Artist: De Morgan, Evelyn
Object Number: P_EDM_0040
Date: 1896
Category: Paintings, Watts Gallery, and Oil on canvas
Material: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Canvas: H 1372 x W 965 mm Framed: H 1936 x W 1274 x D 70 mm
Inscriptions: Signature, 1896: ‘EDeM 1896’
Description:

Evelyn continually revisited the theme of mythology during the first three decades of her working career, no doubt this was in part due to the theme being equally popular with the art market of the day.

In this painting Boreas, the Greek god of the north wind, is represented as usual as a winged man of mature age, with hair floating in the wind. According to the legend, he carried off Oreithyia (daughter of Erechtheus) from the banks of the Ilissus and by her had several children. However, Evelyn’s portryal of Boreas is sensitive and tender in comparision with more the more standard bachanelean treatments of the character.

The model for Boreas was the professional artist’s model Alessandro di Marco. By this time he was heading towards the end of his life as a model however he is most notably known for his appearance as Merlin in Edward Burne-Jone’s The Beguling of Merlin (1872-77) painted some two decades earlier. According to the artist George Richmond, he was ‘the living embodiment of a classical sculpture’ and Evelyn’s representation of him llustrates that even later in life his figure conforms to artistic ideals of masculine beauty.