Tannhauser: Venusberg

Henri Fantin-Latour, 1836 - 1904

Tannhauser: Venusberg

Henri Fantin-Latour 1836 - 1904


Set against a rural landscape is the rather unusual scene of four nude or semi-nude women and one clothed man. The man is seated on the right in the foreground in period dress with a feathered hat casting a shadow across his face and with his right arm resting upon a harp. Leaning against his knees, capturing his attention, is a nude woman with loose curly hair who lies before him, her arms playfully resting on his chest whilst she gazes up at him. Behind them on the left hand side are the three other women, the most prominent of which stands fully nude facing the viewer. She is stepping forwards but instead of looking in that direction her head is turned to the left and her arms are raised above her head draping some sort of cloth behind her. Standing to the left of her is a dark haired woman with her back to the viewer and shrouded in drapes of material so that only her back is bare. She seems to be trying to cover some of the standing woman's nudity by reaching across her torso with her right arm in which she holds more cloth and thus covers one of the woman's breasts. On the other side of the standing woman, in the shadows, is another woman who is nude from the waist up, sitting and playing a flute. The three figures on the left seem to act as a compositional balance to the figures in the bottom right, drawing the eye diagonally back from the foreground into the distance.

Object Name

Tannhauser: Venusberg

Creators Name

Henri Fantin-Latour

Date Created

about 1876


print: 41.2cm x 50cm
support: 50.8cm x 60cm

accession number





ink (black)

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