The Apparition (c. 1874-76) by Gustave Moreau

The Apparition - Gustave Moreau - 1876

Artwork Information

TitleThe Apparition
ArtistGustave Moreau
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions103 x 142 cm
Art MovementSymbolism
Current LocationMusée National Gustave Moreau, Paris, France

About The Apparition

“The Apparition” is an oil on canvas artwork by Gustave Moreau, created in 1876. It epitomizes the Symbolism art movement and boasts dimensions of 103 by 142 cm. This religious painting is housed in the Musée National Gustave Moreau in Paris, France. The artwork is infused with a mystical essence that exemplifies the Symbolist desire to represent ideas and emotions rather than overtly realistic scenes.

In the artwork, the ethereal quality of light and color creates an otherworldly atmosphere. A central figure, which appears to be Salome, is adorned in opulent attire with a striking crown, standing in a classical architectural setting that seems to be dilapidating or overtaken by the inexorable passage of time. She gestures towards a luminous apparition, a spectral figure surrounded by a radiant halo of light. The reaction of Salome to the vision suggests a moment of dramatic revelation or fearful supernatural encounter.

Gustave Moreau’s rich use of golden and warm tones alongside the vibrant contrast of the apparition’s light imbues the work with a transient sense of the divine or the metaphysical. The intricate details and textures add a level of complexity and symbolism, inviting viewers to ponder the deeper meaning and narrative behind the encounter depicted in the painting.

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