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Gustave Moreau 1826–1898, Oedipus and the Sphinx, 1864.
One of our favourites in the collection, this silk scarf features the wonderful Oedipus and the Sphinx by Gustave Moreau, a painting which he made his mark with at the Salon of 1864. It shows a representation of the classical image of the Greek hero Oedipus confronting the Sphinx outside Thebes. In this instance he must solve her riddle to save his life and those of the besieged Thebans. The mythological theme and archaizing style reflect an admiration for Ingres’s 1808 version of the same topic as well as the work of the early Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna. Moreau, in this instance, diverged from the Realist sensibilities that were shaping French art in the 1860s.
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Gustave Moreau was a prominent figure in French Symbolist painting and tended to focus on the illustration of biblical and mythological figures. As a painter, Moreau appealed to the imaginations of some Symbolist writers and artists and he is recognized for his works influenced by the Italian Renaissance and exoticism. During his lifetime, Moreau produced more than 8,000 paintings, watercolors and drawings, many of which are on display in Paris' Musée national Gustave Moreau. The museum, found in his former workshop, began operation in 1903. It is said André Breton used to "haunt" the museum and regarded Moreau as a precursor of Surrealism.
Macclesfield was once the centre of the English silk weaving industry and the world's biggest producer of finished silk. The area has been printing silk for over 300 years and at one point had over seventy mills operating in the town. The town is close to a water supply that passes through limestone, and when used in washing and dyeing it gives silk a uniquely attractive lustre.
Our silk scarves are printed at a mill that has been producing printed fabric on the same site for the past fifty years and the process uses water sourced from its own reservoir.
Located in New York City, and colloquially known as 'the Met', the museum was founded in 1870 for the purposes of opening a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. It is the largest art museum in the United States and, with over 7 million visitors in 2016, was the second most visited art museum in the world, and the fifth most visited museum of any kind.
The permanent collection contains over two million works which is divided among seventeen curatorial departments. This consists of works of art from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanian, Byzantine, Indian, and Islamic art. It is also home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, as well as antique weapons and armor from around the world. There are also several notable interiors installed in the galleries, ranging from first-century Rome through to modern American design.
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