Expulsion from the Garden of Eden
Thomas Cole
Title: The Cyclops
Date Created: circa between 1898 and 1900
Dimensions: 65.8 × 52.7 cm (25.9 × 20.7 in)
Type: Paintings
Medium: oil on cardboard mounted on panel
Location: Kröller-Müller Museum
The Cyclops is a painting by Odilon Redon depicting a myth starring an "unlucky naiad Galatea, loved by Polyphemus, the most famous Cyclops." Like most Cyclops in mythology, Polyphemus was villainized as a wild creature that hunted its victims and then consumed them. This subject had been painted before by artists such as Moreau; however Redon has taken this myth and given Polyphemus a makeover. In Redon's version, Polyphemus is shown as a non-threatening passive creature. The normally menacing beast is shown softly gazing with a large eye that has been seen in previous Redon works. Galatea, the naiad, is shown naked and vulnerably lying on a patch of vegetation. It appears Polyphemus is keeping one gentle eye watching over the "sexualized maiden." He has hidden himself from Galatea behind the rocky terrain, too shy to directly confront her "helpless" form. Redon's departure from the normal depiction of Polyphemus was influenced by his dream-like style and ambivalence toward the artistic norm.
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