While the Bible proved a rich resource for Yoors, he was equally interested in and produced a number of gouaches based on Greek mythology, in particular stories from Ovid’s Metamorphosis. In Apollo and Daphne, a golden Daphne, her torso visible in the background, sprouts laurel tree branches while a darker-skinned Apollo runs to embrace her. This gouache is also an example of the manifestation of nature in Yoors’s work, as the branches growing from Daphne’s body are stylized representations of branches and leaves. Such imagery can be compared to Yoors’s later works, particularly gouaches and tapestries that represent trees and the natural environment in a metaphorical, abstract, and even ambiguous way.
A 1949 exhibition at a gallery in Brussels featured 46 gouaches, both biblical and from Greek myth, along with the tapestry Knight of Nadara. Yoors choice of skin colors in this series reflects his interest in the world’s many cultures and ethnicities. The diversity of his figures is prevalent throughout his work across disciplines. Particularly, continuity with the charcoal drawings exists in the thickly outlined figures as in the charcoal drawings. Similarly, the same bright gem-like, color Yoors painted in blocks of color was influenced by his experience living with the Roma but also goes back to his childhood spent immersed in his father’s stained glass making.
Apollo and Daphne
7 1/4“ x 6 3/8”