Harry Steen: Et in Arcadia ego

Always enigmatic, Steen’s light-filled paintings are infused with longing for lost and rapidly changing worlds. The myths and legends of Ancient Greece and Rome continue to fascinate the artist, whose atmospheric works are peopled by Hellenic gods such as Eurydice and Aphrodite, and fuse these universal archetypes with a personal vision of his childhood home.


Many works in the exhibition are inspired by recent visits to an English Tudor manor, Rainthorpe Hall, Norfolk, and capture the echoes of its inhabitants past and present. Others recall villas and gardens of the American Gilded Age long since demolished, or the elegant perfection of Ancien Régime interiors, testament to the vanished beauty of its rococo world.


Filled with darkness and light, Steen’s paintings celebrate the beauty of a paradise lost while lamenting its passing, and share a vision of his own Arcadia.