Saturday, February 16, 2013

Charles Edward Perugini - Silvia

oil on canvas
24 x 20.1 in. (61 x 51 cm.)
signed with a monogram l.l.

The dimensions of the present picture confirm that this painting is Silvia, Perugini's contribution to the series of paintings commissioned by the Graphic magazine for a volume entitled Heroines of Shakespeare, which was published by Sampson & Low in 1889. Twenty-one artists were involved in the volume, each painting a different female figure from the bard's tales. Among the more notable pictures in the series were Alma-Tadema's picture of Portia from The Merchant of Venice, Leighton's Desdemona from Othello (Leighton House), Waterhouse's Cleopatra (private collection) and Calderon's Juliet. The series proved extremely popular and Queen Victoria was so impressed by the paintings that she invited the managing director of the Graphic, William Luson Thomas, to Osborne House to inspect the pictures herself.


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