Canvas 83 cm x 49 cm
Old frame of 101 cm by 67 cm
This superb painting represents Orpheus playing his lyre in the moonlight, causing the admiration of these four young women.
Endowed with a wonderful voice, which the Greeks know by honey, Orpheus is a mythical poet, the exemplary master of the sung word. He charms, he seduces men, from the most musicians to the wildest, and also the plants, the fiercest animals, even the stones. This is his excess, which must lose him. At the center of the myth of this man who identifies with his voice is a story of love or seduction. Orpheus is the young husband of Eurydice. Their honeymoon is disturbed by the intrusion of Aristée, an honest beekeeper who wants Eurydice to behave badly. He pursues the young woman, a snake of water hurts her. Orpheus goes down to Hell to recover Eurydice. His voice seduces the infernal powers, who allow him to leave with his young wife. But she is told to walk in front of her without turning around or speaking to her. Orpheus is unable to respect the double prohibition that requires lovers not to communicate with each other either orally or visually. He definitely loses Eurydice that he wanted to watch or, says another version, to kiss without waiting.
Emmanuel Coulange-Lautrec (1824-1898)
After studies as an architect and decorator, he moved to Marseille to study at the Beaux-Arts. He is particularly noticed at the salon of 1869 with a monumental work: view of the city and the port of Algiers purchased by the State. In the meantime, he became a teacher at the School of Fine Arts in Marseille (he is in charge of the courses of perspectives).
He is a painter of easels but also of great scenery. He performs murals for churches, castles and mansions especially in the south of France. He also decorated the VIP lounge of the Marseille Stock Exchange.
His landscapes of Orient and Provence with successive plans very ordered are painted in tones lighter than his decorative compositions.