Paintings aren’t made in an artistic vacuum. Part of the purpose is to please a patron, donor or dealer. Examples from Leonardo, Raphael, Tintoretto.
As well as designing stage sets and costumes for opera, he painted bogatyrs from East Slavic legends, and Azrael, the Angel of Death.
Known now as one of the great Russian Symbolists, in life he was independent, and painted in very modern style from legends and literary sources.
Superb portraits of a cardinal and the Pope, and several of his finest Madonnas, including one claimed by many to be the greatest painting in the world.
Marfisa, Bradamante and Ruggiero fight together until the soul of Atlante tells them the story of their birth, and how a cruel misogynist is deposed.
With ‘modern history paintings’ long behind him, he turned to literary subjects and classical histories once more.
From Savage’s portrait of the Washington family, through James Tissot’s boring old soldiers, coming full circle with a modern map of Dante’s Purgatory.
From Botticelli’s map of Dante’s ‘Inferno’ to Vermeer’s fine-detailed depictions of decorative wall hangings.
Mainly concentrating on the occult and erotic, his works can be hard to read, but never disappoint in originality or execution.
A close friend of Charles Baudelaire during his final years, Rops was an early adopter of mixed media and always original.