The Kiss of the Siren
Another Fine Quality Print from Martin2001
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Deatil and overall view of the print (at a reduced scale) shown.
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)
- 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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