Émile Friant, Voyage a l’Infini

Private collection

Date: 1899
Technique: Oil on canvas, 150 by 120cm

Painted in 1899, the work juxtaposes man-made technology with the all-encompassing grandeur of nature. The hot-air balloon, and its single human cargo, is overwhelmed by the tumultuous clouds and the pristine brightness of the setting sun. The clouds' outlines follow the curves and angles of tumbling women, all focusing on the foreign object that the hot-air balloon represents. The ambiguous and intensely personal dream imagery seen in this work is indicative of the influence of Symbolism at the turn of the century.

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  1. Great work, what i found after seeing some better and closer images of the painting was little surprising to me.

    The man in the balloon is in his hand holding what to me looks like an urn, which he is holding out throwing what then would be ashes of a lost one, the female figures would then to me represent spirits(perhaps of the lost one), this has made me look the work with complete different eyes and given the painting a story in witch i had never guessed, im usually not a big fan of story's behind paintings, i think the work should speak of itself, but since im a big admirer of Friant's work, i thought it was worth sharing to those who didn't know like myself.


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