Albert Pinkham Ryder
American, 1847 - 1917
The Temple of the Mind
Date: circa 1885
This painting was bought by the collector Thomas B. Clarke in April 1885. Ryder wrote Professor John Pickard in 1907:
The theme is Poe's Haunted Palace ... The finer attributes of the mind are pictured by three graces who stand in the center of the picture: where their shadows from the moonlight fall toward the spectator. They are waiting for a weeping love to join them. On the left is a Temple where a cloven footed faun dances up the steps snapping his fingers in fiendish glee at having dethroned the erstwhile ruling graces.
Comparison with Poe's poem The Haunted Palace, which appears in The Fall of the House of Usher, shows how freely Ryder interpreted the theme.
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