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Georges Clairin - Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt
Armand Point - Peacock Casket
Camille Alaphilippe - Woman with Monkey
Aristide  Maillol - Seated female nude with her left hand on her head. Study for The Mediterranean
Louis-Robert Carrier-Belleuse - The Struggle for Life vase
Léon  Lhermitte - Les Halles
Fernand Pelez - The Death of Emperor Commodus
Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Ambroise Vollard in a Red Scarf
Jean Carriès - My Portrait
Emile Gallé - Two-handled vase
Georges-Henri Lemaire - Silence or Immortality
Charles-Alexandre Giron - Woman wearing gloves, also known as The Parisienne
Paul Sérusier - Tricoteuse au bas rose
Pierre-Auguste  Renoir - Portrait of Madame de Bonnières
Berthe Morisot - Jeune fille en décolleté - La fleur aux cheveux
Pierre Bonnard - Conversation à Arcachon
Pierre-Adrien Dalpayrat - Dish : The judgment of Paris
Joseph-Marius Avy  - Bal blanc
Marie Constantine Bashkirtseff - Parisienne, Portrait of Irma
Maurice Denis - Female bathers at Perros-Guirec
Fernand Pelez - La Vachalcade
Alfred Sisley - The Church at Moret (Evening)
Théophile Alexandre Steinlen - Ball on the 14th of July
Edmond  Aman-Jean - Miss Ella Carmichaël
Raoul Larche - Buste d'enfant (portrait présumé de Marcel Lerolle)
Sarah Bernhardt - Dagger : algues
 Baccarat Factory - Vase à décor de cactus
Emile Gallé - Commode, Le Sang d'Arménie
 Bracquemond (Félix), Rousseau (Eugène), Creil and Montereau factory - Round dish. Rousseau dinner service
Félix  Vallotton - Femme au bouquet
Emmanuel Frémiet - Le pélican gastronome
George Desvallières - Portrait de Mademoiselle Yvonne Robiquet
Léonard Agathon - Deux esquisses pour le Jeu de l'Echarpe


Paris, 1826 - Paris, 1898
Oil on canvas
45,5 x 37 cm

Nature plays an essential role in the myth of Arion saved from the waters. In order to tell this story, Moreau portrays the musician-poet as an Eastern prince and surrounds him with craggy rocks borrowed from the works of Leonardo da Vinci.

The legend of the Greek lyric poet and musician Arion comes to us from Herodotus. While returning to Corinth after a trip to Sicily, Arion is robbed of his wealth and thrown into the sea by sailors on his ship. Thanks to the intervention of Apollo, a dolphin rescues him and carries him to the shore on its back. The god transforms Arion’s lyre and the dolphin into a constellation in memory of the adventure.

Ancient mythology enabled Gustave Moreau to express “the sublime logic of the imagination” which guided his work. However, the poet distanced himself from what he called “that hackneyed old classical Greek style” and invented a visual universe drawing the daring intensity of his colours and a taste for the arabesque from the most exotic sources ranging from India to Japan.

In the year in which he painted this work for Jules Clément Chaplain, the lithographer, sculptor and medal engraver, Moreau emerged from the isolation of his studio to teach at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts [School of Fine Art]. His students, notably Rouault, Matisse and Marquet, appreciated his open-mindedness and his influence extended beyond the school to artists such as Odilon Redon, George Desvallières and the Belgian Symbolists.

Donor, testator or seller: 
Gift of Sir Joseph Duveen, 1924
Inventory number: 
Inventory number : PPP00754
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