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Mischief and Repose by John William Godward
Mischief and Repose by John William Godward

Mischief and Repose, 1895

John William Godward

A young woman representing Repose reclines seductively on a tiger skin draped over a marble ledge, her voluptuous body clearly visible through a translucent blue dress. Her companion, Mischief, disturbs her languorous rest by tickling her with a dress pin. Despite the playful gesture, there’s something remote and untouchable about these women. They don’t look out at the viewer, but seem arrested in time, like marble statues or actresses playing a scene.

The artist was inspired by classical art, as seen in the the monumental marble setting, the women’s statuesque poses, and their transparent gowns, which are styled after the chitons worn by women in Ancient Greece.

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