Gustave Moreau, Jupiter and Semele

Moreau paints with brilliant jewel-like colors, and everywhere we look the figures seem filled with Melancholy.

Gustave Moreau, Jupiter and Semele, 1894–95, oil on canvas, 213 x 118 cm (Musée National Gustave-Moreau, Paris). Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris


Additional resources

Symbolism on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

Peter Cooke, “Gustave Moreau and the Reinvention of History Painting,” The Art Bulletin, volume 90, number 3 (2008), pp. 394–416.

Peter Cooke, “Gustave Moreau and the Theatre,” The Burlington Magazine, volume 159, number 1374 (2017), pp. 706–13.

Peter Cooke, Gustave Moreau: History Painting, Spirituality, and Symbolism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014).

Michelle Facos, Symbolist Art in Context (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009).

Andrea Truitt, book review, Symbolist Art in Context by Michelle FacosNineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, volume 13, number 2 (Autumn 2014).

Smarthistory images for teaching and learning:

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Cite this page as: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Gustave Moreau, Jupiter and Semele," in Smarthistory, August 1, 2023, accessed October 1, 2023,