Monday, June 20, 2011

Frederick William Burton - Portrait study of a young lady, half-length, facing to the left, probably for 'Cassandra Fedele'

Price Realized £6,250

pencil and black chalk, on buff paper
21 x 14¾ in. (53.3 x 37.5 cm.)

The present drawing is almost certainly a preparatory sketch for Burton's watercolour Cassandra Fedele (1869, Dublin City Gallery) for which there is a more finished chalk drawing in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.

Cassandra Fedele was a famous Venetian poetess and musician of the sixteenth-century, and it is believed that Burton, who was heavily influenced by the rich colour and historical themes of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, executed this watercolour in response to Rossetti's painting Beata Beatrix (circa 1864-70, Tate, London)

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