About this artwork
Elihu Vedder depicted the three Fates of Greek mythology working the thread of life: Clotho spins the thread, Lachesis fixes its length, and Atropos cuts it at the appointed time of death. Their symbolic tools—spindle, distaff, and shears—rest in the foreground, emphasizing the Fates’ decisive role in matters of life and death. Vedder adapted this painting from an illustration he had designed for an 1884 publication by Edward FitzGerald—a translation of the work of 11th-century poet Omar Khayyám, The Rubáiyát. Vedder was attracted to mysterious, visionary subject matter. Here, he explored metaphysical questions of life, death, and afterlife, subjects at the core of Khayyám’s poetry.
- Elihu Vedder
- The Fates Gathering in the Stars
- United States (Artist's nationality:)
- Oil on canvas
- Signed, lower right: "Elihu Vedder / Rome 1887"
- 113 × 82.6 cm (44 1/2 × 32 1/2 in.)
- Friends of American Art Collection