© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Fantin-Latour’s lithograph from the mid-1880s illustrates the third and final act of Wagner’s opera The Flying Dutchman. As punishment for invoking Satan, the Dutch ship captain was cursed to wander the seas on his vessel, his only redemption resulting from the true love and self-sacrifice of a woman called Senta. The heroine throws herself into the sea, promising to be faithful unto death. As a result, the captain is freed from his spectral ship, and together the couple ascends to heaven. The dreamlike quality of the subject matter together with Fantin-Latour’s evocative rendering, achieved by using a lithographic crayon and scratchwork on tracing paper, are quintessentially symbolist.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1978.45
People
Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour, French (Grenoble, France 1836 - 1904 Buré (Orne), France)
Title
The Flying Dutchman
Classification
Drawings
Work Type
drawing
Date
19th-20th century
Culture
French
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Black lithographic crayon and scratchwork on tracing paper, mounted on cardboard
Dimensions
actual: 44 x 30.6 cm (17 5/16 x 12 1/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.l., black lithographic crayon: h.Fantin
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Therese Kuhn Straus in memory of her husband, Herbert N. Straus, Harvard Class of 1903
Accession Year
1978
Object Number
1978.45
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Exhibition History

Flowers of Evil: Symbolist Drawings, 1870–1910, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/21/2016 - 08/14/2016

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu