“Three Ladies Adorning the Term of Hymen”by Sir Joshua Reynolds1774
Joshua Reynolds,the Outstanding British Artist • Born in Devonshire, England • Possessed an exceptionally strong will, determination to succeed, personal creative power and variety of pictorial invention • Specialized in portraiture, group pictures and historical themes • Brought fresh tendencies to the ceremonial portraiture • Worked mostly with socially prominent people • Became an important influence on his contemporaries
“Three Ladies Adorning the Term of Hymen” The Subject Matter• The 3 daughters of Sir Montgomery are depicted draping a garland of flowers on a bust of a Greek god of marriage;• The sisters were famous both as beauties and as amateur actresses;• The portrait was ordered by Luck Gardener, the fiancé of one of the models.
The Biggest and Most Ambitious Portrait by Reynolds• A golden opportunity to portray the noble models conforming exactly to his concept of the grand manner was given to Reynolds.• Size: 234 X 291 sm
Symbolism of the Images Elisabeth Barbara Montgomery. Montgomery. • is knelt before • a basket full the term of of flowers; Hymen hinting at • the farthest her soon disposition marriage. from Hymen. Ann Townsend The statue of (Montgomery). Hymen. • is depicted on the • holds a torch other side of the symbolizing term due to being conjugal love. already married.
The Colour Scale• The prevailing rich warm colours are interrupted by flesh tints of face and arms;• The specifically individual manner to apply colours – life-like portrayal of the figures and the background;• A glorious sense of colour is demonstrated to the onlooker.
The Composition• The masterpiece delights the eye by its unity of composition;• The figures are posed against the background of the solemn nature;• The executed models are caught between one movement and the next.
The Borrowed Motives• The “ideal” beauty of Greek statues;• The images of the Three Graces;• The Greek mythological theme;• The borrowings from ancient and Renaissance masters are combined skillfully and inserted into the canvas harmonically.
Our Impression The group portrait touches deeply because• A vigorous image of the noble sisters is created with great mastery;• The luminous colour scheme produces a rapturous and major effect;• It is clearly seen that the author abandoned himself to inspiration while painting. The portrait captivated our attention at first sight!
Reynoldsremarkable, giftedrendered, depicted, conveyed being a master of Portraiture.National Gallery, London