When I did my Mermaids post a couple of weeks ago, I found I had a whole bunch of pictures left over, of sea-nymphs without any fishy characteristics. Although frequently (mis)titled "Sirens" or "Naiads" (because artists didn't bother doing their blasted research first) they are technically Nereids - sea-spirits in the form of beautiful shapely maidens. I suspect the shapely maiden bit was probably the important point as far as the purchasers were concerned. Anyway, here they are for your delectation. Some more Drapers to start with:
Nice lyre. But repeat after me, Sir Edward: sirens are part-bird.
Though I much prefer his attempt at mythological portraiture to this sort of thing:
This above is an example of erotic painting where the artist demonstrates no respect for, or interest in, the putative mythology at all, and I don't actually like it much. There's nothing eerie or otherworldly about these women. It's the equivilent of photoshopping a nude picture onto a fake background. There's nothing wrong with nudey pictures, but that isn't mythological art.
Much better. Even if naiads are actually nymphs of wells, springs and fresh water ... and shouldn't be playing with sea-gulls. Hey-ho.
Burne-Jones' sea-nymphs are uncharacteristically modest. But I like the fact they stand around in a puddle.
Huzzah - back to scary nudes!
This is the picture with everything: overtly erotic nudes, mythological depth, beautifully rendered scenery, and a dramatic narrative. Love that shipwreck!