Tannhäuser, the male figure seated on the left, does not seem fully engaged in this merry scene. Among pale bodies and pastel hues, he alone is cast in shadow. The Wagner opera that inspired the painting centers on a struggle between profane and sacred love, and the tension between them appears embodied in the brooding Tannhäuser.

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  • Title: Tannhäuser
  • Creator: Henri Fantin-Latour (French, 1836-1904)
  • Date Created: 1886
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 123.5 x 139.5 x 14 cm (48 5/8 x 54 15/16 x 5 1/2 in.); Unframed: 86.4 x 103.3 cm (34 x 40 11/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Bought from the artist by Durand-Ruel, Paris, France, February 21, 1890 (stock number 2636),, Sold to Durand-Ruel, New York, NY, March 6, 1890 (stock number 1000), (Durand-Ruel, New York, NY, January 4, 1891, sold to J. H. Wade), Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Wade, Cleveland, OH, given to the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1916.1038
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Inscriptions: Signed lower right: Fantin 86
  • Fun Fact: As he will eventually return to reality, Tannhäuser, the singer in the lower left, is painted in dark tones. In contrast, his vision into another realm is evoked by the soft muted hues of Venus and her court.
  • Department: Modern European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: France, 19th century
  • Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade
  • Collection: Mod Euro - Painting 1800-1960
  • Accession Number: 1916.1038

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