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Gustave Dore: Maenads in a Wood, 1879, Boston Museum of Fine arts.

Gustave Dore: Maenads in a Wood, 1879, Boston Museum of Fine arts.

”Gustave Doré (1832–1883), known primarily for his book illustrations, prints, and paintings, turned to sculpture late in his career. It was only in 1871 that he began to learn to model, and he exhibited his first sculpture at the Salon of 1877.

This plaster relief is the second version of a sculpture inspired by his 1879 painting of the Death of Orpheus. Doré used the same background and composition in both reliefs; He has depicted a Bacchic dance of the Maenads, followers of Dionysus, god of the Orphic religion, who in a delirious frenzy killed Orpheus. This relief may have been intended to serve as an architectural decoration.”

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