The Offering

Fernand Khnopff Belgian

Not on view

A nude woman makes an offering to a portrait bust on an altar. She looks out as though the viewer’s appearance has interrupted her ritual. Khnopff’s Symbolism mixed an admiration for medieval and Renaissance imagery with a fascination with the occult, ritual, and the dream world. The altar here resembles one in his home, created to revere Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep. The blue cartouche at the center is inscribed with a partially effaced NEVER MORE—a quote from Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. This soft pastel drawing is characteristic of Khnopff’s muted and hazy style.

The Offering, Fernand Khnopff (Belgian, Grembergen 1858–1921 Brussels), Pastel, graphite, and chalk on paper

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