Due to a private event, if you are visiting Waddesdon between 17-24 Aug, there will be some disruption in the gardens on the North & South Fronts, Parterre & Aviary. Ticket holders will be contacted directly.

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Gustave Moreau: The Fables online exhibition

Allegory of Fable, 1879

This was the first of the Fables watercolours that Moreau completed and it acts as a frontispiece to the series. The figure of Fable is carried through the sky on a hippogriff – a mythical creature that is half horse and half griffin. The mask of Comedy sits on her shoulder and she holds the whip of Satire in her right hand.

When this work was exhibited in 1886, the journalist, physician and poet Henri Cazalis described the blue of the chimera’s wings: ‘a strange and miraculous indigo [in which] all the azure of the skies seems to be condensed.’