The Kiss of the Siren
  Another Fine Quality Print from Martin2001

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Print  Specifics:
  • Type of print: Photogravure - Original antique print
  • Year of printing: not indicated in the print - best est. 1880s
  • Original artist: Wertheimer
  • Publisher: Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Paris
  • Condition: 1 (1. Excellent - 2. Very good - 3. Good - 4. Fair)
  • Dimensions:
    • 6 x 9.5 inches, including blank margins (borders) around the image. Only the image shown in the photo. Image dimensions: 3.25 x 4.25 inches. 1 inch = 2,54 cm 
  • Paper weight: 1-2 (1. Thick - 2. Heavier - 3. Medium heavy - 4. Slightly heavier - 5. Thin)
  • Reverse side: Blank
From very ancient, down to medieval, times the popular imagination has been stirred by accounts of sea nymphs of wondrous beauty and ravishing powers of song, who by their wild, resistless melodies, lured mariners to shipwreck and death. The most noted of these deadly charmers were the Sirens. All are familiar with the story of Ulysses who, as he approached their home, filled the ears of his sailors with wax, that they might, through deafness, be insensible to the Sirens' songs, and then caused himself to be bound to the mast, so that, while hearing their maddening melody, he would yet be powerless to yield to its fatal spell. When the Argonauts were obliged to pass that perilous spot, they took with them for safety Orpheus, that the music of the Sirens might be counteracted by melody even more magical than their own.

The most famous of these fatal enchantresses of more modern times was the Lorelei, the beautiful nymph who, perched on a high rock upon the Rhine, would sing such ravishing songs as made the doomed mariner forget his boat till it was broken on the sunken rocks, and he himself was cast dying, upon the shore. Such, perhaps, has been the occupation of the Siren in our picture, who now completes her fatal work. The charmed sailor, forsaking his last chance of life, turns passionately towards the pale sorceress, and clasps her in a lingerie, expiring embrace. Concerning the intensity of truth with which the artist has expressed the melancholy catastrophe, and his faithful representation of the wild waves and sky, we need not speak. Gustave Wertheimer is a native of Vienna. He is an artist of rising fame, and excels especially in the treatment or the romantico-tragical subjects of mythology and history.
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