Death of Péricles Composition N538, 2020

by Rodolfo Oviedo Vega

Painting : acrylic

105 x 82 x 3 cm 41.3 x 32.3 x 1.2 inch


One of the last works available by this artist

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About the artwork


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Painting: acrylic

Dimensions cm inch

105 x 82 x 3 cm 41.3 x 32.3 x 1.2 inch Height x Width x Depth


Golden plaster ornate

Artwork dimensions including frame

120 x 100 x 5 cm 47.2 x 39.4 x 2 inch

Artwork sold in perfect condition

Artwork location: France

"Mort de Périclès" Composition N538, Panama 2020 This work, the first in a series entitled "La Peste", is the result of a mixed technique marked by the predominance of warm colors and fuchsia. It recounts the great exploits of the life of Pericles before he succumbed to this epidemic (429 BC). The capture of Egypt, symbolized by a cross of life hidden in the lower central part of the painting, echoes the expedition led by Pericles in the land of the Pharaohs. The 100 Peloponnesian warships are also suggested by the geometric figures in the shape of a checkerboard which can be guessed on the fushias. Finally, the eye of the beholder lingers on the gold leaf circle that adorns the upper part of the painting. This represents the Oracle of Delphi, surrounded by its columns, a sanctuary symbolizing the unity of the Greek world. This circle also echoes a significant solar eclipse in the history of Pericles, and related by the Greek historian Plutarch in his writing The Lives (Pericles chapter 33). While Pericles has just embarked aboard the ship which will take him for a war against Sparta, he sees an eclipse of the sun occurring before his eyes: "Darkness fell and all were struck with terror as if before a sign. extraordinary ”. Seeing the captain's eyes plunged into deep confusion, Pericles took off his cloak to cover the unfortunate man, hastening to reassure him about the possibility of a bad omen. This geometric shape dominates the work and illustrates the golden age of the city of which Périclès was one of the great strategists. In the center of the work two almond leaves symbolize the greatest tragedy of Pericles, the death of his two children carried away by the plague. At that time the Plague of Athens caused tens of thousands of deaths, or ¼ of the population, marking the end of a privileged era, sometimes called "the century of Pericles".
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About the seller

Professional art gallery • France

Artsper seller since 2016

Vetted Seller

Rodolfo Oviedo Vega

El Salvador  • 1984


Born in San Salvador, Oviedo Vega has travelled all over the world, absorbing experiences and artistic influences that are sometimes reflected in his work, and living for a time in southern India and later Paris, where he lives and works today. His paintings are often better described as mixed-media collages, incorporating materials including sand, coconut bark, banana leaves and red wine.

The art of Rodolfo Oviedo Vega is one of paradox and certain contradictions. His paintings can seem at first glance to be heavy, even opaque on the canvas, yet on closer inspection they became surprisingly varied in their textures. Parts of some works have an appealing heft, with collage elements and layers of oil paint worked into a thick impasto, while others can seem as light and delicate as fallen leaves.

His compositions can seem purely abstract, and his basic visual language has remained rooted in abstraction for most of his career. Yet figuration keeps poking through in ways that give his work complexity and an enigmatic charm. The abstract forms of some works recall portraiture, while the perspectives and horizon line in others harks back to the landscape-painting tradition.

Architectural elements frequently appear in Oviedo Vega’s work – railings, windows, arches, often in sombre colours that emphasise their geometric armatures – and show his interest in urban space and construction. Far from pure abstraction, these works often lead us into explorations of the aesthetic possibilities of buildings, with their multiple planes and volumes, and the architectural forms of contemporary cities, which, in Oviedo Vega’s hands, can look familiar to any city dweller yet also strange and even a bit alienating.

This engagement with urban architecture also suggests a connection to his native El Salvador, the most urbanised country of Latin America. Oviedo Vega inhabits and plays out these contradictions in his work, without – to his great credit as an artist – ever trying to resolve them into neat packages, creating instead works that are complex, multi-layered and deeply human.
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