Monday, August 25, 2008

William Powell Frith - The Keepsake

[The Keepsake]
One of a number of 'commercial' paintings that Frith did depicting solitary women in everyday circumstances
oil on canvas
[Dolly Varden]
from Dicken's Barnaby Rudge (1840). Frith painted a number of versions and this may be a sketch for a larger version commissioned by Dicken's himself.
oil on panel.

Price Realized £1,645 (Dolly)
It is possible that this is a sketch for the larger picture commissioned by Charles Dickens in 1842, of Dolly 'tripping through the woods, looking back saucily at her lover'. Following the success of Frith's first pictures of Dolly, derived from various episodes of Dickens' Barnaby Rudge (1840), Dickens had requested 'two little companion pictures: one, a Dolly Varden (whom you have so exquisitely done already), the other, a Kate Nickleby'. Frith was delighted to be favoured by 'one of the greatest geniuses that ever lived'. The subject - 'with her cherry-coloured mantle and the hat and pink ribbons' inspired many subsequent versions; the latest being dated 1902.

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