The Sleep of Endymion


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Endymion the shepherd, a man of ideal beauty, is being visited at night by the goddess Diana in the form of a moonbeam. Her passage through the foliage is facilitated by Zephyr. In this early work, painted in Rome in 1791, Girodet, a pupil of David, demarcated himself from his master and foreshadowed romanticism. The idealized nude is antique in inspiration but the moonlight and the mysterious, dreamlike atmosphere are hallmarks of an emerging sensibility.

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