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Collection

An image of Sketch for 'The battle of the Centaurs and Lapiths' by James Gleeson

James Gleeson

(Australia 21 Nov 1915 – 20 Oct 2008)

Title
Sketch for 'The battle of the Centaurs and Lapiths'
Year
1978
Media category
Drawing
Materials used
charcoal on cream paper
Dimensions

30.5 x 47.5 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, charcoal "Gleeson/ 20.12.78".
Credit
Gift of Frank O'Keefe 1994
Accession number
90.1994
Copyright
© Gleeson/O'Keefe Foundation
Location
Not on display
Further information

According to Greek mythology, the Lapiths and the Centaurs were neighbouring tribes in Thessaly in Greece. The Lapiths were as civilised as the Centaurs were wild and unrestrained. The King of the Lapiths, Pirithous, invited the Centaurs to his wedding, but a battle broke out when the Centaurs, inflamed by wine, attempted to abduct the women at the feast, including the bride Hippodamia. Many Centaurs were killed in the ensuing fight, and the rest were drived out of Thessaly. This battle was depicted frequently in ancient art, including the sculptures along the outer sides (metopes) of the Parthenon.

Nineteen drawings from Pad 3 are devoted to this subject. Again, it is the power of the story and of the notion of a half man-half beast that most interested Gleeson.

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'James Gleeson: drawings for paintings', Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2003, pg. 64.

Bibliography (1)

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, James Gleeson: drawings for paintings, Sydney, 2003, 64 (colour illus.). cat.no. 22

Exhibition history (1)

James Gleeson: drawings for paintings, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Apr 2003–15 Jun 2003