The Fiancée of Belus

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The Fiancee of Belus
Henri Motte - La fiancée de Bélus (1885).jpg
Artist Henri-Paul Motte
Year 1885
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 178 cm × 122 cm (70 in × 48 in)
Location Musée d'Orsay, Paris

The Fiancée of Belus (French: La fiancée de Bélus) is a painting by French artist Henri-Paul Motte based on a fanciful Babylonian ritual associated with deity Belus (Bel). According to that ritual, Bel was offered a girl who sat on the lap of the Bel's statue overnight, and then was replaced by another, all of whom were the winners of daily beauty contests.[1] Motte cited as a reference the Greek historian Herodotus, but the related quote was later found to be invented.[1] The Fiancee of Belus features oversized, Academic style, while the foreground shows blood spattered by the brush.[2] To restore the interior of the Babylonian temple, Motte copied the Greek temple in Olympia, while the sculpture is inspired by lamassu.[1]

In 2013, the painting was acquired by the Musée d'Orsay where it is presently kept. It was previously housed in Galerie Vincent Lecuyer, near Musée d’Orsay and was exhibited in Brussels at BRAFA Art Fair and PAD fair in Paris.[2]


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