Annie Louisa Swynnerton

Oreads

exhibited 1907

Not on display

Artist
Annie Louisa Swynnerton 1844–1933
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1778 x 1778 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by John Singer Sargent 1922
Reference
N03619

Display caption

This probably illustrates a scene in the ancient Greek poem Dionysiaca. Zeus, god of the sky, has flooded the earth. The oreads (mountain spirits) are forced to seek safety on higher ground. A rainbow suggests the storm is ending, although we are left to wonder if the figure glimpsed on the lower right will survive.
In 1922 Annie Swynnerton became the first woman to be elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in over 150 years. Swynnerton was also involved with the struggle for women’s rights. Some of her sitters and supporters were leading figures in the suffrage movement.

Gallery label, September 2019

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