NARRATOR: Using charcoal, pen and ink, and egg tempera as his primary media, Cadmus emulated the meticulous realism and technical virtuosity of the Italian Renaissance masters. He mixed eroticism with an allegorical form of social critique, producing works that were dubbed magic realism. He favored exaggerated, satirical images of sailors, drinkers, and street scenes, as well as muscular male nudes. Cadmus’s career flagged in the post-war period, when abstraction dominated the art world. In the mid-70s there was increasing interest in artists who had been overlooked or censored due to homophobia, and Cadmus received new attention. Cadmus died in 1999, just shy of ninety-five years old.
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