Jean Delville



96 x 44 cm.

Private Collection [as of 1972]

New York

This Symbolist work offers an interesting intonation a very popular theme of the earlier Re-Raphaelites — the enclosed woman waiting for someone who may or may not come, a subject that rangs all the way from thr Lady of Shalott through depictions of Mariana and Danae.

In Delville's version of this painterly commonplace or topos, the woman stares at the viewer, who may or may not act as a surrogate the longed-for lover, but in anay case this image appears far more active — even threatening — than all those images of trapped, passive, dreaming woman so popular earlier in the century. Delville's woman appears on the contnuum of dangerus women that includes Judith, Lilith, the Sirens, Circe, the vampire, and of course Salome. — George P. Landow