gifted pencil brought in, sinking into ever deeper gloom until, without being positively
insane, as the great landscape painter Theodore Rousseau became from the
same cause, he grew into a monomaniac on the subject of the injustice with which
he was treated and which he regarded as the result of an organized conspiracy. In
1877 he sent to the Salon "A Nest of Sirens," which created a furor. The beauty
of the figures, the grace of the composition, and the charm of the color rendered it
one of the pictures of the year. The subject is the endeavor of the sisters of the
sea to lure the bark of Ulysses to wreck upon the reefs. The decoration of the
Legion of Honor was the result of this superb work, but even this did not tempt
the painter from his course. He persisted in his bitter moodiness until his death.
Among his later productions were several series of beautiful water-color drawings,
to illustrate luxurious editions of "Bluebeard" and other fairy-tales.
Chapter 10 Text