Saturday, February 16, 2013

Frederic Leighton - Bianca

oil on canvas
70 x 56.5 cm. (14 x 19.5 in.)
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Culture Service, Leighton House Museum, London, United Kingdom

Bianca is a character in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. She is the sister of Kate the shrew.

The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1592.
The play begins with a framing device, often referred to as the Induction, in which a mischievous nobleman tricks a drunken tinker named Sly into believing he is actually a nobleman himself. The nobleman then has the play performed for Sly's diversion.
The main plot depicts the courtship of Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and Katherina, the headstrong, obdurate shrew. Initially, Katherina is an unwilling participant in the relationship, but Petruchio tempers her with various psychological torments—the "taming"—until she becomes a compliant and obedient bride. The subplot features a competition between the suitors of Katherina's more desirable sister, Bianca.

The play's apparent misogynistic elements have become the subject of considerable controversy, particularly among modern audiences and readers. It has nevertheless been adapted numerous times for stage, screen, opera, and musical theatre; perhaps the most famous adaptations being Cole Porter's musical Kiss Me, Kate and the 1967 film version of the original play, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The film 10 Things I Hate About You is also loosely based on the play.

model: Dorothy Dene (1859-1899)


1 comment:

Hels said...

A misogynist play featuring a competition between the suitors of Katherina's more desirable sister, Bianca. No wonder poor old Bianca looks a bit tragic.

I wonder how Frederic Leighton and his colleagues selected the characters they were going to paint. They seemed to revel in the tragic female.