7.22.2010

In the Swim


Fortunately--because I cannot seem to get enough of Maine's low bush blueberry pies and lobster rolls and Swan's Way Dolcelinos--there is always time for a swim. I arrived in Portland for a television interview rather early, and had time to duck into the Portland Museum of Art (when I should have been spiffing myself up after a five hour drive). I could hear my mother's voice telling me to Make An Effort--brush my hair, apply makeup--but there was simply too much beautiful art to look at, and my free time flew by. This is an excellent museum full of American treasures. The canvas here is The Nereid Doto by Thomas Sully, painted in 1836. The nereids were the fifty (!) daughters of the Greek sea god Nereus; Doto is mentioned in Homer's Iliad. She looks at home in the water. As a matter of fact, it looks as though she has made an effort--before her swim. Now that's style!

18 comments:

Susan said...

Oh, I love this painting! Doto looks so relaxed and so sweet, with her coral necklace, rosy cheeks and water that shines like an earring dripping from her hair.

It is a stormy and louring sky above her though -- and what is the source of that light on her face? Seems like the sun has set, but it's a bit bright for the moon.

pve design said...

I think she is "skinny dipping!"
pve

Anonymous said...

Three guesses...to whom or what are those ebony eyes directed?

Cristina said...

simply awesome.

Michael said...

Hi Dominique. Great postings from a great place. Portland has been more than a getaway for me the last few years - the place I run when I need to get away from Boston. The museum is really quite good, the used bookstores copious, Casco Bay a fantastic place to sail, and its islands are a real refuge without being far. Amazing food for a relatively small city - I hope you sometime can get to the Dogfish Cafe before the lobster rolls have filled you up.

lostpastremembered said...

Thanks for sharing a little Sully with us. An under-remembered British/American master of the portrait. Aren't his colors amazing? Did coral ever look so...corally?

As a girl who has left her pearls on for a swim in the creek (accidentally, promise) and gotten a lot of ribbing for it, I think lovely Doto is an inspiration in the water (don't you love the crystal pendants of water on her hair?) I bet you looked like a million after such inspired viewing...pleasure is a great natural cosmetic.

Madgew said...

I really like this painting. Thanks for sharing.

Richard Childs said...

Ooh, Thomas Sully’s painting slowed me, shifted me to reflecting, imagining.

It is arresting because it contrasts the luminous, languid, jeweled Doto swimming towards a dark, foreboding sky and agitated waters. This magic realism painting juxtaposes the idyllic with danger.

He powerfully engages us in completing the narrative. I see her strength, confidence and perseverance. Not having read Homer's Iliad, what becomes of Doto? Or is this better left a mystery?

Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, Interiors said...

I love The Portland Museum. I love this painting and I love
Maine and the people of this wonderful state.
Having summered many, many years in NEHarbor, Me.
Maine rules!! Wonderful article and great comments.

Valerie said...

Missing Maine this summer, but will visit in the fall. My favorite restaurant in the world is in Belfast, ME--Chase's Daily. This review says why better than I can:
http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/articles/2008/09/17/from_family_farm_to_family_restaurant.

Anonymous said...

@ Michael

Unfortunately used bookstores are not a good idea these days. Bed bugs. I have a friend who traced an infestation back to some used books she bought. It took almost 2 years to fully eradicate problem.

Gerardine Baugh said...

The shine in her hair and the clear water, this is a beautiful painting. I love Greek mythology.

ewix said...

What aquatic elegance.
The necklace is a wonderful touch.

Maria Wiley said...

Hello Dominique, I just read an article about you titled 'grace notes' in the Courier Mail's QWeekend Magazine (here in Queensland, Australia) and it had this site address ... thought I would say hello and tell you how much I enjoyed reading about your story :-) Love your blog :-)
cheers from Down Under,
Maria

Maria Wiley said...

This is the magazine, but the latest edition 24th July, is not yet there :-)
http://www.couriermail.com.au/extras/qweekend/

Streams Full of Stars said...

Love your terrific sense of humour - "Make An Effort". That hits home! Great comment about Doto, "Now that's style!" Looking forward to reading more....

Barbara said...

Curious enough after reading the comments here to do a little on-line searching. It seems that these ladies are quite at home in perilous seas - perhaps she is swimming out to rescue an endangered sailor (apparently one of the things her kind does).

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