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Orpheo 2

On view

Orpheo 2

Artist: Stephen Mueller (American, 1947-2011)

Date: 2010
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Overall: 50 x 60in. (127 x 152.4cm)
Signed: Verso (black marker), on canvas, top stretcher bar: 'Stephen Mueller'
Inscribed: Verso (black marker), on canvas, top stretcher bar: '953 Orpheo 2 2010 50 x 60 in.' Verso (black marker), upper right center: 'LM' Center cross bar, left side: [Lennon-Weinberg label]
Credit Line: 75th Anniversary Acquisition. Gift of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; Hassam, Speicher, Betts, and Symons Funds, 2011
Object number: 2011.12
Label Text
In classical mythology Orpheus was considered such a sensitive musician, he could soothe gods, man, and beasts, and cause trees and rocks to dance. His is also a story of tragic lost love. His beautiful wife, Eurydice, was bitten by a viper and died shortly after their marriage. Orpheus traveled to the underworld to retrieve her and nearly won her back to life, but at the last minute, she slipped, and in trying to help her, Orpheus lost her forever.

As a metaphor for the power of music Orpheus’ story has inspired composers since the early 17th century, from Monteverdi to Gluck, and Offenbach to Glass.

Mary E. Murray
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

© Stephen Mueller