Friday, May 28, 2010

Autumn Leaves

(click to enlarge) 
John Everett Millais
(English, 1829-1896)
Autumn Leaves, 1855-56
Oil on canvas

The Victorian Web has an interesting entry on this painting. A catalogue entry from 1984 points out that:
The season, the dead leaves, the smoke and the sunset are all images of transience, reminders that all things must pass It is a setting redolent of decay and death that makes us conscious that the girls in the foreground, for all their youth and beauty, must inevitably go through the same processes.
And that the apple the smallest girl is holding is also an emblem of autumn, but may also be intended to recall Original Sin, which made mankind mortal. It goes on to talk about his poetic inspiration. If you are interested, you can read the full entry here.

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