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Artist:     Lorenz Adolf Schoenberger (1768-1847)
Title:     Classicist painting "Pyramus and Thisbe", signed&dated 1793
Item ID   1306
Price:     15000.00 €


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Large mythological painting with moonlight forest landscape and mythological figures of Pyramus and Thisbe on the foreground and Lioness by the river on the background.

The love story of Pyramus and Thisbe, not really a part of Roman mythology, is actually a sentimental romance. It is briefly summarized by Hyginus  (Fabulae 242) and more fully elaborated in Ovid (Metamorphoses 4).  In the Ovidian version, Pyramus and Thisbe is the story of two lovers in the Middle East who occupy connected houses, forbidden by their parents to be wed. Through a crack in one of the walls, they arrange to meet near a mulberry tree and state their feelings for each other. Thisbe arrived first, but upon seeing a lioness with a mouth bloody from a recent kill, she fled, leaving behind her veil. The lioness drank from a nearby fountain-then by chance mutilated the veil Thisbe had left behind. When Pyramus arrived, he was horrified at the sight of Thisbe´s veil, assuming that a fierce beast had killed her. Pyramus proceeded to then kill himself, thrusting a sword into his groin. Thisbe returned, eager to tell Pyramus what had happened to her, but she found Pyramus´ dead body under the shade of the mulberry tree. Thisbe, after a brief period of mourning, killed herself. The combined blood of the bodies seeped into the ground, staining the previously white fruit of the mulberry tree a deep purple. Thus, the mulberry tree became a symbol of the deaths of these two lovers.

The paraphrase of Ovid by Thomas Bulfinch (The Age of Fable, second edition, 1856) can you see on :

The author of our painting - well-renowed Austrian classicist and landscape painter Lorenz Adolf Schoenberger (Schönberger) , born 1768 in Vöslau by Vienna and died 1847 in Mainz (Germany).  He was austrian landscape painter from empire epoche and worked in the style of world-known french classicist Claude Lorrain, which  follower he was acknowledged ( see: monography "Followers of Claude Lorrain"(in german) and Exhibition catalogue "Italian travels(austrian landscape artists in Italy 1770-1850), Belvedere, Vienna,  9.11.2001- 3.02.2002 ) . After his  study at the Vienna Art Academy by M. Wutky, Schoenberger  travelled to Middle Europe , lived and worked  in Paris in 1804,  - in Frankfurt am Main (1810),  in 1817-1825 - in Rome ( where probably our works executed ), in 1826 - in Holland and in 1840 - in England. After comeback he worked in Vienna. Paintings by Schoenberger situated in the Austrian National Gallery in Vienna (Belvedere), City museums  of Brauenschweig , Darmstadt, Speyer.

Literature:  Prof.H.Fuchs , Lexicon " Austrian painters of 19 century" (in german); Thieme/Becker "Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künsler..", Leipzig, 1999; Monography "Followers of Claude Lorrain"(in german); exhibition catalogue "Italian travels. Austrian landscape artists in Italy in 1770-1850", Belvedere, Vienna,  9.11.2001- 3.02.2002 . 

 Inscription:  signed lower left

Technique: oil on canvas , original period gold-plated  frame.

Measurements:  unframed w 29 1/4" x h 48" (136  x 102 cm); framed w 48 3/4" x h 67 3/4" (150 x 116 cm)

Condition:  in very good condition.


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