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The Abduction of Europe - Francois Boucher. 231 x 274 cm
One of the favorite themes of the French painter of the Rococo era, François Boucher, has always remained a variety of mythological motifs of Greece and ancient Rome. The painting "The Abduction of Europe" is one of the most famous Greek legends, which tells of the abduction by Zeus of the beautiful daughter of the king of Phenicia.
The Thunderer, seeing Europe frolic with friends on the seashore, was so impressed by the perfect beauty of the girl that he decided to immediately steal the beauty. Turning into a mighty bull, Zeus appeared before the surprised Sidon virgins. Allowing Europe to stroke and sit on a broad back a wonderful bull, rushed with a precious burden into the sea, planning to swim to get to Crete. It was this island that became the second home of young Europe, on it the virgin gave birth to the god three strong sons: Radamantha, Minos and Sarpedon.
The canvas of Francois Boucher, written around 1747, represents the impeccable work of the master, who is in the prime of his fame. The picture is characterized by stunning dynamism of action and spectacular composition. The color palette of the work is solved in soft pinkish-golden tones, typical for this genre of painting.
The viewer sees how a golden-haired Europe surrounded by a crowd of friends, laughing, crouched on the back of a lying bull. Amusing, carefree and cheerful virgins garland a peaceful animal, not suspecting that in a few moments the bull will carry Europe along the sea waves to the distant island of Crete.
The allegory of love and passion in this picture can be considered the image of playful cupids, not only closely monitoring what is happening, but also actively participating in the love story. It seems that the arrow fired by one of the pink-cheeked cupids has reached its goal, and the pranksters with enthusiasm follow the events occurring through their fault.