John Keats: A Literary Biography, Page 19
by Albert Elmer Hancock (1908).
THE FESTIVAL OF PAN
A marble altar stands in a grove surrounded by children, maidens, shepherds in ceremonial robes. The priest pours the libation from an alabaster urn. Endymion, apart, in a chariot, seems disconsolate. It is early dawn. The atmosphere has a magical light and charm as in the paintings of Corot. The choral song to Pan is rich in local color and folk-lore. The piety of the Greeks is perceived to be a blending of reverence and glee.
The moon is behind a thin cloud. Diana, with scarf fluttering in the wind, is partially obscured in the effulgence. Her face has an expression of maiden timidity; her outreaching hand suggests regal graciousness. Endymion gazes at the vision, rapt, dazzled; his limbs are alive with the coursing blood. The color scheme is prevailingly blue and gold, as in Murillo's Assumption of the Virgin. The atmosphere is electrically charged yet cool.
Endymion is prone on the turf. The naiad has emerged from the lilies; her dripping fingers at the lips send him a greeting of affection. The virgin light penetrates the water, revealing pebbles, bright sand, many-colored fish. The sweet regret in the nymph's eyes is poetically suggestive of the ancient sympathy of the spirits of nature for man.
THE LABYRINTH OF THE UNDERWORLD
A long arcade of gloom with faint flashing illuminations. Vaguely visible are the winding passages, cliffs, walls of glistening metal. The deep gulf, arched by a natural bridge, is the channel of a turbulent stream. The dominant light comes from a huge diamond amid the marble image of Diana. There is utter silence except for the noise of the waters. Endymion moves along with fearsome awe. These mysteries are viewed most favorably with the aid of Aladdin's lamp.
THE ARBOR OF ADONIS
Adonis lies asleep on a couch of rosy silk; lilies at his head; vines form a green canopy. The winter is past; it is the time for the coming of Venus. Cupids are breaking his slumber. One plays upon a lyre, another waves a scented bough, a third is pelting his closed eyes with violets. The picture might be interpreted as a mythical representation of Love's awakening in spring through the appeal to the senses.
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