Carlos Schwabe (1866-1926): The Woman with the Lute, 1907

Carlos Schwabe (1866-1926): The Woman with the Lute, 1907

11/5/2021, 10:27:06 AM
Carlos Schwabe (1866-1926): The Woman with the Lute, 1907, pencil, watercolour and bodycolour on paper, 42.5 x 18.7 cm (16 3/4 x 7 3/8 in) The Woman with the Lute depicts a winged maiden in brilliant green, startled by the viewer, as she plays a lute in a walled garden cascading with pink blossum. Schwabe's attention to botanical detail can be compared to the earlier work of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in Britain. This desire for precision is indicative of a response across the arts to the atmosphere of scientific progress in the latter half of the 19th Century. The beautiful woman that Schwabe depicts can be seen as a direct contrast to the female figure of death in The death of the grave-digger (our previous post). In the latter work Death is also portrayed as a beautiful winged woman dressed in green, and her hands strike a similar pose. However, the meanings of the figures themselves could not be more different; the lute, as a symbol of love and music, seems to represent life and noise, in stark opposition to the silent figure of Death.

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