• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7635

    British Art on Paper

    10 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 78

    Joseph Edward Southall, R.W.S. (1861-1944)

    Study for a figure of Arethusa

    Price Realised  


    Joseph Edward Southall, R.W.S. (1861-1944)
    Study for a figure of Arethusa
    dated '1895' (lower right, overmounted) and further inscribed with colour notes (in the left margin, overmounted)
    pencil and watercolour heightened with touches of white
    8 x 3¼ in. (20.3 x 8.3 cm.)

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    Arethusa was a Nereid, a water-nymph. She was beloved by the river god Alpheus, after she had bathed in his waters, but she scorned his advances, desiring instead to remain chaste and continue to follow the goddess Artemis. Alpheus gave chase and eventually Arethusa begged Artemis to transform her so that she could escape from him. The goddess consented and transformed her into a stream, which flowed down into the earth and reemerged as a fountain on the island of Ortygia in Sicily. Her story was told by a number of ancient authors, most notably Ovid in his Metamorphoses, 5.710.

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