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Study two modern representations of the myth of Europa
Since Antiquity, the Legend of Europa has offered an extremely rich iconography. Throughout the centuries, artists have found inspiration in the Myth.
We have chosen to focus on these two modern representations of the myth of Europa :
- a painting by Boucher from the XVIIIth Century (Louvre Museum, Paris, France),
- An enamel Renaissance plate by Jean I Limousin (Enamel Museum, Limoges).
Click on each picture to enlarge..
What are the reasons for favouring these two different views of the Myth ?
The artists present two different moments of the legend and use different kinds of supports :
- Boucher paints on a canvas. This support is traditional for evoking mythological subjects and for expressing the "sublime good taste" of the times.
- Jean I Limousin fits the scene onto a ceremonial enamel plate. This very specific technique has contributed to the fame of Limoges.
These two works are based upon versions from ancient Greek and Latin texts : we will use passages from Moschos' Europa and Ovid's Metamorphoses (book II) in order to reach a more thorough understanding.
(Translation in english : Moschos (Europa and the bull),- Metamorphoses, II, 833-875)
You can download a set of questions about each of those works of art to help you to analyse it :
- François Boucher
- Jean I Limousin
You can fill in those sets of questions online and send them to a teacher, or print them in order to answer them later and submit them to your teacher.
You can also find clues for the answers online.
After, click here to read a conclusion.