12/5/11

Carl Strathmann, Salammbô


Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar

Date: 1894–1895
Technique: Mixed media on canvas, 187.5 x 287 cm

Strathmann's curious work occupies an intermediate position between the art of painting and the crafts. His paintings are strange concoctions studded with colored glass and artificial gems, foreshadowing similar extravagances by the Viennese Jugendstil painter Gustav Klimt. In Strathmann's painting Salammbô, inspired by Flaubert's novel, the Carthaginian temptress reclines on a carpet spread out on a flower-strewn meadow. Swathed in veils whose design is as complex as that of the harp beside her head, she submits to the kiss of the mighty snake that encircles her. Lovis Corinth described how Strathmann, while working on the large picture, gradually covered the originally nude model with "carpets and fantastic garments of his own invention so that in the end only a mystical profile and the fingers of one hand protruded from a jumble of embellished textiles. . . . colored stones are sparkling everywhere; the harp especially is aglitter with fake jewels." According to Corinth, Strathmann knew "how to glue and sew" these on the canvas "with admirable skill."

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2 comments:

  1. that's such an amazing painting. I've never seen it before. I'm really glad you posted that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Strathmann knew "how to glue and sew" these on the canvas "with admirable skill." ... I need to see this painting live, sounds like a breathtaking master piece.

    ReplyDelete

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