Roger Diederen. From Homer to the Harem: The Art of Jean Lecomte du Nouÿ. New York, Dahesh Museum of Art, 2004, 232pp.
This is the first modern publication about the great French Classical and Orientalist painter, Jean Lecomte du Nouÿ (1842-1923). Written by Dahesh Museum of Art curator Roger Diederen, this book provides an in-depth discussion of Lecomte du Nouÿ’s art and career, as well as a catalogue raisonné of all his known works.
A favorite student of the renowned academician Jean-Leon Gérôme and a successful exhibitor at the Paris Salon, Lecomte du Nouÿ derived his subjects from classical history, the Bible, and his voyages to the Middle East-themes through which he visualized a chronologically distant past and a geographically distant present. Eschewing modernism for the traditional ideal of beauty, his finest works convey a highly charged frisson of transgression that speaks directly to audiences today.