June 14, 2024


Simple Impartial Art

Take a look into Atlanta and Meleager

Lebrun, Charles. Atalanta and Meleager. 1658, oil on canvas. 212.5 x 280.5cm. On Display screen: Walker Artwork Gallery

iconographical examination

Tale of the portray

This painting is dependent on the Greek fantasy termed Atalanta and the Calydonian Boar Hunt. This fantasy is about the hunt of a boar and the story’s heroes. In this tale, there are two key people, Meleager the chief of the hunt and Atalanta, the lady whom the hero falls for her. In some variations of the myth Atalanta participates in the hunt.

In just the tale Calydonia, is a metropolis in which the goddess Artemis, sends in a massive and wild boar as a punishment to the king, for not satisfying his prophecies to her. Meleager then sets out to hunt and get rid of the boar, that was developing destruction to the region. Between the hunters have been Meleager’s two uncles, yet another was Atalanta, an great hunter, with whom he falls in appreciate with her.

When they at last have slayed the Calydonian Boar, and minimize off its head, Meleager wishes to existing the head, to display his undying appreciate to Atalanta. But his uncles dislike the plan of women having trophies. In retaliation, he kills each of his uncles. This painting is entire of iconographical symbolism.

At the extremely top rated of the painting, there is a pink flowing cloth that could be a banner, while it is tough to say. This painting sets a scene, with fascinating lights, wherever the painter has the encompassing locations, the tonal values of the colors seem to be muted, whilst the principal subjects in the middle, (Atalanta in yellow, and Meleager in purple cloak) are in substantially additional saturated colouration. Most of the muted colours are the greenery of the countryside. The symbolism of eco-friendly as mentioned “both life and dying in vernal environmentally friendly of daily life and the livid environmentally friendly of loss of life.” (Cooper, 1978,) This suggests that the green indicates or maybe even foreshadowing that there is dying, to help this Greek myth.

It has a lovely use of composition, with the rule of thirds, wherever every thing is properly balanced. So, the eye follows the portray from the top to the base, like studying a e-book. This will help to set the scene and explain to a story and hunting aesthetically satisfying to the eye.

We see that there are four individuals in this in a countryside landscape. Two folks on the still left, with Atalanta remaining showed the head of a boar by Meleager, with one more hunter up coming to him. The boar has an iconographical meaning of “The boar’s head symbolises health and preservation from danger” (Cooper, 1978, site 43). By supplying this present to Atalanta, it’s telling her that with the loss of life of the boar there is no far more hazard, practically and figuratively. Also exhibiting his love for her.

The countryside has a charming mountain array in the background with unique tones of blue. With the blue, meanings of rely on, depth, and calmness. It can be anything at all but calm in this painting. This has a use of aerial perspective. When looking closely, up coming to Meleager’s remaining shoulder, there can be witnessed a pale dead human body of a human being laying on the rolling hill facet. His uncles that Meleager has killed, when they disapproved of him representing the boar’s head to Atalanta. His uncles may perhaps have disliked the thought simply because “the boar is a masculine principle” (Cooper, 1978, web page 43), this indicates that a trophy of an animal is masculine, and consequently it is un lady-like for Atalanta to have a person. Of study course, with this Meleager disagreed by killing his uncles.

On the foreground of both equally still left and correct corner there are two canine on each and every facet. To support with the monitoring of the boar all through this hunt. As the puppies are a symbolism of fidelity, indicating loyalty, the painter could have place them there as a signal of irony. As we get to learn in the myth, that Meleager betrays his uncles, the pretty reverse of fidelity.

There is a pelt of an animal next to Atalanta. She is dressed in a beautiful yellow gown. The painter has used some depth within the folds of the dress, which brings out the texture of the dress. The dress also leaves just one of her breasts uncovered. But she is not sexualised with this, looking potent and not helpless. The exposure of a breast has a symbolic this means. “The bared breast is humility” (. Cooper, 1978, web site 50) with this, the painter is expressing that Atalanta is humble, she does not imagine she is far better than any individual. It represents her in a way that she requires to be rewarded, for Meleager’s enjoy. Also, if she is genuinely comfortable with a bared breast surrounded by adult males. It begs the issue of if she would have cared to not acquire the boar’s head. And with this, sparing the lives of Meleager’s uncles. On her lap, there is a lovely blue cloth (a cloak?) on her knees, with exquisite embroidery everywhere.

Her left arm resting on best of a picket bow. The is what could possibly be applied to exhibit who is Atalanta. In Greek mythology, a bow is normally affiliated with Artemis the goddess of animals and the hunt. Furthermore, this could also indicate the victory of the hunt, with the dying of the boar. With Atalanta having a bow, it tells us that she a superior huntress and lover of animals. This is more supported, with two canines by her feet, searching protective of her, and a pelt of an animal powering her. “She troubles gender expectations” ( d’Entremont, 2020, webpage 5) It demonstrates that she is not a meek younger woman, with the expertise of searching. Which would have been subversive, for a female of her time.

Although Meleager is dressed in a red cloak and blue tunics. Equally of which have golden bejewelled, embroidery together the lining of the garments. The cloak has a significant symbolism of dignity and posture. Telling us, he is a chief of this hunt and has the dignity and with the crimson the courage to completete his undertaking. Also holding a sword upright, used to kill the boar. The sword has the iconographical symbolism of defense and energy, in which Meleager, actually proves of this for the duration of the hunt. What is substantial about the sword, is that the blade is not silver but black. This may possibly imply that it references to the deaths of his uncles, possibly in mourning for them, as the color black is commonly the representation of death and mourning. But it could also signify, Meleager’s electrical power and strength.


J.C.Cooper, 1978, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols, Spot of Publication, Thames & Hudson. ISBN: 978-D-500-01201-7

See u in history/mythology, 2021, Meleager and Atalanta: The Hunt for Calidon’s Boar, position of publication, You Tube


Michela d’Entremont, 2020, Gender and Excellence in the fantasy of Atalanta, position of publication, Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia. Go through pager 1-5, and webpages 35.

Algernon Charles Swinburne, 1865, Poems and Ballads [and] Atalanta in Calydon, spot of publication, The Bobbs-Merill Enterprise, Inc.