The symbolist painter Gustave Moreau (1825 – 1898) is known for the vivid images he created of biblical scenes and mythological fantasies. The painting of Moses, tells of God’s refusal to allow Moses to step foot in the Promised land. Moreau invented Moses’ humble gesture of removing his sandals. Behind the prophet, the people are shown in prayer near the Arc of the Covenant. In front of him the young man personifies youth and the newborn child personifies the future. The painter considered this work to be a great meditation on life, age and death.
The museum in his name is in a beautiful old townhouse. The collection consists of more than 1,000 oil paintings and some 4,000 drawings! What an amazing privilege to page through these drawings. They are displayed behind glass in hinged wooden frames that you can enjoy at your leisure, which is exactly what I did. I spent about 2 hours sketching from his drawings, what a blessing. The sketches shown here are but a tip of the iceberg and not necessarily the best examples but the reflections on the glass spoilt most of the other images.