Pairing of paintings

According to the founder of the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington,

For those who have the power to see beauty … all works of art go together, whatever their period.

Here I put together two paintings, one from ancient Pompeii, and the other a nineteenth-century American work from Mr Freer’s collection.

In the archeological museum in Naples a few weeks ago, I was able to see the original sources of a number of famous images. One was this Pompeiian fresco, said to represent Flora:


In fact I did not see the original image in Naples. In its place was a photograph, the original having been sent to London for an exhibit at the British Museum. The photograph above is from somewhere on the web. So is the next photograph below, of “After Sunset” (1892) by Thomas Dewing (Freer Gallery of Art, Washington):


Here is a close-up, taken by me:


Freer collected American works like this, but mostly Asian works of past centuries. Apparently he found some community of spirit among the various elements of his collection. In particular, he compared Dewing’s work with that of Utamaro, as in the following prints, currently displayed at the Freer together with Dewing’s “After Sunset” and the similar “Before Sunrise”:


I have seen no evidence that Dewing knew of the Pompeiian Flora.


  1. Posted July 12, 2013 at 3:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    I had trouble looking away from Flora. In disbelief at the sophistication of this First Century artist. Wish I could see a much higher resolution image. As for Dewing, meh…

    • Posted July 12, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink | Reply

      Is the Flora sophisticated for a first-century artist, or “absolutely”? What is sophistication anyway?

2 Trackbacks

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    […] up on my last article, here I continue to bring together images from different times and places, albeit with no particular […]

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