Annie Louisa Swynnerton

Oreads

exhibited 1907

Not on display

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

Display caption

This work 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 it is unclear if the figure 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 fight for women’s rights. Some of her sitters and supporters were leading figures in the women’s suffrage movement.

Gallery label, October 2020

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