At the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris May 6-Nov 6 1889 photographic plates of selected paintings were exhibited, and one of those chosen was the painting “Flight of the King Gradlon” that was painted in 1884 by Evariste-Vital Luminais. Based on a collection of popular Breton songs, this painting depicted the flight of King Gradlon fleeing on horseback from his city of Ys as it is swallowed by the sea. King Gradlon is a semi-legendary 5th century king of Cornouaille who became the hero of many Breton folk stories. The City of Ys was built below sea level and protected by a grade that kept the sea out. Dahut, the King’s daughter, turned the city into a place of sin and debauchery and one nite she stole the key to the Jade from her sleeping father and drunkenly opened the gate. Gradlon awoke & rescued his daughter from the fray on this magical horse, but her sins kept dragging him into the sea before he could reach land. In the end St Winwaloe told him to drop his daughter and she is swallowed by the sea. This is a printing of those photographic plates that were displayed and were sold as collector items in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This one is quite old but in excellent shape and would be spectacular to have framed – although black and white the detail is superb. Thin cellophane wrap has protected this picture throughout the decades, some age fading but nothing that detracts from the beauty. C1900s, measures 8 ½ x 12.
Note: The blue tinge in the pictures is the shadow of the camera, the paper is not marked