Amazons and Centaurs Oil on Canvas Painting, 1940s


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Carl Christian Forup was born at Vejle, Denmark on 26 February 1883. He studied at the Academy of Art in Copenhagen under Ole Olsen from 1902 – 1906 and again from 1907 to 1911 at the Royal Danish Academy of the Arts. In 1908 Forup married Eugenie Augusta Isabella Schmidt, a model in many Forup paintings. In 1908, following his marriage, he moved to Charlottenberg where he lived almost all his life. Forup painted a broad spectrum of subjects, from portraits and genre scenes to landscapes, book illustrations and murals. He exhibited regularly in Denmark at the Danish Royal Academy and also in Munich in 1906 and Paris in 1910, in the recently opened Henri Matisse School of Painting. Examples of Forup’s work are in a number of important collections in his native country including the museums of Horsens and Vejle. This painting by Forup is one of the largest that he produced during his career.  At the beginning of the 20th century, the artist shared an apartment with Einar Wegener, a successful Danish artist, and when the offered work was sold to Mr. Diaz it was said to have been painted for Gerda Wegener, Einar's wife.  The ménage is known to modern audiences from the book and film The Danish Girl, which fictionalized Einar's becoming Lili Elbe, one of the first identifiable recipients of sex reassignment surgery.  Certainly the subject of this painting, with triumphant Amazons overcoming Centaurs, a traditional symbols of male barbarism, would have resonated with that couple. In Greek mythology, the Amazons were a group of female warriors and hunters, who matched men in physical agility and strength, in archery, riding skills and the arts of combat. Their society was closed for men and they only raised their daughters, either killing their sons or returning them to their fathers, with whom they would only socialize briefly in order to reproduce. Centaurs are half-human, half-horse creatures in Greek mythology. They have the body of a horse and the torso, head and arms of a man. They were considered to be the children of Ixion, king of the Lapiths, and Nephele, a cloud made in the image of Hera.

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20th century (1900-1999)
Place of origin:
Art Deco
Dimensions (cm):
116,84H x 210,82W x
Dimensions (inch):
46H x 83W x
Creator / Artist:
Carl Christian Forup
Wood, Oil on canvas, Canvas, Gilt wood, Gilt
Inventory ID:
Paint painting antique decor decoration oil canvas Odilón canvas home wallart wall
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Debit card
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International - YES
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