Sunday, August 11, 2013

Edward Reginald Frampton - Ariadne on the Isle of Naxos

Frampton was the son of a Brighton stained glass artist. He first saw the work of Burne-Jones at his posthumous exhibition at the New Gallery in London 1898-9, where 'that wonderful display struck Reginald Frampton with the force of a very revelation, opening his eyes to the supreme possibilities of the human form in decoration' (Aylmer Vallance, The Paintings of Reginald Frampton, ROI, The Studio, no. 75, Dec. 1918, p. 67), whilst on trips to France he discovered Puvis de Chavannes. He became a member of the Tempera Society in 1907, founded six years earlier to revive the forgotten technique. Rudolf Dircks in The Art Journal of 1907 (p. 295) described him as '...very much in the spirit and method of the early Christian painters. Nothing is more outside the quick competitive temper of the prevailing modern spirit, and nothing is more in harmony with the spiritual beauty of the world of romance, imagination and symbolism in which Mr. Frampton's art lives'. 
Frampton here depicts Ariadne pining for her lover Theseus, who abandoned her on Naxos after she saved him from the Minotaur. The strong flat colours seem almost completely without highlights or shadows.

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