Sweet Melancholy (Q3208356)

Label from: English (en)

artist: Joseph-Marie Vien (Q647934)
collection: Cleveland Museum of Art (Q657415)
location: Cleveland Museum of Art (Q657415)
material used: oil paint (Q296955) canvas (Q4259259)
depicts: Melancholia (Q30038761)
instance of: painting (Q3305213)

catalog URL: https://clevelandart.org/art/1996.1

information from the Cleveland Museum of Art catalog

description: The chair, brazier, table, and the setting all show Vien's interest in bringing archaeological accuracy to a new level of precision. Yet his delicate handling and graceful palette derive squarely from 18th-century French painting. The gesture of the melancholic figure, with her head on her hand, has roots going back to the Renaissance. Nonetheless, the painting has a wistful rather than tragic tone. Indeed, images of women in interiors, contemplating a letter with longing or sadness, derive from earlier Dutch paintings of daily life, here transformed into an ancient context.

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