Eye Candy for Today: Edward Poynter’s Helena and Hermia

Helena and Hermia, Edward John Poynter
Helena and Hermia, Edward John Poynter

Link is to a zoomable version on the Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Victorian painter Edward Poynter gives us a beautiful and sensitive portrayal of the characters from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

At once idealized and naturalistic, the sumptuous marble and tile — that form a stage of sorts for the two women — are set against lush foliage and tree bark through which we glimpse a backdrop of distant mountains across a darkened sea.


2 Replies to “Eye Candy for Today: Edward Poynter’s Helena and Hermia

  1. The girl on the right’s feet are weirdly arranged. She’s got her toes on top of her other foot and it’s covered so it looks like either a deformity or more likely a baby hiding under her dress.

  2. Thanks, Pyracantha. An interesting thought. Though I have seen models sit that way in figure drawing sessions, with the back of one foot across the other ankle, it does seem an odd choice for the pose in the painting.

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