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The Fates Gathering in the Stars

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.

Date:

1887

Artist:

Elihu Vedder
American, 1836–1923

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.

Status

On View, Gallery 161

Department

Arts of the Americas

Artist

Elihu Vedder

Title

The Fates Gathering in the Stars

Place

United States (Object made in)

Date

1887

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed, lower right: "Elihu Vedder / Rome 1887"

Dimensions

113 × 82.6 cm (44 1/2 × 32 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Friends of American Art Collection

Reference Number

1919.1

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/74967/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

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