Edward Robert Hughes (1851-1914). Midsummer Eve. (1908).
Edward Robert Hugues is a Pre-Raphaelite British painter.
These painters have as reasons mythology, the fantastic one and the romanticism often through very beautiful young women. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, in many cultures, from time immemorial, it was always celebrated. Fires are lit, the population sing and dance to celebrate the beginning of the harvest. These festivities are pagan origins. As St Jean Baptist was born 6 months before Christ (Gospel according to St Luc) that is to say on June 24th, Christianity transformed these fires into festivity of St Jean. The painting represents a crowned fairy of flowers, its Eve first name is however quite Christian. The author does not want to oppose any culture. With its feet is held what Scandinavian mythologies regard as the small inhabitants of the forests, the lower classes, goblins, gnomes, dwarves, imps, goblins, Korrigans, elves, their name changes according to the places and mythologies. They have wings of butterfly in the back and carry lanterns. Christian will see in them cherubs or angels. They evoke by these multiple lights an insect which appears only the nights of summer. The firefly. This insect present in all the tropical and moderate areas has luminescent glands on the lower face of its abdomen and it is luminous the night. Under its left arm Eve has an musical instrument which enables him to call them. The picture represents the meeting between the fairy and the small inhabitants of the forests.
The point of view of the spectator is at the level of the shoulders of Eve. Consequently the characters of small sizes in circle to its feet seem truly tiny.
The body of Eve is located on the right tension field between 2 natural points of interests.
“ Small people ” occupy one the lower third of the painting. Eve 2 other thirds. Of which the higher third.
Many small characters hold up lanterns or raise the arms.
Eve leans the arms along the body. Multiple lines induce the idea of rise. With the background the oblique of the trees from left to right suggest a construction of the painting on the rising diagonal.
Of the 2 with dimensions ones of the painting one can see luminous points in the air which seem to fly. Theys are fireflies.
The fireflies are coleopters with the soft body a length being able to reach 2.5 cm. They emit intermittent light signals, often visible the night at the end of spring and in summer, to attract partners. The luminescent larvae and the females without wings of certain species are called light worms.
Eve is red-headed, her hair is decorated with a crown of small blue flowers. Its neck, its chest and part of its face are lit by the light which comes from in lower part.
Eve has a belt of pink flowers. Under its arm a flute either it makes use of it to call the characters or it plays about it so that they dance, or even the 2.
The small cherubs, angels or imps hold up lanterns, balls of light whose form is a flower, or who are located at the end of a stick. Each one contributes to light the scene and the painting. The atmosphere is that of a fantastic and marvelous world.
There is a circle of light at the bottom of the fairy. This one the celandine upwards, the light goes up on the arms, the chest and the face. This kind of lighting induces a fantastic and unreal atmosphere.
Harmonize and contrasts.
Contrasts between cold and hot colors. Contrasts between complementary.
Similar painting :
Edward Robert Hughes : Night and her train of stars. (1912).
The same atmosphere of community emerges from this painting of 1912.
The night is a crowned young woman and the stars of the angels to the wings of butterfly which cling to its dress.
Edward Robert Hughes : Heart snow.
This painting has a sensual and romantic atmosphere. The model seems pensive and nostalgic. The presence of all this snow around it induces the idea of cold and death.
Edward Robert Hughes : The Valkyrie's Vigil. (1915).
In Scandinavian mythology the Valkyrie are warlike virgins who serve Odin, Master of the gods. The Valkyrie, covered of an armor, steal, direct the battles, distribute death among the warriors and take along the heart of the heroes to Walhalla, the large palace of Odin. This armed vigil has a pensive posture, melancholic person, almost sad.