The Gates of Dawn
Herbert James Draper, 1864-1920
Oil on canvas, signed
198 x 101 cm
Exhibited: London, Royal Academy of Arts, 1900
Simon Toll, who believes that this painting contains "one of Draper's most monumental figures," points out that artist "preferred to paint Greek legends, but in this case he painted Florrie Bird as Aurora, the Roman Goddess of the Dawn," and he speculates that Ovid's description of Eos (the equivalent Greek goddess) may have inspired the artist's treatment of the subject: "far in the crimsoning cast wakeful Dawn threw wide the shining doors of her rosefilled chambers" (101).