Eye Candy for Today: Frederic Leighton’s Invocation

Invocation, oil painting by Frederic Leighton
Invocation, Frederic Leighton

Link is to Wikimedia Commons, original is in a private collection.

Like the remarkable figure of Perseus in his interpretation of the mythological story of Perseus and Andromeda, Leighton here manages to render the figure as both solid and etherial.

This is partly accomplished with solid draftsmanship, and partly with his superb command of value and edges. I’m struck in particular by the way he has handled the subtle shift in value on the arms, in which the tonal transitions are so delicate as to be almost imperceptible.

The diaphanous gown defines the underlying figure with precision and grace, again by subtle control of value and the draftsmanship in the sweeping folds of fabric.

The small bit of still life adds weight at the bottom of the composition and ties it to the hints of architectural elements that form the background.

 
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