"Company of Thieves"  48" x 64" Oil on Canvas

Synopsis:
Lowe’s inspiration for this work, the subject of Fuseli's
The
Thieves Punishment
(c.1772), and William Blake’s The
Punishment of the Thieves
(c.1824-27), illustrate a scene from
Dante’s
Inferno in which thieves damned to Hell are eternally
consumed and transformed by serpents.  Lowe’s stylized free
copy combines the original works in a harmonious splice
between their relative overlapping compositions.  The central figurative form of all white
unblemished attire, from George Romney’s
A Boy, Called William Pitt (c.1778), perhaps meant
a
s a costume of 'innocence' a quality never again to be adorned by these misshapen marploters.  
This juxtaposition intensifies the essence of its referenced parts in a dramatic contrast of painting
styles between Romantic portrait painting and the anthropomorphic forms of Mannerist drawing.  
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Michael Allen Lowe
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