallway, under glass and had strong reflection, but this ended up pretty good!
There is a vibrancy to the sketch, but the rendering and finish of the final is so appealing.
The hand of this siren has always intrigued me and the rendering of the figure is so beautifully stylized.
Look at this closeup. I love the little indentations in the paint that Draper used to convey texture! And look at how he used green/grays in to help turn the form on the back, arm, and neck. Stunning!
Look at this beautiful detail of Icarus’ hand! You can get an idea of the thickness and texture of the paint and how Draper used that texture along with glazing to add detail and interest.
I hope you enjoyed seeing these images side by side! I love getting shots of these beautiful paintings to share. More to come!