April 18, 2024


Built General Tough

Take a look into Atlanta and Meleager

Lebrun, Charles. Atalanta and Meleager. 1658, oil on canvas. 212.5 x 280.5cm. On Exhibit: Walker Artwork Gallery

iconographical investigation

Tale of the painting

This painting is based mostly on the Greek myth referred to as Atalanta and the Calydonian Boar Hunt. This myth is about the hunt of a boar and the story’s heroes. In this tale, there are two important figures, Meleager the chief of the hunt and Atalanta, the lady whom the hero falls for her. In some variations of the fantasy Atalanta participates in the hunt.

Within just the tale Calydonia, is a city in which the goddess Artemis, sends in a major and wild boar as a punishment to the king, for not satisfying his prophecies to her. Meleager then sets out to hunt and get rid of the boar, that was building destruction to the region. Amid the hunters have been Meleager’s two uncles, a further was Atalanta, an fantastic hunter, with whom he falls in love with her.

When they finally have slayed the Calydonian Boar, and slash off its head, Meleager would like to present the head, to present his timeless adore to Atalanta. But his uncles dislike the idea of girls acquiring trophies. In retaliation, he kills equally of his uncles. This portray is full of iconographical symbolism.

At the very top rated of the painting, there is a crimson flowing material that could be a banner, even though it’s tricky to say. This painting sets a scene, with appealing lighting, the place the painter has the surrounding locations, the tonal values of the colors feel to be muted, while the major topics in the center, (Atalanta in yellow, and Meleager in purple cloak) are in considerably far more saturated colouration. Most of the muted colours are the greenery of the countryside. The symbolism of environmentally friendly as stated “both existence and dying in vernal eco-friendly of everyday living and the furious inexperienced of loss of life.” (Cooper, 1978,) This suggests that the inexperienced indicates or maybe even foreshadowing that there is loss of life, to guidance this Greek fantasy.

It has a attractive use of composition, with the rule of thirds, in which everything is nicely well balanced. So, the eye follows the portray from the best to the bottom, like looking through a e book. This helps to set the scene and inform a story and wanting aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

We see that there are four men and women in this in a countryside landscape. Two persons on the remaining, with Atalanta staying showed the head of a boar by Meleager, with yet another hunter subsequent to him. The boar has an iconographical which means of “The boar’s head symbolises overall health and preservation from danger” (Cooper, 1978, page 43). By providing this present to Atalanta, it’s telling her that with the demise of the boar there is no far more threat, practically and figuratively. Also showing his like for her.

The countryside has a charming mountain vary in the history with various tones of blue. With the blue, meanings of rely on, depth, and calmness. It is anything at all but relaxed in this portray. This has a use of aerial point of view. When seeking intently, up coming to Meleager’s left shoulder, there can be witnessed a pale useless physique of a human being laying on the rolling hill facet. His uncles that Meleager has killed, when they disapproved of him symbolizing the boar’s head to Atalanta. His uncles may well have disliked the thought simply because “the boar is a masculine principle” (Cooper, 1978, website page 43), this implies that a trophy of an animal is masculine, and therefore it is un woman-like for Atalanta to have 1. Of study course, with this Meleager disagreed by killing his uncles.

On the foreground of equally remaining and suitable corner there are two puppies on every single side. To support with the monitoring of the boar through this hunt. As the canine are a symbolism of fidelity, this means loyalty, the painter may perhaps have set them there as a sign of irony. As we get to understand in the myth, that Meleager betrays his uncles, the very opposite of fidelity.

There is a pelt of an animal future to Atalanta. She is dressed in a stunning yellow gown. The painter has used some depth within the folds of the dress, which brings out the texture of the dress. The costume also leaves a person of her breasts uncovered. But she is not sexualised with this, searching powerful and not helpless. The exposure of a breast has a symbolic meaning. “The bared breast is humility” (. Cooper, 1978, page 50) with this, the painter is expressing that Atalanta is humble, she doesn’t believe she is improved than anyone. It signifies her in a way that she requires to be rewarded, for Meleager’s adore. Also, if she is really comfy with a bared breast surrounded by men. It begs the question of if she would have cared to not acquire the boar’s head. And with this, sparing the life of Meleager’s uncles. On her lap, there is a stunning blue material (a cloak?) on her knees, with exquisite embroidery in all places.

Her left arm resting on prime of a wood bow. The is what could possibly be made use of to present who is Atalanta. In Greek mythology, a bow is typically connected with Artemis the goddess of animals and the hunt. Additionally, this could also suggest the victory of the hunt, with the demise of the boar. With Atalanta getting a bow, it tells us that she a superior huntress and lover of animals. This is more supported, with two dogs by her toes, wanting protecting of her, and a pelt of an animal powering her. “She worries gender expectations” ( d’Entremont, 2020, page 5) It shows that she is not a meek younger woman, with the know-how of searching. Which would have been subversive, for a female of her time.

Even though Meleager is dressed in a red cloak and blue tunics. Both of those of which have golden bejewelled, embroidery together the lining of the apparel. The cloak has a important symbolism of dignity and position. Telling us, he is a chief of this hunt and has the dignity and with the pink the courage to completete his task. Also keeping a sword upright, employed to eliminate the boar. The sword has the iconographical symbolism of security and strength, in which Meleager, truly proves of this during the hunt. What is substantial about the sword, is that the blade is not silver but black. This might mean that it references to the fatalities of his uncles, it’s possible in mourning for them, as the colour black is typically the illustration of death and mourning. But it could also signify, Meleager’s ability and power.


J.C.Cooper, 1978, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Standard Symbols, Spot of Publication, Thames & Hudson. ISBN: 978-D-500-01201-7

See u in heritage/mythology, 2021, Meleager and Atalanta: The Hunt for Calidon’s Boar, place of publication, You Tube


Michela d’Entremont, 2020, Gender and Excellence in the fantasy of Atalanta, put of publication, Dalhousie College Halifax, Nova Scotia. Read pager 1-5, and internet pages 35.

Algernon Charles Swinburne, 1865, Poems and Ballads [and] Atalanta in Calydon, put of publication, The Bobbs-Merill Enterprise, Inc.