British, 1859 - 1928
Lancelot and Elaine
Available in black and white only. Please get in touch if you have seen a colour version of this picture.
Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1884.
Reproduced in 'Henrietta Rae (Mrs. Ernest Normand)' by Arthur Fish, Cassell and Company, 1905. From pages 31-33:
"Elaborate pains were taken to secure a good result. The dress of Lancelot was designed and worked out by the artist and careful studies made in the grounds of the Crystal Palace for the background of foliage. The picture, of course, illustrates the story as given by Tennyson in his "Idylls of the King," and is based on the following passage:-
".... one morn it chanced
He found her in among the garden yews,
And said 'Delay no longer, speak your wish,
Seeing I go to-day;' then out she brake:
'Going? and we shall never see you more,
And I must die for want of one bold word,'
'Speak; that I live to hear,' he said, 'is yours.'
Then suddenly and passionately she spoke:
'I have gone mad. I love you; let me die!'
'Ah, sister,' answer'd Lancelot, 'what is this?'
And innocently extending her white arms,
'Your love,' she said, 'your love - to be your wife.'"
As may be seen from the reproduction of the picture it is an ambitious effort for a young artist, and if she has caught the pose of the models and overlooked the passion that surged through the originals of the characters they were representing, this and much else must be forgiven. The great thing for her was the picture was hung - and fairly well hung - in the Academy Exhibition. The crowning success of its sale did not, unfortunately, follow, and it now serves as a record of a style which the artist never indulged in before or since. "The artist-colourman's friend" is the fitting name that has been bestowed upon it from the amount of paint used in its execution."
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