Cultural Wednesday: Draper’s Gates of Dawn

Beautiful Aurora, goddess of the dawn.

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Herbert James Draper was an English Classicist painter.  His career began in the Victorian era and extended into the 20th century.

Herbert_James_Draper,_The_Gates_of_Dawn,_1900
Herbert James Draper, The Gates of Dawn, 1900

Today’s featured artist Herbert James Draper, born in 1863 or 1864, focused his artistic talent mainly on mythological themes from ancient Greece.  So the beautiful lady depicted in the featured painting is Aurora, goddess of the dawn, opening the gates of dawn with her rosy-colored fingers.  Isn’t it simply beautiful?  Here at the homeplace, we read a lot of mythology, Greek, Roman, Nordic, you name it.  It is such an interesting field of study and helps appreciate poetry, literature, even language so much more.

But back to our featured artist.  Draper was quite famous in his day, first for his mythology-themed paintings and especially his The Lament for Icarus, and later, when mythological themes were no longer popular, as a portrait painter, but his work somewhat faded in popularity, which began even before he died on 22 September 1920 in London, England, where he had lived all his life.  Simon Toll’s book on Draper, published by the Antique Collector’s Club, is the only modern study of his work and includes a full catalog of his drawings and paintings.  Toll, incidentally, is the Head of Victorian Pictures and Director at Sotheby’s in London.

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