KHNOPFF, Fernand
(b. 1858, Termonde, d. 1921, Bruxelles)

The Offering

Pastel, graphite, and chalk on paper, 349 x 749 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

A nude woman makes an offering to a portrait bust on an altar. She looks out as though the viewer's appearance has interrupted her ritual. Khnopff's Symbolism mixed admiration for medieval and Renaissance imagery with a fascination with the occult, ritual, and the dream world. The altar here resembles one in his home, created to revere Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep. The blue cartouche at the centre is inscribed with a partially effaced NEVERMORE - a quote from Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven. This soft pastel drawing is characteristic of Khnopff's muted and hazy style.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.