Mihály Munkácsy, The Blind Milton Dictating "Paradise Lost" to his Daughters, c.1878(815 views)
Born Michael von Lieb, Munkácsy was a renowned painter of genre scenes. As a youth he apprenticed under an itinerant painter before moving to Pest, Hungary, to seek tutelage with more established artists. He subsequently studied in Vienna, Munich, and Düsseldorf, before settling in Paris. Though he began his career with scenes of peasants and the poor, he gained fame for the emotional range and dynamic figure groupings of his historical and biblical paintings. He would later enjoy additional success painting salon scenes – images of domestic life and motherhood set within lavishly decorated interiors.
In 1878 Munkácsy painted The Blind Milton Dictating “Paradise Lost” to His Daughters. The work was well received; art dealer Charles Sedelmeyer purchased and subsequently sold the piece, beginning a lucrative business relationship between himself and the artist. Munkácsy signed a ten-year contract with Sedelmeyer, bringing him fame and fortune in Paris and abroad. Paradise Lost was published in 1667, when John Milton was nearly sixty and had been blind for fifteen years. He wrote the epic poem entirely through the use of aides, friends, and family; Milton dictating the work to his three daughters was a favorite scene of artists. Munkácsy was known to have painted several versions of this tableau.
Dimensions: 34 1/2 x 48 inches
Artist or Maker: Mihály Munkácsy
Medium: Oil on canvas
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